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Wednesday 01 September 2004

Oral salbutamol for treatment of preterm labor.

By: Phupong V, Charakorn C, Charoenvidhya D.

J Med Assoc Thai 2004 Sep;87(9):1012-6

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the value of oral salbutamol for the inhibition of preterm labor. MATERIAL AND METHOD: Medical records of the department from January 1, 1991 to December 31, 1999 were reviewed for all idiopathic preterm labors that were inhibited by oral salbutamol and statistically analyzed. RESULTS: Of 132 pregnancies, 81.1% (95%CI, 74.4, 87.7) were prolonged for more than 24 hours, 59.8% (95%CI, 51.5, 68.2) for more than 2 days, 32.6% (95%CI, 24.6, 40.6) for more than 1 week, and 8.3% (95%CI, 4.2, 14.4) for more than 4 weeks. Tachycardia (pulse rate > 100 beats/min) occurred in 85.6% of the patients, but those with a pulse rate higher than 140 beats/min occurred in only 3%. Hypotension occurred in only 0.8%. Neonatal complications occurred in 28%, while respiratory distress syndrome occurred in 22.7% of the babies. Perinatal mortality in the present study was 7.6 per 1,000 births. When comparing the pregnancy outcome between groups regarding the prolongation time, the pregnancy outcome was significantly better in the group that had a prolongation time of at least 48 hours. CONCLUSION: Oral salbutamol proved to be another effective method that inhibits preterm labor and consequently prolongs pregnancy. Because it requires no intensive medical nursing care and observations, and no discomfort of an intravenous line, oral salbutamol may be an alternative drug in the management of preterm labor.

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