Background: Piracetam is thought to promote the metabolism of brain cells when they are hypoxic. It has been used to prevent adverse effects of fetal distress.
Objectives: The objective of this review was to assess the effects of piracetam for suspected fetal distress in labour on method of delivery and perinatal morbidity.
Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (15 February 2012).
Selection criteria: Randomised trials of piracetam compared with placebo or no treatment for suspected fetal distress in labour.
Data collection and analysis: Both review authors assessed eligibility and trial quality.
Main results: One study of 96 women was included. Piracetam compared with placebo was associated with a trend to reduced need for caesarean section (risk ratio 0.57, 95% confidence interval 0.32 to 1.03). There were no statistically significant differences between the piracetam and placebo group for neonatal morbidity (measured by neonatal respiratory distress) or Apgar score.
Authors' conclusions: There is not enough evidence to evaluate the use of piracetam for fetal distress in labour.