The Use Of Nifedipine As A Common Drug For Pregnant Women And The Wider Population

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Nifedipine is a common drug used to treat a variety of disorders from hypertension and angina to preventing premature labour in pregnancy (Aedla, N, et al. 2012). It originated in the early 1970’s from the works of Bayer, who developed the short-acting formulation that proved to be successful in controlling high blood pressure, however due to its side effects, was modified to a long-acting formula which produced fewer side effects and is commonly used in modern obstetric practice (Aedla, N, et al. 2012).

The use of nifedipine is well established for controlling hypertension in pregnant women and the wider population, (Aedla, N, et al. 2012) and is recommended by the South Australian Perinatal Practice Guidelines (SAPPG) as a treatment option for acute hypertensive disorders during pregnancy (South Australian Maternal and Neonatal Clinical Network (SAMNCN 2016). However, the focus of this assignment will be the use of nifedipine to prevent premature labour. According to MIMS Online (2016), this is technically an “off the label’” use, though it is outlined as an appropriate treatment option for the prevention of premature labour in the evidence based SAPPG (SAMNCN 2014). Nifedipine is from a drug class known as “calcium channel blockers,” these particular drugs inhibit the influx of calcium ions into cells, without calcium, muscles are unable to contract therefore labour is unable to continue due to the reduction in uterine contractility (Aedla, N, et al. 2012).


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