Magazine article Drug Topics

Induced Labor-Along with Use of Labor Drugs-On the Rise

Magazine article Drug Topics

Induced Labor-Along with Use of Labor Drugs-On the Rise

Article excerpt

Induced labor is increasing in popularity with both pregnant women and their physicians. "I wouldn't be surprised if the induction rate hit 20% in 2000," said William Rayburn, M.D., director of fetal and maternal medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque. "We have a much lower threshold for women going past their due dates."

As recently as 1989, just 9% of deliveries in the United States were induced, Rayburn told the 48th annual clinical meeting of the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in San Francisco. By 1997, the induction rate was up to 18% nationwide.

But that doesn't mean all hospital pharmacists have seen a doubling in orders for oxytocin, a hormone that causes uterine contractions, and for cervical ripening agents such as dinoprostone (Cervidil, Forest Pharmaceuticals; Prepidil, Pharmacia), a prostaglandin; or Cytotec (misoprostol, Searle), another prostaglandin only officially indicated for prevention of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-induced gastric ulcers. National statistics from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention mask significant variations in practice. In Oklahoma City, for example, induction rates barely budged from 18% in 1991 to 19% in 1996. Yet in Albuquerque, induction rates jumped from 8% to 13% during the same period, according to Rayburn. …

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