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

Why mothers in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan choose cesarean delivery

October 16, 2018
Pregnant women in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are more likely to express preference for cesarean section (CS) as their mode of delivery later in pregnancy and postpartum, as compared to early in pregnancy, according ...

Importance of cell cycle and cellular senescence in the placenta discovered

October 15, 2018
Working with researchers from Stanford University and St. Anna Children's Cancer Research, researchers from Jürgen Pollheimer's laboratory at the Medical University of Vienna's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology have ...

C-section rates have nearly doubled since 2000: study

October 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—The number of women delivering babies via cesarean section has nearly doubled worldwide since 2000, to about 21 percent, new research shows.

Study of nearly 41,000 women who almost died giving birth shows who's most at risk

October 10, 2018
Tens of thousands of American women each year need emergency treatment to save their lives while they deliver their babies, or immediately after. A new study shows how much their risk of a life-threatening birth depends on ...

In childbirth, when to begin pushing does not affect C-section rates

October 9, 2018
More than 3 million women in the United States give birth each year. But obstetricians have differing opinions about when women should begin pushing during labor and whether the timing of pushing increases the likelihood ...

Why single embryo transfer during IVF sometimes results in twins or triplets

October 8, 2018
It has been known for some time that it is better to transfer a single embryo to a woman's womb during assisted reproduction treatment (ART) rather than several embryos in order to avoid a multiple pregnancy and the risks ...


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.