Tocolytics are medicines that are used to slow or stop the
contractions of a woman's uterus during pregnancy. They are typically given to
women who are in preterm labor to try to delay birth for 1 to 2 days.
may be needed for a variety of medical reasons, such as:
To allow time for a fetus's lungs to mature
after corticosteroid treatment.
To prevent labor until specialized
care is obtained that either the mother or fetus is expected to
To relax the mother's uterine muscles before trying to turn a
breech fetus to the head-down position (external cephalic
To reduce the stress on a baby who has a low heart rate
or other problem.
Examples of tocolytics include terbutaline,
magnesium sulfate, nifedipine, and indomethacin.
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.