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.