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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2000 May;182(5):1173-83.

An oxytocin receptor antagonist (atosiban) in the treatment of preterm labor: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with tocolytic rescue.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hutzel Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the oxytocin receptor antagonist atosiban in the treatment of preterm labor.

STUDY DESIGN:

A multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with tocolytic rescue was designed. Five hundred thirty-one patients were randomized to receive, and 501 received, either intravenous atosiban (n = 246) or placebo (n = 255), followed by subcutaneous maintenance with the assigned agent. Standard tocolytics as rescue tocolysis were permitted after 1 hour of either placebo or atosiban if preterm labor continued. The primary end point was the time from the start of study drug to delivery or therapeutic failure. Secondary end points were the proportion of patients who remained undelivered and did not receive an alternate tocolytic at 24 hours, 48 hours, and 7 days.

RESULTS:

No significant difference was found in the time from start of treatment to delivery or therapeutic failure between atosiban and placebo (median, 25.6 days vs 21.0 days, respectively; P =.6). The percentages of patients remaining undelivered and not requiring an alternate tocolytic at 24 hours, 48 hours, and 7 days were significantly higher in the atosiban group than in the control group (all P < or =.008). A significant treatment-by-gestational age interaction existed for the 48-hour and 7-day end points. Atosiban was consistently superior to placebo at a gestational age of > or =28 weeks. Fourteen atosiban-treated patients and 5 placebo-treated patients were randomized at <24 weeks; the incidence of fetal-infant deaths was higher for the atosiban group at <24 weeks. Maternal-fetal adverse events were similar except for injection-site reactions, which occurred more often with atosiban.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this trial the treatment of patients in preterm labor with atosiban resulted in prolongation of pregnancy for up to 7 days for those at a gestational age > or =28 weeks, and this occurred with a low rate of maternal-fetal adverse effects. In addition, at a gestational age > or =28 weeks, the infant morbidity and mortality of atosiban-initiated standard care were similar to those with placebo-initiated standard care. Given that all patients in this study were eligible for tocolysis and that, in practice, nearly all patients who are eligible for a tocolytic receive one, the benefit of using atosiban is the placebo-like maternal-fetal side effect profile. These observations support the use of this oxytocin receptor antagonist in the treatment of patients in preterm labor with intact membranes. Efficacy and infant outcome data at <28 weeks are inconclusive.

PMID:
10819855
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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