17-Hydroxyprogesterone Does Not Lower Neonatal Morbidity

17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate does not prolong gestation in twin pregnancy

THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- Prophylactic treatment with 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17Pc) in twin pregnancy does not reduce neonatal morbidity or prolong gestation, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

C. Andrew Combs, M.D., Ph.D., from the Obstetrix Medical Group in Sunrise, Fla., and colleagues assessed whether prophylactic treatment with 17Pc reduced neonatal morbidity by prolonging pregnancy in 240 mothers carrying dichorionic-diamniotic twins. Participants were randomly divided into two groups: 160 received weekly 17Pc injections of 250 mg and 80 received placebo starting between weeks 16 and 24 of pregnancy and continuing until 34 weeks. Composite neonatal morbidity and gestational age were the main outcomes of the study.

The investigators found that the frequency of composite neonatal morbidity was similar in the 17Pc and placebo groups (14 and 12 percent, respectively). There was no significant difference in the mean gestational age at delivery between the two groups, but there was a significant difference in the median gestational age, with the duration in the placebo group three days longer. No perinatal deaths were reported in the 17Pc group but the placebo group had three deaths.

"Our findings add to a growing body of evidence that progestins are not effective for prevention of prematurity in multiple gestations," the authors write.

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