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Is Susten a safe drug to be consumed during pregnancy?

Friday, 27 January 2006
Answered by: Chandra M. Gulhati
Editor,
MIMS,
New Delhi
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Q. My wife who was pregnant, got a scan in the 6th week. The report was quite satisfactory and the fetal growth was fine. The only reported issue was the heart rate was feeble. She is pregnant for the first time and does not have any complications or a history of miscarriages. The doctor gave folic acid and Susten tablets. My wife used them for 2 weeks (one per each day). The scan at the end of the 8th week (after 2 weeks of using Susten) shows 0 growth and zero heart beat. Then we stopped using Susten immediately and got an abortion. I read in an article on NDTV that Susten should not be used during pregnancy. But the doctor still argued that using Susten is not an issue and 0 maturity was because the fetus was weak. Will there be any complications next time because of this miscarriage due to Susten? My wife is 25 years old.

A.  Susten is the Indian brand name of a hormone called progesterone. It is to be given ONLY when there is documented deficiency of this hormone leading to infertility called Inadequate luteal phase infertility. It is only approved for use in infertile women undergoing assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF etc. Progesterone is the research medicine marketed by Solvay in the United States. According to the documents (number NDA 19-781/S-005,006; 20-843/S-005-006) approved by the Unites States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), the medicine can result in intrauterine death or spontaneous abortion in cases where it is not indicated. Since by the time your wife starts expecting again, the medicine would get eliminated from the body, it will not have any adverse effect. Unfortunately influenced by aggressive, often incentive-driven, promotional methods employed by pharma companies many medicines are being overused in India. Progesterone is no exception. It is being unethically promoted by some companies for vague uses such as to help pregnancy as if it is a nutritional supplement.

A.  Susten is the Indian brand name of a hormone called progesterone. It is to be given ONLY when there is documented deficiency of this hormone leading to infertility called Inadequate luteal phase infertility. It is only approved for use in infertile women undergoing assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF etc. Progesterone is the research medicine marketed by Solvay in the United States. According to the documents (number NDA 19-781/S-005,006; 20-843/S-005-006) approved by the Unites States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), the medicine can result in intrauterine death or spontaneous abortion in cases where it is not indicated. Since by the time your wife starts expecting again, the medicine would get eliminated from the body, it will not have any adverse effect. Unfortunately influenced by aggressive, often incentive-driven, promotional methods employed by pharma companies many medicines are being overused in India. Progesterone is no exception. It is being unethically promoted by some companies for vague uses such as to help pregnancy as if it is a nutritional supplement.

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