Analgesics drugs during labor

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Alliance for the Improvement of Maternity Services (AIMS)

Return to Home Page OBSTETRIC DRUGS: THEIR EFFECTS ON MOTHER AND INFANT

INHERENT RISKS OF OBSTETRIC RELATED DRUGS

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The rate at which the nerve cells in the brain mature

The process by which the brain cells develop individual characteristics and capacity to carry out specific functions

The process by which the brain cells are guided into their proper place within the brain and central nervous system.

The interconnection of the branch-like nerve fibers as the circuitry of the brain is formed, and

The forming of the insulating sheath of myelin (fat-like substance) around the nerve fibers which helps to assure that the nerve impulses - the messages to and from the brain - will travel their normal route at the normal rate of speed.

Dr. Joseph Altman, neurobiologist, University of Indiana, pointed out at a Washington Conference on the Precursor of Learning Disability that the development of the human brain appears to be programmed so that certain cells and nerve fibers must develop in synchrony, in order to make appropriate connections within the central nervous system. He expressed concern that drug-induced alterations of the chemical components within the brain may interfere with the growth of the cells and nerve fibers, causing subtle or substantial misconnections within the developing brain.

FDA STATUS OF DRUGS

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FDA APPROVED DRUGS IN OBSTETRICS

Two drugs approved by the FDA for use during pregnancy, are a combination of doxcylamine and pyridoxine (Bendectin) and ritodrine (Yutopar). Once prescribed as a remedy for morning sickness, Bendectin was taken off the market in 1983 because of the high cost of defending the company against law suits. Several lawsuits have been brought against the manufacturer of Bendectin by parents who contend that their children's birth defects resulted from prenatal exposure to the drug. Currently the litigation is lumbering through the courts with both sides claiming victories. No one knows how many cases have been settled out of court, since in most such cases the plaintiffs must swear to secrecy in order to receive the settlement.

ANALGESICS

The most frequently used drug in labor is a narcotic-like analgesic called meperidine, Demerol (Pethidine in the UK). The use of meperidine has largely replaced the use of morphine during labor. This drug is frequently offered to the laboring woman by the obstetrician, nurse or midwife, accompanied by the standard remark, "This will help to take the edge off the contractions."

NARCOTIC ANTAGONIST

ANTIEMETICS

ANTACIDS

Nausea and vomiting are common maternal side effects of the powerful pain relieving drugs administered during labor. In an attempt to minimize the possibility of chemical pneumonia, which can occur if the heavily drugged or anesthetized mother vomits and aspirates the fluids or food from her stomach, women have been given various antacids during labor to reduce the acidity of the stomach's contents. This is done in the belief that, should the mother regurgitate in response to anesthesia, she is less likely to suffer chemical pneumonia. Antacids may improve the odds of a safe outcome but they can not be relied upon to prevent maternal mortality from aspiration. If aspiration occurs following the administration of an antacid, particles in the antacid itself can cause substantial maternal morbidity.

Source: www.aimsusa.org


Аскар Мамин краткая биография

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