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Ritodrine (Oral route, Intravenous route)

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Ritodrine is used to stop premature labor. This medicine was available only with your doctor's prescription. Ritodrine is no longer available in the United States… Read more
Drug classes About this
Beta-2 Adrenergic Agonist, Uterine Relaxant

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Betamimetics for suspected impaired fetal growth

Too little evidence to show whether betamimetic drugs for women during pregnancy benefits unborn babies who are smaller than expected.

Betamimetics for inhibiting preterm labour

Preterm labour is when women go into labour before 37 weeks' gestation. Babies born before term (preterm birth) have poorer outcomes compared with babies who are born at term. The earlier the baby is born, the poorer the outcome. Most preterm births occur in low‐income countries where medical help is less readily available. Preterm birth is a major cause of infant deaths and serious illness worldwide. Preterm birth can result in respiratory distress syndrome and chronic lung disease, bleeding into the fluid spaces (ventricles) within the brain (intraventricular haemorrhage)), generalised infection or infection of the blood stream (sepsis), cerebral palsy and other neuro‐developmental impairments. Even short delays in preterm birth can enable women to reach specialist care and receive 'corticosteroid' drugs that are given to women before birth to improve their babies' lung function.

Use of progesterone for treating preterm labour

Premature birth is associated with various medical problems for the newborn including death and long‐term health problems. The parents of premature babies can experience emotional turmoil and the economic costs are high for healthcare systems. Various medications have been used to delay the onset of labour and prevent premature deliveries but with limited success. Some of the drugs have side‐effects. Progesterone is a hormone that is known to suppress uterine activity and keep the uterus quiescent until term. Medications that mimic this hormone (progestational agents) were first tried in the late 1950s but interest waned. Recently, new trials studying the use of progestational agents both for prevention as well as treatment of preterm labour have been published. This review of the literature found eight randomised controlled trials involving 563 women, but data from only seven studies from a total of 538 women with threatened or established preterm labour with intact membranes contributed data to this updated review. Four trials compared the use of progestational agents versus placebo in women concurrently treated with another drug to reduce uterine contractions (tocolytic agent). Progesterone was used independently in the other four trials compared with another tocolytic agent or placebo. Limited evidence suggests that the use of a progesterone, as a co‐treatment, may reduce preterm deliveries at less than 37 weeks' gestation and increase birthweight. There is insufficient evidence from the seven small studies with contributing data to advocate progestational agents as a tocolytic agent for women presenting with preterm labour.

See all (18)

Summaries for consumers

Betamimetics for suspected impaired fetal growth

Too little evidence to show whether betamimetic drugs for women during pregnancy benefits unborn babies who are smaller than expected.

Betamimetics for inhibiting preterm labour

Preterm labour is when women go into labour before 37 weeks' gestation. Babies born before term (preterm birth) have poorer outcomes compared with babies who are born at term. The earlier the baby is born, the poorer the outcome. Most preterm births occur in low‐income countries where medical help is less readily available. Preterm birth is a major cause of infant deaths and serious illness worldwide. Preterm birth can result in respiratory distress syndrome and chronic lung disease, bleeding into the fluid spaces (ventricles) within the brain (intraventricular haemorrhage)), generalised infection or infection of the blood stream (sepsis), cerebral palsy and other neuro‐developmental impairments. Even short delays in preterm birth can enable women to reach specialist care and receive 'corticosteroid' drugs that are given to women before birth to improve their babies' lung function.

Use of progesterone for treating preterm labour

Premature birth is associated with various medical problems for the newborn including death and long‐term health problems. The parents of premature babies can experience emotional turmoil and the economic costs are high for healthcare systems. Various medications have been used to delay the onset of labour and prevent premature deliveries but with limited success. Some of the drugs have side‐effects. Progesterone is a hormone that is known to suppress uterine activity and keep the uterus quiescent until term. Medications that mimic this hormone (progestational agents) were first tried in the late 1950s but interest waned. Recently, new trials studying the use of progestational agents both for prevention as well as treatment of preterm labour have been published. This review of the literature found eight randomised controlled trials involving 563 women, but data from only seven studies from a total of 538 women with threatened or established preterm labour with intact membranes contributed data to this updated review. Four trials compared the use of progestational agents versus placebo in women concurrently treated with another drug to reduce uterine contractions (tocolytic agent). Progesterone was used independently in the other four trials compared with another tocolytic agent or placebo. Limited evidence suggests that the use of a progesterone, as a co‐treatment, may reduce preterm deliveries at less than 37 weeks' gestation and increase birthweight. There is insufficient evidence from the seven small studies with contributing data to advocate progestational agents as a tocolytic agent for women presenting with preterm labour.

See all (9)

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