Survey on the use of misoprostol for induction of labour among Obstetricians in the west African sub region

  • A Idrisa
  • BM Audu
  • AA Kullima


Context: Wide spread use of misoprostol is increasingly commoner in our obstetrics and gynaecological practice, most especially for Induction of labour in spite of its serious associated risks of maternal and fetal complications
Objective: To determine the use of Misoprostol for induction of labour among the Obstetricians in the West African sub region.
Methodology and settings: During the October 2007 pre examination workshop of the West African College of Surgeons (FWACS), Faculty of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 42 examiners responded through structured
questionnaires on the use of misoprostol for induction of labour (IOL) in their institutions of practice.

Results: About 91 % admit using misoprostol for IOL with only half (50%) having written protocols for labour induction with misoprostol. Almost all (93%) prefer the vaginal route for the administration of misoprostol and
about 74% do not use misoprostol for those with Caesarean section scar compared to only 19% who do. Misoprostol is used for cervical ripening and control of post partum haemorrhage among 24.4% and 50% of the
Obstetricians respectively. The commonest complications encountered were Fetal distress, uterine rupture and uterine hyper tonus among 54.8%, 52.4% and 45.2% of the respondents.
Conclusions: Misoprostol use was high with yet serious complication occurring among those using it for IOL. Despite the manufacturers and other regulatory agents warning against its use in pregnancy because of serious maternal and fetal complications, misoprostol use for IOL is widespread. A regulated use of this drug especially in pregnancy is advocated.


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eISSN: 0189-5117