What is the role of medications in the treatment of abruptio placentae?

Updated: Nov 30, 2018
  • Author: Shad H Deering, MD; Chief Editor: Carl V Smith, MD  more...
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Tocolysis is considered controversial in the management of placental abruption and is considered only in patients (1) who are hemodynamically stable, (2) in whom no evidence of fetal jeopardy exists, and (3) in whom a preterm fetus may benefit from corticosteroids or delay of delivery.

Even in patients meeting these criteria, consultation with an MFM specialist is important. Tocolysis must be undertaken with caution, because maternal or fetal distress can develop rapidly. In general, either magnesium sulfate or nifedipine (but not both) is used for tocolysis and beta-sympathomimetic agents are avoided, as the latter may cause significant undesirable cardiovascular effects, such as tachycardia, which may mask clinical signs of blood loss in these patients.

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