Atosiban: indications and warnings

Atosiban is a drug that It is given intravenously in order to delay delivery premature. It owes its effect to the ability it has to inhibit the action of both oxytocin and vasopressin, two hormones involved in the birth process, inducing it.

It inhibits the action of oxytocin at the level of the uterus, which causes an inhibition of uterine contractions. It was developed in Sweden and appeared in the literature for the first time in 1985

Atosiban indications

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, this medicine It is indicated to delay imminent preterm birth. It is used, especially, in women who present some of the following situations:

  • Regular uterine contractions at least 30 seconds long and with a frequency greater than or equal to 4 contractions every 30 minutes.
  • Cervical dilation of 1 to 3 cm (0-3 for women who had not previously given birth) and erased in a percentage greater than or equal to 50%.
  • Gestational age of 24 to 33 full weeks.
  • Normal fetal heart rate.

Causes of premature birth

Often the causes of premature birth cannot be clearly identified. It is usually due to a combination of factors such as:

  • Previous diseases of the mother: such as diabetes, hypertension and diseases of the thyroid or renal glands.
  • Infections
  • Psychosocial Stress
  • Mother's age: The risk of preterm birth increases if the woman is under 18 and over 35.
  • Noxious or specific toxic substances.
  • Developmental disorders of the fetus.

But nevertheless, there are also other external factors that can increase the risk Preterm birth This includes, for example, excessive consumption of nicotine and alcohol.

It's important to put attention on the risk of miscarriage can be reduced if pregnant women consume healthy foods and do not make excessive efforts.

Read also: Pregnancy in summer: how it affects heat

Warnings when using atosiban

When atosiban is used in women in whom the risk of premature rupture of the membranes cannot be excluded, the benefits of delayed delivery should be assessed against the potential risk of suffering from chorioamnionitis.

Chorioamnionitis It is an infection of the amniotic fluid and of the membranes that contain it. Amniotic fluid is a fluid that surrounds and dampens the embryo and then the fetus in the development of the amniotic sac.

East fluid allows the fetus to move inside the wall of the uterus without the walls of this fit too much to your body. In addition, it also provides hydraulic lift.

On the other hand, there is still no experience with the treatment of atosiban in patients suffering from kidney problems such as kidney failure. The same goes for liver failure. For this reason, special care should be taken in this type of patients.

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Other information of interest about treatment with atosiban

Women who have multiple pregnancies and in gestational ages between 24 and 27 weeks, the clinical experience with the use of this medicine is limited.

The reason for that is that the number of patients treated with atosiban is very small. Therefore, the result of studies conducted in this population group is quite uncertain.

The same goes for the efficacy of re-treating a woman who had already been treated with atosiban. with this medication before, that is, retreatment.

In case of intrauterine growth retardation, the decision to continue or restart the administration of this drug depend on the evaluation of fetal maturity.

On the other hand, during the period of time that treatment with atosiban lasts, and in case of persistence of uterine contractions, doctors should consider monitoring these contractions and the fetal heart rate.

In short, in multiple pregnancies, medications such as those belonging to the group of calcium channel blockers or betamimetics are associated with a significant increase in the risk of pulmonary edema.

Thus, This medicine should be used with caution in cases of multiple pregnancy and / or in concomitance with other medications that enhance its effect.


Atosiban is a medicine that it presents the opposite effects to oxytocin, one of the hormones that prepare the body for childbirth.

For this reason, It is used for the treatment of preventing premature births. However, it is very important to know the risks and precautions that should be taken when starting a treatment with this medicine.