Researchers from the University of Birmingham (UK) have concluded that drugs that delay premature birth are “safe” to reduce neonatal deaths globally, suggesting that “women around the world need to access their own should be able to”.
This new article, published in the journal Cochrane Reviews, examines data from 122 clinical trials to create a league table of drugs that delay birth, called tocolytics, on their efficacy and side effects.
Specifically, researchers from the University of Birmingham and the World Health Organization (WHO) reviewed 122 randomized trials published between 1966 and 2021 involving 13,697 women and conducted in 39 countries, including high, middle and low income countries. states were included.
Women benefited from all treatments for premature retardation included in the study’s meta-analysis, although the research team noted that the efficacy of individual drugs was less clear in some studies. The team also looked at the side effects of various drugs and combinations, including the possibility of stopping treatment.
Thus they have brought together evidence on the benefits and harms of these treatments (compared to no treatment or placebo) to equip physicians and policy makers around the world with the information they need to make decisions about the best treatment. in their specific setting.
“The results suggest that the benefits of these drugs outweigh the risks associated with unwanted side effects,” says Dr Amy Wilson, Global Maternal Health Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham.
“These treatments are leading to a significant reduction in the number of fatal premature births, and we now need to better understand the efficacy of tocolytics for specific groups based on the duration of pregnancy,” he said.
“Our previous research has provided better guidelines for the use of tocolytic drugs to delay premature birth in the UK. Knowing that this work has helped inform upcoming WHO recommendations on the use of tocolytics “We hope that many more women around the world have access to these drugs and have healthier births,” Wilson said.
For her part, Dr Victoria Hodgets Morton, clinical professor of obstetrics at the NIHR at the University of Birmingham and co-author of the work, recalled that premature birth is the most common reason why a newborn may die, and It is the main cause of death among children under five years of age.
“The goal of Tolytics is to delay preterm labor and to give women time to receive medicines that can help with breathing and feeding when the baby is born prematurely, and medicines that can reduce the chances of the baby having cerebral palsy. Most importantly, this short delay may allow women to receive specialized care,” she concluded.