Babies die after mothers given Viagra in Dutch trial

(SKY NEWS) – A Viagra in pregnancy trial has been urgently stopped after 11 newborn babies died.

Women taking part in the Dutch study had been given the anti-impotence tablets to improve growth of their unborn children because they had poorly developed placentas.

It appears the drug, which promotes blood flow, may have caused lethal damage to the babies’ lungs.

Experts say a full investigation is needed to understand what happened.

There is no suggestion that there was any wrong-doing.

Sick babies

Earlier trials in the UK and Australia and New Zealand did not find any evidence of potential harm from the intervention. But they also found no benefit.

At that time, in 2010, researchers said the treatment should be used only in trials.

Foetal growth restriction caused by an underdeveloped placenta is a serious condition that currently has no treatment.

It can mean babies are born prematurely, with a very low birth weight and poor chances of survival.

A medication that could improve weight or prolong the time to delivery could have significant advantages for these very sick babies.