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Will taking Neogest tablets harm my fetus?

Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Answered by: Dr. Chandra M. Gulhati
Editor,
MIMS,
New Delhi
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Q. I am 25 years old and pregnant. I was given Neogest tablets for vaginal insertion to control and support my pregnancy, but I read that it creates defects in the child. I was given this medicine for almost a month to be inserted twice daily. Will my child be alright?

A.  Neogest is the brand name. In some countries it contains norgestrel and is popularly called 'mini pill' to be used as a contraceptive agent by oral route. In India, Neogest contains progesterone in high dose (100/200 mg) for both oral and vaginal route administration. Its use during pregnancy is prohibited. If used during early pregnancy, progesterone can cause birth defects (medically called congenital anomalies including cleft palate, heart defect, hole in the heart and other congenital heart defects. Some cases of fetal death and spontaneous abortion have also been reported in pregnant women prescribed progesterone. Vaginal use progesterone is approved in western countries for use in IVF and assisted reproductive techniques, provided infertility is diagnosed due to inadequate progesterone in the blood. In other words, progesterone even in its vaginal form is to be used only in cases of female infertility when there is proven, documented deficiency of this hormone. In normal pregnancy, progesterone is not to be used at all by any route, whether oral or vaginal. There is nothing called support in pregnancy in medical science. Due to purely profit motivation, some drug companies are aggressively promoting the use of progesterone in pregnancy, which is not only unethical, but also illegal. It is not possible to say at this stage whether the unnecessary administration of progesterone has caused any damage to the baby or not. However, regular ultrasound tests should be done.

A.  Neogest is the brand name. In some countries it contains norgestrel and is popularly called 'mini pill' to be used as a contraceptive agent by oral route. In India, Neogest contains progesterone in high dose (100/200 mg) for both oral and vaginal route administration. Its use during pregnancy is prohibited. If used during early pregnancy, progesterone can cause birth defects (medically called congenital anomalies including cleft palate, heart defect, hole in the heart and other congenital heart defects. Some cases of fetal death and spontaneous abortion have also been reported in pregnant women prescribed progesterone. Vaginal use progesterone is approved in western countries for use in IVF and assisted reproductive techniques, provided infertility is diagnosed due to inadequate progesterone in the blood. In other words, progesterone even in its vaginal form is to be used only in cases of female infertility when there is proven, documented deficiency of this hormone. In normal pregnancy, progesterone is not to be used at all by any route, whether oral or vaginal. There is nothing called support in pregnancy in medical science. Due to purely profit motivation, some drug companies are aggressively promoting the use of progesterone in pregnancy, which is not only unethical, but also illegal. It is not possible to say at this stage whether the unnecessary administration of progesterone has caused any damage to the baby or not. However, regular ultrasound tests should be done.

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