Updated: 4/1/2021

Tocolytics

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  • Snapshot
    • A 24-year-old G1P0 presents to a local emergency room with contractions. She is currently 30 weeks pregnant. She reports her membranes have not ruptured. She is given a tocolytic to suppress the contractions. She is also given betamethasone to promote fetal lung maturity. She is transferred to a larger tertiary care center.
  • Introduction
    • Drugs
      • tocolytics are medications that cause uterine relaxation
        • terbutaline
        • nifedipine
        • indomethacin
    • Mechanism of action
      • terbutaline
        • β2 agonists
      • nifedipine
        • calcium channel blocker
      • indomethacin
        • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
    • Clinical use
      • decrease contraction frequency in patients with preterm labor
      • allows time for steroid administration to optimize fetal lung maturity
    • Adverse effects
      • terbutaline
        • restlessness
        • tachycardia
      • nifedipine
        • peripheral edema
        • flushing and dizziness
      • indomethacin
        • gastric ulcer
        • nephrotoxic

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