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Review: oxytocin receptor antagonists for preterm labour do not improve infant outcomes more than placebo or other tocolytics

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 Q In pregnant women with preterm labour, do oxytocin receptor antagonists delay delivery and improve infant outcomes?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Obstetrics ★★★★★★★ Obstetrics ★★★★★☆☆ Endocrine ★★★★★★☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group’s Trials Register and CENTRAL (to September 2004), Medline and EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (to June 2004), and experts.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared oxytocin receptor antagonists used for tocolysis in the management of women with preterm labour (regular uterine contractions at 20–36 weeks gestation, regardless of membrane or cervical status) with placebo or no treatment, or other tocolytic agents. Quasi-randomised trials and outcomes with <80% follow up were excluded.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

perinatal, neonatal, and infant death; birth within 48 hours; preterm birth; birth weight; adverse neonatal outcomes (including respiratory distress syndrome, intraventricular haemorrhage, and necrotising enterocolitis); admission to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU); and maternal drug reaction.


2 RCTs (n = 651) compared atosiban …

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  • For correspondence: Dr D Papatsonis, Amphia Hospital Breda, Breda, Netherlands. hoog.pap{at}

  • Source of funding: Department of Health and Ageing, Australia.