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Medications for Preterm Labor and Delivery
Tocolytics—to slow or stop preterm labor contractions
- Calcium channel blockers
- Prostaglandin synthetase inhibitors (cyclooxygenase inhibitors)
- Magnesium sulfate
- Corticosteroids—to help the baby’s lungs and brain mature
- Antibiotics—to prevent infection in the mother and baby
- Common name: Nifedipine
ACOG Committee Opinion No. 291: Use of progesterone to reduce preterm birth. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 2003.
Berghella V, Klebanoff M, et al. National Institute for Child Health and Development Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network. Sexual intercourse association with asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis and trichomonas vaginalis treatment in relationship to preterm birth Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002;187:1277-1282.
da Fonseca EB, Bittar RE, et al. Prophylactic administration of progesterone by vaginal suppository to reduce the incidence of spontaneous preterm birth in women at increased risk: a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003;188:419-424.
Dodd JM, Crowther CA, et al. Progesterone supplementation for preventing preterm birth: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2005;84:526-533.
MacKenzie R, Walker M, et al. Progesterone for the prevention of preterm birth among women at increased risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Obst Gynecol. 2006;194:1234-1242.
McDonald H, Brocklehurst P, Parsons J. Antibiotics for treating bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2005;(1):CD000262.
Ness A, Dias T, et al. Impact of the recent randomized trials on the use of progesterone to prevent preterm birth: a 2005 follow-up survey. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006;195:1174-1179.
Prematurity. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 30, 2013. Accessed March 18, 2014.
Preterm labor. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 2, 2014. Accessed March 18, 2014.
Stanley FJ, Crowther C. Antenatal magnesium sulfate for neuroprotection before preterm birth? N Engl J Med. 2008; 359:962-964.
What treatments can reduce the chances of preterm labor & birth? National Institute of Child Health & Human Development website. Available at: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preterm/Pages/default.aspx. Updated November 6, 2013. Accessed March 18, 2014.
Whitworth M, Quenby S; Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group. Prophylactic oral betamimetics for preventing preterm labour in singleton pregnancies. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009; (1).
Yemini M, Borenstein R, et al. Prevention of premature labor by 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1985;151:574-577.
Zhu BP, Haines KM, et al. Effect of the interval between pregnancies on perinatal outcomes among white and black women. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2001;185:1403-1410.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014
- Update Date: 03/18/2014