Pharmacotherapy of preterm labor

Pharmacotherapy. 1993 Jan-Feb;13(1):28-36.


Preterm labor is defined as the onset of uterine contractions in a woman who has completed less than 37 weeks of pregnancy. It may be due to maternal, placental, fetal, or idiopathic causes, and it is associated with a number of risk factors. Nondrug measures such as bedrest and hydration have been used alone or in combination with drug therapy to treat the disorder. Pharmacologic (tocolytic) agents include ethanol, progesterone, indomethacin, nifedipine, beta-adrenergic agonists, and magnesium salts. The three most commonly used drugs are ritodrine, terbutaline, and magnesium.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / pharmacology
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy
  • Ritodrine / pharmacology
  • Terbutaline / pharmacology
  • Tocolytic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Uterine Contraction / drug effects*


  • Tocolytic Agents
  • Ritodrine
  • Magnesium
  • Terbutaline