OBJECTIVE: To determine if oral misoprostol can replace oxytocin for labor stimulation in women with ruptured membranes at term and without evidence of labor. METHODS: Nulliparous women at 36 to 41 weeks with a singleton, cephalic-presenting fetus and ruptured membranes without evidence of labor were randomized to receive oral misoprostol (100 μg) or a placebo every 4 hours for a maximum of two doses. Intravenous oxytocin was initiated if active labor had not ensued within 8 hours of the initial study drug dose. RESULTS: Fifty-one women were randomized to oral misoprostol and 51 women to the placebo. Misoprostol reduced the use of oxytocin stimulation of labor from 90% to 37% (P < .001) and was associated with approximately a 7-hour shorter elapsed time in the labor unit. Uterine hyperactivity, defined as six or more contractions in 10 minutes without fetal heart rate decelerations, occurred in 25% of women randomized to misoprostol. However, uterine hyperactivity associated with fetal heart rate decelerations occurred in only three (6%) women, none of whom required emergency cesarean delivery. Route of delivery and infant outcomes were not related to misoprostol use. CONCLUSION: Oral misoprostol (100 μg) given in a maximum of two doses 4 hours apart significantly reduced the use of oxytocin in the management of women with ruptured membranes without labor at term.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology