Discontinuation of intravenous oxytocin in the active phase of induced labour

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Background In most Western countries, obstetricians and midwives induce labour in about 25% of pregnant women. Oxytocin is an effective drug for this purpose, but associated with serious adverse effects of which uterine tachysystole, fetal distress and the need for immediate delivery are the most common. Various administration regimens such as reduced or pulsatile dosing have been suggested to minimise these. Discontinuation in the active phase of labour, i.e. when contractions are well-established and the cervix is dilated at least 5 cm is another method which may reduce adverse effects. Objectives To assess whether birth outcomes can be improved by discontinuation of intravenous (IV) oxytocin, initiated in the latent phase of induced labour, once active phase of labour is established. Search methods We searched Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth's Trials Register (31 January 2018), Scopus, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (23 January 2018) together with reference checking, citation searching, and contact with study authors to identify additional studies. Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing discontinued IV with continuous IV oxytocin in the active phase of induced labour. No exclusion criteria were applied in terms of parity, maternal age, ethnicity, co-morbidity status, labour setting, gestational age, and prior caesarean delivery. Studies comparing different dosage regimens are outside the scope of this review. Data collection and analysis We used standard Cochrane methods.




Boie, S., Glavind, J., Velu, A. V., Mol, B. W. J., Uldbjerg, N., de Graaf, I., … Bakker, J. J. H. (2018). Discontinuation of intravenous oxytocin in the active phase of induced labour. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley and Sons Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012274.PUB2

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