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Management of preterm labor: atosiban or nifedipine?

Authors de Heus R, Mulder EJH, Visser GHA

Published 17 May 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 137—142

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S7219

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Roel de Heus, Eduard J H Mulder, Gerard H A Visser

Department of Woman and Baby, University Medical Centre Utrecht, The Netherlands

Abstract: Preterm birth is strongly associated with neonatal death and long-term neurological morbidity. The purpose of tocolytic drug administration is to postpone threatening preterm delivery for 48 hours to allow maximal effect of antenatal corticosteroids and maternal transportation to a center with specialized neonatal care facilities. There is uncertainty about the value of atosiban (oxytocin receptor antagonist) and nifedipine (calcium channel blocker) as first-line tocolytic drugs in the management of preterm labor. For nifedipine, concerns have been raised about unproven safety, lack of placebo-controlled trials, and its off-label use. The tocolytic efficacy of atosiban has also been questioned because of a lack of reduction in neonatal morbidity. This review discusses the available evidence, the pros and cons of either drug and aims to provide information to support a balanced choice of first-line tocolytic drug: atosiban or nifedipine?

Keywords: atosiban, oxytocin receptor antagonist, nifedipine, calcium channel blocker, preterm birth, tocolytic drugs, preterm labor

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