Which tocolytics are used to treat preterm labor?

Updated: May 04, 2021
  • Author: Michael G Ross, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Carl V Smith, MD  more...
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The most common tocolytic agents used to treat preterm labor include the following:

  • Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4): Widely used as the primary tocolytic agent because it has similar efficacy to terbutaline (one of the previous agents of choice), with far better tolerance

  • Indomethacin: An appropriate first-line tocolytic for early preterm labor (< 30 wk) or preterm labor associated with polyhydramnios

  • Nifedipine: Despite its unlabeled status, several randomized studies have found nifedipine to be associated with a more frequent successful prolongation of pregnancy than other tocolytics

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