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Jun 30, 2018 @ 12:26

There’s a ‘game-changer’ drug that could save women’s lives in childbirth

United Nations’ (UN) health agency World Health Organization (WHO) said that a stand-by drug used to prevent potentially-fatal bleeding after childbirth has some new competition with improved benefits.

Excessive bleeding after childbirth still kills around 70,000 mothers a year.

UN said that there’s a new drug to stop this bleeding, which is called Carbetocin.

Oxytocin is normally the first choice of medication but it must be kept cold unlike the new drug.

The study, partly led by WHO, said Carbetocin can be stored at normal temperatures and could save the lives of thousands in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

“This is a truly encouraging new development that can revolutionize our ability to keep mothers and babies alive,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Since Oxytocin must be stored and transported at a cool two to eight degrees celsius – a difficult task in many countries – numerous women lack access to the medicine.

And if they can obtain it, heat exposure may render the drug less effective.

The study has shown the heat-stable Carbetocin is not only as safe and effective as Oxytocin, but even without refrigeration – when stored at below 30 degrees Celsius and 75 per cent relative humidity – it retains its efficacy for at least three years.


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