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Do tocolytics cause lower fetal movements and heart rate?

Atosiban

1. INTRODUCTION

Some studies conclude that tocolytics DO NOT affect fetal movements and fetal heart rate, yet I want to share my personal experience after 48h of use of Atosiban.

(*) UPDATE: According to some studies, corticosteroids (applied along with tocolytics at risk of early labor) are the reason of the lower fetal movements, not tocolytics. References [HERE] and [HERE].

 

2. DO TOCOLYTICS (ATOSIBAN/TRACTOCILE) CAUSE LOWER FETAL MOVEMENTS AND FETAL HEART RATE?

My partner stayed in the hospital for 48h with tocolytics because of risk of preterm birth (week 33). During this time she stayed in bed most of the time as doctors suggested and she changed her diet to the hospital food (I’m saying all of this cause I think it could be related at some level).

Due to the tocolytics, the absolute resting, the diet or a combination of the three, our fetus lowered her basal heart rate and fetal movements during those 48 hours.

The second day was especially worrying as the baby barely moved inside the belly when she’s usually quite active.

Fortunately, 24h after the ending of the treatment, she got her normal fetal activity back.

 

3. WHY I’M WRITING THIS?

For worried parents and -perhaps- researchers.

If you’re a mother/father, talk to your gynecologist asap as the lowering of fetal movements are concerning.

If you’re a researcher, I hope our experience can shed some new light on the topic.

 

4. REFERENCIAS

  • De Heus, R., Mulder, E. J., Derks, J. B., & Visser, G. H. (2009). The effects of the tocolytics atosiban and nifedipine on fetal movements, heart rate and blood flow. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine22(6), 485-490.
  • Ruiz-Lopez, Y., Jiménez-Castillejo, K., Villasmil, E. R., Torres-Cepeda, D., Santos-Bolivar, J., Aragon-Charris, J., … & Reyna-Villasmil, N. (2013). Frecuencia cardiaca y movimientos fetales posterior a la administracion de betametasona para maduración pulmonar fetal. Avances en Biomedicina2(2), 60-67.
  • Raga, F., Vento, M., Sanz, M. C., Bonilla, F., Casañ, E. M., & Bonilla-Musoles, F. (2006). Empleo prenatal de esteroides: riesgos y beneficios. Clínica e Investigación en Ginecología y Obstetricia33(4), 146-151.
 

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