Monday, April 19, 2010

17 P Screening Statement for Pregnant Women

Have you had a baby born too early or too little?  There is a drug called 17-P that may lessen your chance of having this happen again.  17-P needs to be started between the fourth and sixth months of your pregnancy.  Call your doctor now to see if you should take 17-P (Alpha Hydroxyprogesterone Caproate). 

It is not indicated in all cases, but the best thing to do is ask if it might be the answer for you.

The exact mechanism by which progesterone prevents preterm birth is unknown although it is has been shown to decrease inflammation and blocks the effect of oxytocin on the myometrium, keeping the uterus from contracting. Studies to date have demonstrated that hydroxyprogesterone is not associated with congenital anomalies or other neonatal developmental problems.
An important feature of both recently reported studies is that enrollment was limited to singleton gestations in patients with a previous history of spontaneous preterm delivery. Studies to date have indicated that progesterone is not effective in preventing premature delivery in pregnancies at low risk for prematurity, multiple gestation, or in patients once preterm contractions have occurred.
Current candidates for progesterone should meet the following criteria:
  • Singleton pregnancy
  • Previous spontaneous preterm delivery (< 37 weeks gestation) of a single baby
A preferred use of progesterone is weekly intramuscular injections of 250 mg of 17-P starting at 16 weeks gestation and continuing to 36 weeks and 6 days.  (source)
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