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Preterm Labor - Medications

If your contractions are causing changes in your cervix, or if you have signs of infection or preterm premature rupture of membranes (pPROM), you may be given medicines to help delay delivery.

Delaying labor even for a short time can allow you to be:

  • Moved to a medical center that has a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
  • Given medicine to speed up lung development, which takes at least 48 hours to fully benefit the baby's lungs. Even 24 hours provides some benefit.

Medication choices

Certain tocolytic medicines can be dangerous when a fetus is showing signs of distress or for women with certain health conditions (such as heart problems, severe preeclampsia, or poorly controlled diabetes or high blood pressure).

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 08, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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