Oxymetazoline, an alpha-adrenergic agent, is the active vasoconstrictor in long-acting intranasal decongestants. This investigation studied the effects of oxymetazoline on the maternal and fetal circulations. Twelve healthy gravid patients in the third trimester (27-39 weeks) underwent flow velocity measurements by the same sonographer using a pulsed Doppler system (ATL Ultramark 4 machine). Maternal and fetal indices were recorded 15 minutes before dosing, immediately thereafter, and at 15-minute intervals during the first 2 hours after the drug was given. No significant changes were found in either the maternal blood pressures or pulse rates. Blood flow velocities did not change significantly from baseline for the uterine arcuate artery, fetal aorta, or umbilical artery circulations. In no case did absolute blood flow velocity decrease significantly or systolic/diastolic ratios elevate to worrisome values. For uncomplicated pregnancies, we conclude there are no significant acute changes in the maternal and fetal circulations after a single dose of intranasal oxymetazoline.
© 1990 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists