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Common drug for stopping preterm labor may be harmful for babies
Date:11/1/2007

in days of birth. However, use of antenatal indomethacin is not associated with intraventricular hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain), patent ductus arteriosus (a congenital heart defect), respiratory distress syndrome (a life-threatening lung disorder) or death.

Obstetricians often use indomethacin only when women go into labor extremely early. But many obstetricians believe it is more effective and has fewer side effects for the mother than other commonly used tocolytic agents, and so they may use it for woman whose babies are farther along.

Christopher Glantz, M.D., M.P.H., professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and a co-author of the paper, said he hopes the analysis will encourage obstetricians to use the drug only when women are in labor very early when their babies are at most risk of the problems related to prematurity.

Its important for us to realize that these drugs are not benign, Glantz said. None of the drugs we have to stop labor work all that well, and were stuck between a rock a premature baby who could benefit from more time in the womb and a hard place a baby who may develop problems because of drugs such as indomethacin that may provide extra time in the womb.

We need to use the drug only on those who need it most.


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Contact: Heather Hare
heather_hare@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-2840
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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