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Preterm delivery is the single largest cause of perinatal mortality and morbidity. At present, there is no effective long-term treatment for uncomplicated preterm labour. Recent basic and clinical research suggests that oxytocin antagonists provide promise for the future. The current review outlines the clinical aspects of preterm labour and the problems with current pharmacological management. The rationale for administration of oxytocin antagonists is outlined, and the chemistry, biology and efficacy in vitro for patented oxytocin antagonists is assessed. The implications of the use of oxytocin antagonists, such as tocolytic agents, are considered and it is suggested that more specific inhibitors may be more efficacious.

Original publication




Journal article


Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents

Publication Date





1403 - 1406