Beware of the “Star Tablet”: A Cautionary Tale

Although without any BFAD approval, Misoprostol (Cytotec), colloquially referred to as “star tablet” because of its shape is enjoying its heyday in the black market as demonstrated in the activity in this this message board and this other message board. You are not even required to register to view the contents of the message boards. I really wonder why these transactions are out in the open, considering that induced abortion is a criminal offense in this country.

 

Perhaps these buyers and sellers have no idea of the deadly risks their shady dealings entail…

 

The  following actual case illustrates the real dangers of induced abortion with this means:

About a year ago, an eighteen year old patient was admitted in the hospital where I work due to complications of using Misoprostol for an induced abortion. She was referred for further management from a hospital in Mindanao.

She eventually underwent a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus). She still had internal bleeding. She had to undergo an embolization procedure (blockage) of bleeding blood vessels in the pelvis. She spent time in the intensive care unit, in the brink of death. Unfortunately, I was unable to follow-up the outcome of this case, whether she lived or died. Needless to say, she can never ever have children of her own again in the future.

 

Months later, it surprised me when one OB-GYN passed a misoprostol tablet to her resident for a patient who had a retained spontaneous abortion. She said that she sourced it from a medical representative (read: smuggled medication-> ATTENTION BFAD!!!) for off label use, in this case to help remove retained products of conception.  The OB-GYN actually showed me the tablet (She is unaware of my pro-life views and the Catholic medical bioethics that I adhere to),  and told her resident to be discrete about using the medication. We were all working in a private, tertiary hospital afterall.

 

To further illustrate my point:

This medication is not even approved in North America for obstetric and gynecologic use. Why are we risking the lives of Filipino women by smuggling it into the country and using it in an off-label manner? I believe the Filipino woman deserves better in terms of health care, and yes, in whatever form a crisis pregnancy may present itself, the lives of both the mother and the unborn have equal weight in the equation.

One thought on “Beware of the “Star Tablet”: A Cautionary Tale

  1. I think we really have to start caring about our women — and our children — beyond issuing calls of “Equal rights for women!” and “Down with a patriarchal society!” Under the guise of equality, we’re putting so many women in danger.

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