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Propranolol Rescue of Prolonged Labor

December 29, 2020


The goal of this study is to examine the outcome of women given IV propranolol vs an IV placebo as treatment of prolonged labor and to compare that to cesarean delivery rates. 


Study Information

This study is conducted with 326 participants, all of whom are pregnant women aged 16 years and older. The women are divided into two groups. Group 1 will receive 2 mg of IV propranolol and another dose at or greater than 2 hours later. Group 2 will receive a 2 mg dose of a normal saline placebo and then another dose at or greater than 2 hours later. 


Inclusion Criteria: 

  • Speaks English
  • At or greater than 36 weeks pregnant
  • Pregnant with a singular baby
  • Vertex presentation
  • It is not known that vaginal delivery is detrimental to the patient
  • Meets at least one criteria for prolonged labor


Exclusion Criteria

  • Has severe preeclampsia 
  • Currently taking other beta blockers
  • Has a maternal heart rate of less than 70 beats per minute, systolic blood pressure less than 90 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure less than 50 mmHg on two sets of vital signs 1 hour prior to the drug administration
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • A cardiac condition where it is not recommended to have a B Blockade
  • Known hypersensitivity to propranolol 
  • Intrauterine fetal demise
  • Major fetal cognitive anomaly



Pennsylvania, US at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania



Lisa Levine

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