Dinoprostone is a synthetic hormone-type substance that is important for the progression of labor and delivery. This product comes in several forms, including a vaginal insert, a vaginal gel, and vaginal suppositories. Depending on the product used, dinoprostone has various uses, such as causing contractions, terminating a pregnancy, or softening the cervix in preparation for delivery. Fever, vomiting, and diarrhea are possible side effects.
Dinoprostone (Cervidil®, Prepidil®, Prostin E2®) is a type of prostaglandin, a substance found naturally in the body that has hormone-like effects. Prostaglandins play an important role in the process leading up to labor and delivery. Dinoprostone is the active ingredient in several prescription medications, including:
- Cervidil (dinoprostone vaginal insert)
- Prepidil (dinoprostone vaginal gel)
- Prostin E2 (dinoprostone vaginal suppository).
Cervidil and Prepidil are used to relax and soften the cervix (this is known as cervical ripening) in preparation for induction of labor. Prostin E2 contains a higher dosage of dinoprostone. It is used to cause an abortion or to evacuate the womb (the uterus) after a missed abortion (missed miscarriage). It is also approved to treat a cancer-like condition of the uterus known as gestational trophoblastic disease.
(Click What Is Dinoprostone Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)