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March 25, 1998

Infusion Helps Prolong Pregnancy

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JAMA. 1998;279(12):902. doi:10.1001/jama.279.12.902-JQU80000-3-1

A clinical study has shown that subcutaneous infusion of terbutaline sulfate is more effective than oral administration in prolonging pregnancy in women at risk for preterm birth.

In a multicenter study, 256 women with high-risk pregnancies were evaluated. Those with symptoms of premature labor received oral terbutaline and were monitored. Patients whose symptoms recurred received a continuous low-level subcutaneous infusion of terbutaline.

Of women with persistent symptoms of preterm labor, 28% who received oral therapy but just 10% who were given infusion therapy were hospitalized. Pregnancy was prolonged by an average of 19.2 days in patients who received oral therapy, and by 30.3 days in patients who received infusion therapy. Fung Lam, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, presented the findings last month at the annual meeting of the Society of Perinatal Obstetricians in Miami, Fla.

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