The tocolytic action of the oxytocin receptors antagonist-Atosiban

Sifakis S, Thanasas J, Koumantakis G, Augoustinakis E

Obstetrics and Gynecology clinic, Herakleio University hospital, Herakleio, Crete, Greece

Correspondence: Sifakis S, 228 Oulaf Palme St, GR-71410, Herakleio, Crete, Greece. E-mail:


In the treatment of preterm labor a variety of tocolytic agents have been used, including β-adrenergic agonists, magnesium sulphate, non-steroids antiinflammatory drugs, Ca++ blocking channels, and progesterone. β2-agonists have been widely used as the first-line tocolytic treatment for preterm labor for many years. They reduce the probability of onset of the labor within 48 hours, giving the necessary time for both the maturation of the fetal lungs after corticosteroids use, and the transferal of the pregnant woman to a tertiary hospital. Atosiban is an oxytocin receptor antagonist that has been recently used in the treatment of preterm labor. Its tocolytic action is achieved by competing with oxytocin at its receptors activation. Atosiban has equal effectiveness, but lower rate of side effects compared to the other tocolytic agents.

Keywords: Atosiban, oxytocin receptor blockers, tocolysis, preterm labor, betamimetics, calcium channel blocker

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