Fifty-two women who had labour induced by intravenous oxytocin were compared with 404 women in whom labour was induced by vaginal misoprostol (50–150 µg). The induction-to-delivery intervals in the oxytocin and misoprostol groups, respectively, had the following durations. With Bishop’s score < 6, 24.3 vs. 14.4 h (p = 0.002), with Bishop’s score ≥6, 10.5 vs. 7.6 h (p = 0.02), with ruptured membranes, 8.8 vs. 8.5 h (p = 0.83), and with intact membranes, 19.6 vs. 13.1 h (p = 0.005). The Caesarean delivery rate was 17.3% in the oxytocin group and 8.7% in the misoprostol group (p = 0.09). Maternal complications were few and drug side effects rare. It is concluded that vaginal misoprostol is a valuable and cost-effective alternative to intravenous oxytocin infusion for induction of labour.

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