Oxytocin alone may not be the most effective treatment for treating post-partum haemorrhage, according to a new global meta-analysis from the Cochrane Library.
The research identified the three most effective treatments for the problem - two of them involving oxytocin in combination with other drugs.
Dr Ioannis Gallos, of the University of Birmingham, UK, led the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group in an analysis of 140 randomised trials involving 88,000 births.
They conclude that ergometrine with oxytocin, misoprostol with oxytocin and carbetocin were more effective than oxytocin on its own.
The team took into account side-effects as well as reduction in haemorrhage.
Dr Gallos said: "By analysing data from 140 different clinical trials involving over 88,000 women, we have been able to use the evidence more efficiently to compare all of these drugs and calculate a ranking among them, providing robust effectiveness and side-effect profiles for each drug.
"Our research has highlighted which drugs may be more effective than oxytocin and we hope that this could impact existing recommendations and save mothers lives worldwide."
Source: Gallos, I.D., Williams, H.M., Price, M.J., Merriel, A., Gee, H., Lissauer, D., Moorthy, V., Tunçalp, Ö., Gülmezoglu, A.M., Deeks, J.J. and Hofmeyr, G.J., 2015. Uterotonic agents for preventing postpartum haemorrhage: a network meta‐analysis. The Cochrane Library.
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