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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Slowing Labor: Nifedipine vs. Magnesium Sulfate

I consider myself very fortunate that I carried my daughter to term and was actually induced. However, I had a constant fear that I would deliver prematurely. Many women, especially those with multiples are given medications to delay labor so their babies can mature. Here is an article about two different drugs and their safety:


Analysis: Side effects seen in labor drug
By ADRIANNE APPEL (www.sciencedaily.com)


Both magnesium sulfate and nifedipine are equally effective at slowing early labor, but magnesium sulfate has more side effects, including vomiting, shortness of breath and blurry vision, said Deirdre Lyell, a specialist in high-risk obstetrics at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, affiliated with Stanford University School of Medicine.

"With all things being equal, it's reasonable to start with nifedipine," Lyell told United Press International.

Magnesium sulfate is the more commonly used drug, and is given intravenously, she said. Nifedipine is an oral medication.

"Prior to this study magnesium sulfate was the standard in our institution. We now feel more comfortable using nifedipine," she said. The study, conducted by Stanford University and the children's hospital, did not receive money from drug manufacturers.

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