The effect of dexamethasone on labor induction
The aim was to evaluate the effect of dexamethasone administration on the interval between initiation of labor induction and the active phase of labor.

The databases including PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched for studies. Two types of articles were included: a) full-text articles published in English or any other languages, and b) Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs). Participants were primi- or multigravida women with term or post-term pregnancies. The intervention group received parenteral or extra-amniotic dexamethasone whereas the control group received normal saline or no treatment before initiation of labor induction.

Seventeen studies involving 1879 patients were included in the meta-analysis.

- Administration of dexamethasone reduced the interval between the initiation of labor induction and the beginning of the active phase by about 70 min.

- The duration of the first stage of labor in the dexamethasone group was about 88 min shorter than that in the control. There were no maternal and fetal adverse effects.

In particular, dexamethasone could significantly reduce the length of induction-active phase interval, and length of the first stage of labor, with no difference in maternal or fetal adverse effects.

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth