Carbetocin versus oxytocin for prevention of postpartum hemorrhage in patients with severe preeclampsia: a double-blind randomized controlled trial.
Author(s): Reyes OA, Gonzalez GM
Affiliation(s): Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Saint Thomas Maternity Hospital, Panama City, Panama.
Publication date & source: 2011-11, J Obstet Gynaecol Can., 33(11):1099-104.
Objective: In patients with severe preeclampsia there is an increased risk of postpartum hemorrhage, but the hemodynamic changes associated with severe preeclampsia make the management of any kind of bleeding particularly troublesome. There are many pharmacological options for the management of postpartum hemorrhage, oxytocin being the first line of treatment. There is as yet no evidence about the safety and efficacy of using carbetocin, an oxytocin agonist, in these patients. We aimed to compare oxytocin with carbetocin for the routine prevention of postpartum hemorrhage in patients with severe preeclampsia. Methods: We performed a prospective double-blind randomized controlled trial in 60 women with severe preeclampsia, recruited between July and September 2010. The women were randomized to receive either oxytocin or carbetocin during the third stage of labour. The primary outcome measure was postpartum hemorrhage requiring additional uterotonics, and the secondary outcome measures were the difference in hemoglobin levels between groups, the development of oliguria, and hemodynamic status (mean arterial pressure and heart rate) after administration of the drug. Results: Carbetocin was as effective as oxytocin in the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage in women with severe preeclampsia. Carbetocin had a safety profile similar to that of oxytocin, and it was not associated with the development of oliguria or hypertension in this cohort. Conclusions: Carbetocin is an appropriate alternative to oxytocin for the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage in women with severe preeclampsia. Considering that it appears not to have a major hemodynamic effect in women with severe preeclampsia and that it uses a lower volume per dose than oxytocin, it should be considered a valid option in the management of the third stage of labour in women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.