Labour–inducing drugs put to the test

February 27, 2018, University of Queensland
Labour–inducing drugs put to the test
Credit: University of Queensland

Researchers comparing the use of two drugs for pregnant women who do not go into labour shortly after their waters break have found both are reasonable options.

University of Queensland researcher Dr. Kassam Mahomed compared intravenous infusion to prostaglandin gel for who chose to have their induced.

Dr. Mahomed said oxytocin usually brought on contractions quickly and therefore they tended to be more painful, whereas prostaglandin allowed for gradual onset of contractions.

"Our small study assessed the safety and efficacy of a prostaglandin regimen and found fewer women needed additional oxytocin, with no adverse effect on the mother and newborn," Dr. Mahomed said.

Researchers conducted a randomised trial involving 184 women, and found 53 per cent of induced labours from the prostaglandin regimen did not require any oxytocin to speed up contractions.

"This was particularly evident in women with more than one child, with 67 per cent not requiring any oxytocin," Dr. Mahomed said.

Abnormal foetal heart rate was recorded in 4.4 per cent of labours induced by , compared to 12.8 per cent for oxytocin.

However, the oxytocin group reported greater satisfaction with the method used (83 per cent compared to 69 per cent); labour pains starting as they would have liked (71 per cent compared to 57 per cent); and the time it took to start labour (70 per cent compared to 44 per cent).

"Some women will choose to have labour induced with oxytocin as it is much quicker, while others may wish to have less intervention and reduce the risks of needing oxytocin, which is usually given as an intravenous infusion."

The research has been published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Explore further: Induction with concurrent oxytocin, foley speeds delivery

More information: Kassam Mahomed et al. Prostaglandin gel versus oxytocin - prelabour rupture of membranes at term - A randomised controlled trial, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (2018). DOI: 10.1111/ajo.12788

Related Stories

Induction with concurrent oxytocin, foley speeds delivery

May 25, 2017
(HealthDay)—The rate of delivery within 24 hours is increased with induction with concurrent oxytocin infusion added to preinduction cervical ripening with a Foley catheter versus Foley followed by oxytocin, according to ...

Low oxytocin tied to impaired social-emotional function

December 13, 2017
(HealthDay)—Low oxytocin levels are related to a lack of emotional awareness in women with a history of anorexia nervosa (AN), according to a study published recently in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Lactate measurement improves treatment during labour

October 28, 2016
Labour dystocia, or the failure of the uterus to contract properly during labour, is a serious problem in obstetrics. A new study from Karolinska Institutet demonstrates a simple method that can make it easier for doctors ...

Bicarbonate of soda could spare women in developing countries from caesarean section

January 25, 2018
Lack of access to a caesarean section, or complications arising from one, accounts for many deaths in developing countries, but now a team of scientists has identified that a simple drink of bicarbonate of soda could make ...

Preventing postpartum hemorrhage

November 4, 2014
Sublingual misoprostol is inferior to intramuscular oxytocin for the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) in women undergoing uncomplicated birth at a regional hospital in Uganda, according to trial results published ...

Recommended for you

Discovery promises improved diagnosis and understanding of endometriosis

March 19, 2018
Feinstein Institute for Medical Research scientists announced an experimental, rapid and non-invasive way to diagnose endometriosis, which may lead to earlier and more effective treatments for this disorder that affects approximately ...

Vaginal estrogen tablets, moisturizers and placebo gel all can improve vaginal discomfort

March 19, 2018
A clinical trial comparing two treatments for postmenopausal vaginal discomfort - low-dose vaginal estrogen and a vaginal moisturizer - to placebo treatments found that both produced symptom improvements similar to those ...

Frozen embryos more successful for conceiving during IVF

March 19, 2018
A new study carried out by a research team at The University of Western Australia and Fertility Specialists of Western Australia has found that women undergoing IVF who have had embryos fail to implant have more success using ...

Alomst 70 percent of 103 genes linked to prenatal death affect the placenta

March 14, 2018
The role of the placenta in healthy fetal development is being seriously under-appreciated according to a new paper published today (14th March). The study was part of the Wellcome Trust-funded "Deciphering the Mechanisms ...

New research shows why babies need to move in the womb

March 12, 2018
Scientists have just discovered why babies need to move in the womb to develop strong bones and joints. It turns out there are some key molecular interactions that are stimulated by movement and which guide the cells and ...

Labour–inducing drugs put to the test

February 27, 2018
Researchers comparing the use of two drugs for pregnant women who do not go into labour shortly after their waters break have found both are reasonable options.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.