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Is Susten advisable after identifying foetal heartbeat?

Q: Is Susten 200 safe to continue after identifying foetal heartbeat?

A:You have stated whether Susten (progesterone) should be continued without explaining as to why you are taking this potentially harmful medicine in the first place. This medicine is to be taken only if there is documented, proven deficiency of this female hormone in blood tests. Its use during known or suspected pregnancy is contraindicated (totally prohibited). If used during pregnancy, progesterone can cause congenital defects including cleft palate, ventricular septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus and other congenital heart defects in the baby. Some cases of foetal death and spontaneous abortion have also been reported in pregnant women prescribed progesterone for unapproved indications. Cases of urogenital defects in babies, particularly males, born to mothers who took oral progesterone have also been reported. Female foetuses can suffer from hirsutism (male-like hair at unwanted places such as face, deep voice etc); some advanced countries like Australia have not permitted the use of oral progesterone for any indication. In India, for purely profit motivation some producers of progesterone are aggressively promoting the drug as a tonic to be routinely taken during normal pregnancy. In its package insert, a Mumbai-based company is advising doctors to use its brand to help pregnancy, whatever it means. Unfortunately many doctors are either ignorant or influenced by such aggressive promotion.


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