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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Prophylactic use of ergot alkaloids in the third stage of labour

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2018
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (87th percentile)
  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
7 X users
2 Facebook pages
2 Wikipedia pages
1 Redditor


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219 Mendeley
Prophylactic use of ergot alkaloids in the third stage of labour
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2018
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd005456.pub3
Pubmed ID

Tippawan Liabsuetrakul, Thanapan Choobun, Krantarat Peeyananjarassri, Q Monir Islam


Previous research has shown that the prophylactic use of uterotonic agents in the third stage of labour reduces postpartum blood loss and moderate to severe postpartum haemorrhage (PPH). PPH is defined as a blood loss of 500 mL or more within 24 hours after birth. This is one of a series of systematic reviews assessing the effects of prophylactic use of uterotonic drugs; in this review prophylactic ergot alkaloids as a whole, and different regimens of administration of ergot alkaloids, are compared with no uterotonic agents. This is an update of a Cochrane Review which was first published in 2007 and last updated in 2011. To determine the effectiveness and safety of prophylactic use of ergot alkaloids in the third stage of labour by any route (intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM), or oral) compared with no uterotonic agents, for the prevention of PPH. For this update, we searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register, ClinicalTrials.gov, the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (19 September 2017); we also searched reference lists of retrieved studies. We included all randomised controlled trials or cluster-randomised trials comparing prophylactic ergot alkaloids by any route (IV, IM, or oral) with no uterotonic agents in the third stage of labour among women giving birth vaginally. Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion, extracted data and checked them for accuracy; they also assessed the risk of bias in included studies. Two review authors assessed the quality of the evidence using the GRADE approach. There were eight included studies: three studies had a low risk of bias and five studies had high risk of bias. The studies compared ergot alkaloids with no uterotonic agents, with a total of 2031 women in the ergot alkaloids group and 1978 women in the placebo or no treatment group. Seven studies used the IV/IM route of administration and one study used the oral route.Ergot alkaloids (any route of administration) versus no uterotonic agentsUse of ergot alkaloids in the third stage of labour decreased mean blood loss (mean difference (MD) -80.52 mL, 95% confidence interval (CI) -96.39 to -64.65 mL; women = 2718; studies = 3; moderate-quality evidence); decreased PPH of at least 500 mL (average risk ratio (RR) 0.52, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.94; women = 3708; studies = 5; I2 = 83%; low-quality evidence); increased maternal haemoglobin concentration (g/dL) at 24 to 48 hours postpartum (MD 0.50 g/dL, 95% CI 0.38 to 0.62; women = 1429; studies = 1; moderate-quality evidence); and decreased the use of therapeutic uterotonics (average RR 0.37, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.90; women = 2698; studies = 3; I2 = 89%; low-quality evidence). There were no clear differences between groups in severe PPH of at least 1000 mL (average RR 0.32, 95% CI 0.04 to 2.59; women = 1718; studies = 2; I2 = 74%; very low-quality evidence). The risk of retained placenta or manual removal of the placenta, or both, were inconsistent with high heterogeneity. Ergot alkaloids increased the risk of elevated blood pressure (average RR 2.60, 95% CI 1.03 to 6.57: women = 2559; studies = 3; low-quality evidence) and pain after birth requiring analgesia (RR 2.53, 95% CI 1.34 to 4.78: women = 1429; studies = 1; moderate-quality evidence) but there were no differences between groups in vomiting, nausea, headache or eclamptic fit.Results for IV/IM ergot alkaloids versus no uterotonic agents were similar to those for the main comparison of ergot alkaloids administered by any route, since most of the studies (seven of eight) used the IV/IM route. Only one small study (289 women) compared oral ergometrine with placebo and it showed no benefit of ergometrine over placebo. No maternal adverse effects were reported.None of the studies reported on any of our prespecified neonatal outcomes AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Prophylactic IM or IV injections of ergot alkaloids may be effective in reducing blood loss, reducing PPH (estimated blood loss of at least 500 mL), and increasing maternal haemoglobin. Ergot alkaloids may also decrease the use of therapeutic uterotonics, but adverse effects may include elevated blood pressure and pain after birth requiring analgesia. There were no differences between groups in terms of other adverse effects (vomiting, nausea, headache or eclamptic fit). There is a lack of evidence on the effects of ergot alkaloids on severe PPH, and retained or manual removal of placenta. There is also a lack of evidence on the oral route of administration of ergot alkaloids.

X Demographics

X Demographics

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 219 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Spain 1 <1%
Australia 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Unknown 216 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 28 13%
Student > Bachelor 22 10%
Student > Ph. D. Student 19 9%
Researcher 15 7%
Student > Postgraduate 12 5%
Other 41 19%
Unknown 82 37%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 56 26%
Nursing and Health Professions 32 15%
Social Sciences 9 4%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 6 3%
Psychology 5 2%
Other 17 8%
Unknown 94 43%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 17. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 22 December 2022.
All research outputs
of 25,461,852 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,090 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 342,466 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 155 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,461,852 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 91st percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,090 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 38.2. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 65% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 342,466 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 155 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 46th percentile – i.e., 46% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.