RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Comparison of oral and vaginal misoprostol for induction of labor at term: a randomized controlled trial.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of oral with vaginal misoprostol for induction of labor at term.

METHODS: One hundred and fifty-three pregnant women at term with indications for induction of labor and Bishop score < or = 6 were randomly assigned to receive misoprostol either 100 microg orally or 50 microg vaginally every 6 h for 48 h. Repeated doses were given until Bishop score > or = 8 was achieved or spontaneous rupture of membranes occurred. Those who were not in labor after 48 h had labor induced with amniotomy and oxytocin. The main outcome measure was induction to delivery time.

RESULTS: The median induction to vaginal delivery time in the oral group (14.3 h) was not significantly different from that of the vaginal group (15.8 h). The median number of doses was also not significantly different in the oral group compared with the vaginal group. There was a significant higher incidence of uterine tachysystole in the vaginal group compared to the oral group (17.1% vs 5.3%, P = 0.032). There was no hyperstimulation in either group. There were no significant differences between the groups with respect to oxytocin augmentation, cesarean section rate, analgesic requirement, and neonatal outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Oral administration of 100 microg misoprostol has similar efficacy to intravaginal administration of 50 microg misoprostol for labor induction with less frequent abnormal uterine contractility. 100 microg of misoprostol orally can be used as an alternative to the vaginal route for labor induction.

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