Atosiban for preterm labour.

Drugs (2004-02-19)
Vassilis Tsatsaris, Bruno Carbonne, Dominique Cabrol

Oxytocin antagonists are synthetic analogues that have the nonapeptide structure of oxytocin. They act by competing with oxytocin for receptors in the myometrium. Animal experiments and pilot clinical studies have examined several agents and, of these, atosiban has been the object of extensive clinical trials. In a large placebo-controlled trial with >500 patients, atosiban reduced the number of premature deliveries over 7 days compared with placebo with no more adverse effects than placebo. In large multicentre studies comparing atosiban with beta-adrenoceptor agonists, the efficacy of the two medications was similar for pregnancy prolongation for 48 hours and for 7 days. The adverse effects, particularly cardiovascular, were considerably more frequent in the patients receiving beta-adrenoceptor agonists, who had to stop treatment significantly more often than the atosiban recipients. No fetal adverse effects were seen with atosiban and, in particular, no effect on baseline fetal heart rate, unlike with the beta-adrenoceptor agonists. Neonatal outcome did not differ significantly according to the treatment. The usefulness of maintenance treatment after the initial 48 hours has not been confirmed. Thus, the effectiveness of oxytocin antagonists appears to be similar to beta-adrenoceptor agonists and the former are not accompanied by measurable adverse effects. Oxytocin antagonists were designed specifically as tocolytics and have been validated by the European Drug Agency. They may be the treatment of choice for preterm labour, particularly in patients at risk of cardiovascular complications (e.g. multiple pregnancy, heart disease, etc.).

Product Number
Product Description

Atosiban, ≥98% (HPLC)