Background: Isoxsuprine (Vasodilan) is a beta-adrenergic that directly affects the vascular smooth muscle and results in peripheral vascular dilation. Isoxsuprine relaxes the uterine smooth muscles and is used for treatment of pre-term labor and dysmenorrhea. Isoxsuprine is used extensively in hospitals and private clinics in Iran; however, few studies have reported its safety and efficacy in the prevention of pre-term labor.

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of maintenance therapy with oral isoxsuprine for the prevention of pre-term labor.

Methods: We undertook a blinded prospective randomized trial of 70 women with singleton pregnancies who presented in pre-term labor between 26 to 34 weeks of gestation. After arresting the contractions with intravenous magnesium sulfate, the patients were randomized into two groups, with the treatment group receiving oral isoxsuprine until 34 weeks of gestation. Response to treatment was assessed by the progression of the pregnancies in both groups. The data were analyzed using SPSS software.

Results: Our results showed that 14 (40%) of the patients in the case group and 12 (34.29%) of patients in the control group had pre-term births, and there was no significant difference between the two groups (P=0.621). Also four women (11.43%) in the case group and five women (14.29%) in the control group delivered before 34 weeks (P=0.721).

Conclusion: Oral isoxsuprine was not effective as a maintenance treatment in preventing pre-term births or in delaying delivery until after 34 weeks. Larger studies are needed to identify the best treatment for pre-term labor.

Clinical Trial Registration: The study is registered in the Iranian Clinical Trial Registry Center (IRCT201101115591N1).

Funding: This study was conducted with financial support provided by the Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences.

Keywords: pre-term birth, tocolytic, isoxsuprine
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