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Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Oct;86(4 Pt 1):541-4.

Randomized controlled trial of vaginal misoprostol and intracervical prostaglandin E2 gel for induction of labor at term.

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Maine Medical Center, Portland, USA.



To compare misoprostol 25 micrograms administered at 2-hour intervals with intracervical prostaglandin (PG) E2 in women with Bishop scores of 5 or less.


Subjects were randomly assigned to receive either misoprostol 25 micrograms every 2 hours or a commercially available intracervical preparation containing 0.5 mg of PGE2 gel administered at 6-hour intervals for a maximum of two doses.


Women who received misoprostol experienced a significantly reduced mean time (+/- standard deviation) from drug administration to onset of three contractions in 10 minutes, 6.7 +/- 5.8 versus 12.4 +/- 9.6 hours (P = .007). Mean time to rupture of membranes was also shorter in the misoprostol group, 9.7 +/- 5.5 versus 13.6 +/- 6.8 hours (P = .01), as was the mean time to delivery, 16.0 +/- 7.7 versus 22.4 +/- 10.9 hours (P = .006). Three patients in the misoprostol group experienced uterine hypertonus but not related fetal morbidity.


Misoprostol is more effective than intracervical PGE2 in bringing about labor and delivery, but further work is needed to determine the ideal dosing regimen.

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