Sexual and reproductive health

Clarifying WHO position on misoprostol use in the community to reduce maternal death

Statement

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Authors:
World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research

Statement

Publication details

Number of pages: 2
Publication date: 2010
Languages: English, Spanish
WHO reference number: WHO/RHR/10.11 - Web only

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This document clarifies WHO's position on misoprostol use in the community to reduce maternal death. In July 2009, at the request of Member States for clear guidance in the presence of conflicting information on the use of misoprostol for postpartum haemorrhage prevention and management, WHO published a statement, clarifying its position.

A recent Lancet article refers to this publication to claim that WHO has changed its position from what was published in the guidelines. This is incorrect. WHO does not recommend antenatal distribution for future use (after childbirth) because its potential benefits and harms are currently unknown and recommends proper research to evaluate its role in reducing maternal deaths.

2009 WHO Statement on misoprostol