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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).

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    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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