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The Use of Castor Oil as a Labor Initiator in Post-date Pregnancies

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Hadassah Medical Organization Identifier:
First received: October 26, 2005
Last updated: March 18, 2012
Last verified: November 2005
The purpose of the study is to determine whether castor oil is effective in inducing labor.

Condition Intervention
Prolonged Pregnancy Dietary Supplement: Castor oil Dietary Supplement: Sunflower oil

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Use of Castor Oil as a Labor Initiator in Post-date Pregnancies

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Hadassah Medical Organization:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Delivery within 24 hours of administering castor oil/placebo [ Time Frame: two weeks ]
    Actual time of delivery

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Neonatal apgar scores [ Time Frame: 1 minute and 5 minute after delivery ]
    Neonatal APGAR scores

  • Umbilical artery pH and Base Excess [ Time Frame: Immediately at birth ]
    Umbilical artery gases

  • Neonatal complications including hospitalization in NICU [ Time Frame: immediately after birth ]
    Were there any admissions to NICU, what was the reason ?

  • Mode of delivery (ie. Normal delivery Vs. Cesarean delivery) [ Time Frame: Within two weeks of enrollment ]
    Mode of delivery

Enrollment: 82
Study Start Date: February 2006
Study Completion Date: September 2010
Primary Completion Date: September 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Intervention
Patients who received castor oil for labor induction
Dietary Supplement: Castor oil
Patients who received castor oil for labor induction
Placebo Comparator: Control
Patients who received sunflower oil as a placebo
Dietary Supplement: Sunflower oil
Patients who received sunflower oil as a placebo

Detailed Description:

Castor oil is traditionally given by midwives in order to induce labor. Its efficacy as an initiator of labor was previously tested only in one clinical trial. Unfortunately this study (by Garry et al.) was not sufficiently controlled.

We intent to recruit 84 healthy pregnant women with no contraindication to vaginal delivery that had past their due date. Women will be randomly and blindly divided into equal sized intervention group and control group. Intervention group will be given 60 mL of castor oil in 140 mL of orange juice, while control group will be given a placebo with similar texture. Primary outcome to be tested is the percentage of women entering active labor within 24 hours of administration.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 50 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnant women at 40-42 weeks gestation
  • Good obstetrical dating
  • Singleton
  • Intact membranes
  • Preinterventional Bishop score less than or equals 4
  • No evidence of effective uterine contractions by external tocography
  • Living close to hospital

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Multiple gestation
  • Oligohydramnios or Polyhydramnios
  • Abnormal FHR tracing
  • Obstetric complication (hypertension, bleeding)
  • Ruptured membranes
  • Suspected intrauterine growth restriction
  • Biophysical score < 8
  • Previous cesarean section / myomectomy / Other uterine operation
  • Fever, malaise at recruitment
  • Chronic illness (renal, hepatic, endocrine)
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00244738

Hadassah Medical Organization
Jerusalem, Israel
Sponsors and Collaborators
Hadassah Medical Organization
Principal Investigator: Shay Porat, MD Hadassah Medical Organization
Study Director: Drorit Hochner-Celnikier, MD Hadassah Medical Organization
  More Information

Responsible Party: Hadassah Medical Organization Identifier: NCT00244738     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CASTOR- HMO-CTIL
Study First Received: October 26, 2005
Last Updated: March 18, 2012

Keywords provided by Hadassah Medical Organization:
induction of labor
castor oil

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Pregnancy, Prolonged
Pregnancy Complications
Castor Oil
Gastrointestinal Agents processed this record on August 18, 2017