Induction of labour - new Cochrane review with evidence on the debate about Misoprostol (Cytotec)

Induction of labour can be life-saving for mother and child, for example, if the due date is significantly exceeded or complications are imminent. In Switzerland, about one in four births is induced. Whether this is always medically necessary and reasonable gives rise to controversial discussions, as reported by Swissinfo and Swissmom. But also the drugs used for induction are not without problems. Misoprostol is a synthetically produced, orally administered drug that is also frequently used in Switzerland to induce labour. However, this relatively inexpensive drug with the trade name Cytotec is not approved for this purpose, but for the treatment of stomach ulcers. In higher doses, Misoprostol can lead to severe side effects in mother and child, as has been reported in the media. See a video and a summary about this from Cochrane Germany (in German). Good to know that a new systematic Cochrane Review now provides an independent evidence base. Based on this review, the authors conclude that low-dose Misoprostol probably has a better risk-benefit ratio than the "gold standard" Dinoprostone and other drugs or proceduresĀ  - provided that no more thanĀ 50 micrograms are given as a single dose. So once again it depends on the right dose...

More information on induction of labour in general can be found at Quarks (in German).