A Drug That Could Save Thousands of Women

Post-partum hemorrhage kills about 70,000 women annually, but a newly formulated drug could save thousands, a WHO-led study determined.

Oxytocin has been the first-choice drug to prevent excessive bleeding after childbirth. The catch: it must be stored and transported at 2–8 degrees Celsius—a challenge in many low- and lower-middle-income countries without reliable refrigeration access.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found heat-stable carbetocin just as safe and effective as oxytocin—no fridge needed. Furthermore, the trial could have underestimated the benefit in real-life settings, where oxytocin may degrade when exposed to higher temperatures.


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