Medications for Preterm Labor and Delivery
—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 (Adalat, Procardia)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- Indomethacin (Indocin
- Ketorolac (Toradol)
- Sulindac (Clinoril)
- Terbutaline (Brethaire, Brethine, Bricanyl)
- Ritodrine (Yutopar)
- Betamethasone (Betatrex, Diprolene, Maxivate)
- Dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexameth, Dexone, Hexadrol)
ACOG Committee Opinion No. 291: Use of progesterone to reduce preterm birth. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 2003.
Berghella V, Klebanoff M, McPherson C, 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, Carvalho MH, Zugaib M.. 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, Cincotta R, Flenady V, Robinson JS. Progesterone supplementation for preventing preterm birth: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2005;84:526-533.
MacKenzie R, Walker M, Armson A, Hannah ME. 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, Damus K, Burd I and Berghella V. 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/what.php. Updated April 18, 2013 . Accessed April 23, 2013.
Preterm labor. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated March 15, 2013 . Accessed April 23, 2013.
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 30, 2013. Accessed April 23, 2013.
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, Dreasen E, et al. Prevention of premature labor by 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1985;151:574-577.
Zhu BP, Haines KM, Le T, 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; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 04/2013 -
- Update Date: 04/23/2013 -