💊Indomethacin (Indocin, Indocid) in the treatment and context of Pre-Term Labour (PTL) or Threatened Pre-Term Labour (TPTL)
💠Indomethacin is sometimes used as a tocolytic medicine to prolong pregnancy by slowing preterm uterine contractions.
🌐How It Works:
🔆Indomethacin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that blocks the production of certain substances called prostaglandins, which contribute to uterine contractions.
🌐Why It Is Used:
🔆Indomethacin is used only:
🔅For short-term treatment of preterm labor.
🔅Before 31 to 32 weeks of pregnancy.
🔆Indomethacin can be used to treat preterm labor when:
🔅Labor needs to be delayed for 24 to 48 hours to:
〽️Let corticosteroids given to the mother help fetal lungs mature.
〽️Provide time to move a mother to a hospital that provides neonatal intensive care, if her local hospital does not.
🔅Regular contractions of the uterus have thinned the cervix less than 80% and opened it less than 4 cm, and the mother's amniotic sac has not broken.
🔅Beta-sympathetic medicines (such as terbutaline) have not stopped uterine contractions.
🔅Treatment with other tocolytic medicines was stopped because of side effects.
🌐How Well It Works:
🔆Indomethacin can be effective in delaying preterm labor.
🔆Indomethacin appears to have fewer side effects on the mother but potentially more serious effects on the fetus than other tocolytic medicines used to treat preterm labor. But fetal side effects are very unlikely when treatment lasts less than 7 days. Indomethacin may cause:
🔅A fetus's kidneys to produce abnormally low amounts of urine, resulting in a decrease in the amount of amniotic fluid (oligohydramnios).
🔅Early changes in the heart that do not normally occur until after birth. This may cause problems with fetal blood circulation.
🔆Maternal side effects are very rare. They include: Headaches, Dizziness, Nausea and/or vomiting, Stomach upset or heartburn, Prolonged vaginal bleeding.
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