In the Netherlands during the experiment with viagra died 11 babies

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10 to 15 other patients are waiting to see if their children have been affected, The Guardian reports.

The research, conducted in 10 hospitals throughout the Netherlands, involved 183 pregnant women whose babies had a severe growth limitation early in pregnancy.

It was hoped the drug would increase the size of the placenta and encourage their development.

'All participants were approached personally and nearly everyone was informed and know by now whether they have taken the drug or the placebo'.

But 17 babies in the sildenafil group were diagnosed with lung disease shortly after birth, and 11 of these died.

"As a precautionary measure, we have paused recruitment into our trial, until we have an opportunity to gain further information".

Dutch doctors were trying to answer a simple question about a popular drug: Could the active ingredient in Viagra be used to help a particular group of at-risk babies often born tiny and premature with slim chances of survival?

Of the 90 women in a control group who took a placebo, three had children who developed the same lung issues, but no babies died from conditions that could be linked to sildenafil. The trial was testing the use of the pharmaceutical sildenafil in assisting placenta growth.

The experiment was led by University medical center in Amsterdam. "The researchers expect that the use of sildenafil for this application will stop worldwide". Eleven of these deaths were due to a possible lung disease, a form of high blood pressure in the lungs.

The women who participated in the trial were all carrying unborn babies whose growth was inhibited.

Senior researcher Wessel Ganzevoort, who is based at the AMC teaching hospital in Amsterdam, told Hart van Nederland it was focusing on supporting the parents.

Low birth weight contributes to 60% to 80% of neonatal deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Viagra is known to dilate some blood vessels, including those in the penis-which is how it became a blockbuster drug for erectile dysfunction-and a number of animal studies and small human trials suggested the drug might benefit unborn children.

In a statement, Amsterdam UMC said that it believed the trial had been conducted properly, but will launch an external investigation to find the cause of deaths.

But last week the trial was terminated when an independent committee overseeing the research found that more babies than expected were being born with lung problems.

"We are not aware of an increase in adverse outcomes among the 21 Canadian trial participants". "Combining our results with those of the other trials and zooming in on subgroups might give more clarity", he says.

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