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Indocin Versus Nifedipine for Preterm Labor Tocolysis - A Randomized Double-Blinded Clinical Trial

Indomethacin and Nifedipine are commonly used medications for treatment of pre term labor. This study will compare the efficacy and adverse outcomes of oral nifedipine versus oral indomethacin for preterm labor tocolysis in an effort to identify which drug is most effective. Patients diagnosed with preterm labor who grant consent will be randomized by the pharmacy to receive oral nifedipine or oral indomethacin. Both the patient and primary medical provider will be blinded to the identity of the study drug. An abdominal ultrasound will be performed in the labor and delivery unit prior to the administration of the tocolytic in order to assess fetal position and fluid level, and to document fetal cardiac activity and movement, and will be repeated at 48 hours post-randomization. Following randomization, the patient will be given either 50 mg oral indomethacin with two pills of placebo, or 3 pills each containing 10 mg oral nifedipine for a total of 30 mg. The patients will then receive either 25 mg of oral indomethacin every 6 hours for 48 hours, or 20 mg of oral nifedipine every 6 hours for 48 hours. Tocolysis beyond 48 hours will not be used.

Stanford is now accepting new patients for this trial.



  • drug : Nifedipine
  • drug : Indomethacin

Phase: N/A


Ages Eligible For Study:

18 Years - N/A

Inclusion Criteria

- Singleton and twin gestations - Intact amniotic membranes - No contra-indications to tocolysis - 24-34 weeks gestation by last menstrual period and/or ultrasound - Documented cervical change, and regular painful uterine contractions at least every 5 minutes, or at least 2 cm cervical dilation and 80% effacement

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Contact information

Stanford University
School of Medicine
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
Deirdre J Lyell, MD

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