Misoprostol versus oxytocin in preventing postpartum hemorrhage: A randomized controlled trial

  • O.O. Owa
  • A.S. Lemadoro
  • B.A. Temenu
  • J.A. Ayeyemi
  • O.M. Loto
Keywords: Primary postpartum hemorrhage, misoprostol, uterotonics


Objective: To compare low dose sublingual misoprostol with the standard 10 IU of intramuscular oxytocin in active management of third stage of labor.

Materials and Methods: A total of 104 women with term pregnancy were randomized to receive either 200 μg misoprostol sublingually or 10 IU oxytocin intramuscularly after vaginal delivery. Primary outcome measured was mean blood loss and incidence of primary postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). Secondary outcome measured included duration of third stage of labor, side effects of drugs and need for additional oxytocics to treat life‑threatening hemorrhage.

Results: A total of 104 women with term pregnancy in two groups of 52 were studied. The mean blood loss with sublingual misoprostol and oxytocin groups was 320.58 ± 244.12 vs. 253.27 ± 171.74 ml; P = 0.11. There was no significant differences between the misoprostol and oxytocin groups with regard to the incidence of PPH (19.2% vs. 13.5% respectively; P = 0.43). More women in the misoprostol group experienced side effects compared with those in oxytocin group; however, the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.26). The mean duration of third stage of labor was similar and the difference was statistically not significant (6.65 ± 3.47 vs. 6.08 ± 3.07 minutes) (P = 0.38), as well as need for additional oxytocics (13.5% vs. 5.8% P = 0.18) misoprostol and oxytocin, respectively.

Conclusion: Sublingual misoprostol has similar efficacy to standard intramuscular oxytocin in preventing PPH following vaginal birth. Misoprostol at 200 μg with its thermostability may be an effective alternative to intramuscular oxytocin in active management of third stage of labor.

Keywords: Primary postpartum hemorrhage; misoprostol; uterotonics


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0189-5117