Induction of Labor: The Misoprostol Controversy

Alisa B. Goldberg, MD, MPH, Deborah A. Wing, MD


J Midwifery Womens Health. 2003;48(4) 

In This Article

Evidence Supporting the Use of Misoprostol for Induction of Labor With a Viable Fetus

Many clinical trials have demonstrated that misoprostol is effective for cervical ripening or induction of labor at term for most indications for which labor is induced, including premature rupture of membranes. These trials compared misoprostol with placebo,[8,9] oxytocin,[10,11,12] and other prostaglandins, primarily dinoprostone (PGE2) gel[13,14,15,16,17,18,19] or the PGE2 insert (Cervidil).[20,21] In 1997, the first metanalysis of randomized controlled trials comparing misoprostol primarily to PGE2 gel for cervical ripening or labor induction at term found shorter times to delivery and a lower cesarean delivery rate in the misoprostol group.[22]