Dutch Viagra trial on pregnant women urgently stopped after 11 babies die

A Dutch drug trial in which pregnant women were given Viagra has been immediately cancelled after the death of 11 newborn babies.

The 93 women involved in the study had been given the male anti-impotence drug in the hope it would increase blood flow through the placenta, aiding the babies' growth, the Daily Mail reports.

The women selected for the trial had poorly developed placenta, which causes growth defects in unborn children.

Similar drug trials in New Zealand, Australia and the UK had found no harm from the drugs, but also no conclusive benefit.

However, in the trial across 10 hospitals in the Netherlands, 17 newborns developed high blood pressure in their lungs, restricting their intake of oxygen.

Of those babies, 11 were born prematurely and eventually died.

While the Dutch trial has now been cancelled, and is under investigation, a further 10 to 15 women who were prescribed the drug in the trial are still waiting to find out if any harm has come to their unborn babies.

The remaining babies in the trial of 93 mothers, and a further 90 given placebo pills, were not harmed.

The Dutch study began in 2015 and was due to continue until 2020.

The pregnant women Viagra trials elsewhere in the world had been given the go-ahead after successful experimentation with the drug on rats.

Viagra Source: istock.com