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A randomised trial to compare 200 mg micronised progesterone effervescent vaginal tablet daily with 250 mg intramuscular 17 alpha hydroxy progesterone caproate weekly for prevention of recurrent preterm birth.

Research paper by Shruti S Shambhavi, Rashmi R Bagga, Pallavi P Bansal, Jasvinder J Kalra, Praveen P Kumar

Indexed on: 21 Mar '18Published on: 21 Mar '18Published in: Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology : the journal of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology



Abstract

For prevention of a recurrent preterm birth (PTB), intramuscular 17-α-hydroxy progesterone caproate (IM 17 OHPC) weekly is recommended. Vaginal progesterone is preferred for women at risk for PTB due to a short cervical length, but may be useful in women with a prior PTB. However, there is no consensus about the optimal vaginal formulation or its efficacy as compared to 17 OHPC to prevent recurrent PTB. We randomised 100 women with a singleton pregnancy between 16 and 24 weeks of gestation and ≥ one prior spontaneous PTB, of a singleton (>16 to <37 weeks of gestation) to receive the 200 mg vaginal progesterone effervescent tablet daily (Group A) or IM 17-OHPC, 250 mg weekly (Group B) till 37 weeks of gestation or delivery. The spontaneous PTB rate of <37 weeks was similar (20% in Group A and 20.8% in Group B, p =  .918). The PTB rate of <34 weeks or <28 weeks were also comparable. The mean birth weight and other neonatal outcomes were similar in the two groups. Two neonates in Group A and four neonates in Group B required NICU admission, one of whom (Group B) died due to prematurity. Twenty percent of women in Group A and 29.2% in Group B reported adverse effects from their respective study medications (p =  .408, NS). Thus, there did not appear to be a difference between vaginal progesterone and 17-OHPC when used for the prevention of a recurrent PTB. Impact statement What is already known on this subject? Progesterone administration is useful for prevention of a recurrent preterm birth (PTB) and these women are prescribed the intramuscular 17-α-hydroxy progesterone caproate (IM 17 OHPC), 250 mg, weekly. Some studies found that vaginal progesterone (once daily) is also beneficial in these women, but there is no consensus regarding its efficacy when compared to 17 OHPC, or its optimal formulation and dose. What do the results of this study add? In the present study, 100 women with a singleton pregnancy between 16 and 24 weeks of gestation and ≥ one prior spontaneous singleton PTB or mid-trimester abortion were randomised to receive 200 mg of vaginal progesterone effervescent tablet daily (Group A) or 250 mg IM 17-OHPC weekly (Group B) till 37 weeks of gestation or delivery. The spontaneous PTB rate <37 weeks was similar in the two groups (20% in Group A and 20.8% in Group B, p = .918). The PTB rate <34 weeks or <28 weeks were also comparable. The mean birth weight and other neonatal outcomes were similar. Twenty percent of women in Group A and 29.2% of women in Group B reported adverse effects from their respective study medications (p = .408, NS). Thus, there did not appear to be a difference between the vaginal progesterone effervescent tablet and 17-OHPC when used for the prevention of a recurrent PTB. What are the implications of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? The vaginal progesterone effervescent tablet may be a suitable alternative to IM 17 OHPC to prevent recurrent PTB. Future studies should identify the most appropriate route (IM or vaginal) and vaginal progesterone formulation for PTB prevention in women at risk for a recurrent PTB and in women with a short cervical length.

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