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Dinoprostone vaginal gel is prescribed for certain pregnant women whose cervix has not thinned and softened sufficiently to allow labor and delivery to occur. This medication comes as a gel that is given to a pregnant woman at or near the time of delivery. Although side effects are generally mild and easy to treat, problems like fetal stress, back pain, or abnormal uterine contractions may occur.

What Is Dinoprostone Vaginal Gel?

Dinoprostone vaginal gel (Prepidil®) is a prescription medication approved to prepare the cervix for induction of labor in women who are at or near the time of delivery. It relaxes and softens the cervix (known as cervical ripening).
The active ingredient in this medicine is dinoprostone. Dinoprostone is also available as a vaginal insert (Cervidil®) and a vaginal suppository (Prostin E2®).
(Click What Is Dinoprostone Vaginal Gel Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, dinoprostone vaginal gel may cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will experience problems. In fact, most women tolerate it quite well.
If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of dinoprostone vaginal gel include but are not limited to:
  • Fetal stress (an abnormal fetal heart rate)
  • Abnormal uterine contractions
  • Abdominal (stomach) or intestinal problems, such as diarrhea
  • Back pain.
(Click Dinoprostone Vaginal Gel Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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