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Prostaglandin E2

Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), also known as dinoprostone, is a naturally occurring prostaglandin which is used as a medication. As a medication it is used in labor induction, bleeding after delivery, termination of pregnancy, and in newborn babies to keep the ductus arteriosus open. In babies it is used in those with congenital heart defects until surgery can be carried out. It may be used within the vagina or by injection into a vein.

Common side effects include vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and excessive uterine contraction. In babies there may be decreased breathing and low blood pressure. Care should be taken in people with asthma or glaucoma and it is not recommended in those who have had a prior C-section. Prostaglandin E2 is in the oxytocics family of medications. It works by binding and activating the prostaglandin E2 receptor which results in the opening and softening of the cervix and dilation of blood vessels.

Prostaglandin E2 was first made in 1970 and approved for medical use in the United States in 1977.It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. In the United Kingdom a dose costs the NHS about 8.50 to 30.00 pounds. In the United States a course of treatment costs more than US$200. Prostaglandin E2 works as well as prostaglandin E1 in babies; however, it is much less expensive.

It has important effects in labour (softening the cervix and causing uterine contraction) and also stimulates osteoblasts to release factors that stimulate bone resorption by osteoclasts. PGE2 is also the prostaglandin that ultimately induces fever. It is also implicated in duct-dependent congenital heart diseases and is used in infusion in order to open the duct although PGE1 is more commonly used.

PGE2 also suppresses T cell receptor signaling and may play a role in resolution of inflammation. Up-regulation of PGE2 has been implicated as a possible cause of nail clubbing. Furthermore, its postpartal synthesis in newborns is considered as one cause of patent ductus arteriosus.

Common side effects include vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and excessive uterine contraction. In babies there may be decreased breathing and low blood pressure. Care should be taken in people with asthma or glaucoma and it is not recommended in those who have had a prior C-section.

It is sold under the trade name of Cervidil(US) and Propess (by Ferring Pharmaceuticals). This is a controlled release vaginal insert. Prostin E2 (by Pfizer Inc.), and Glandin (by Nabiqasim Pharmaceuticals Pakistan) as a vaginal suppository, to prepare the cervix for labour; it is used to induce labour.