Pregnancy Home > Prepidil

Prepidil is prescribed to help relax and soften the cervix to allow passage of the baby during birth. This medicine comes in the form of a gel and is inserted into the cervix using a syringe. It is administered by a healthcare provider at or near the time of delivery. Possible side effects include back pain, fetal distress, and abnormal uterine contractions.

What Is Prepidil?

Prepidil® (dinoprostone vaginal gel) 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 Prepidil is dinoprostone. Dinoprostone is also available as a vaginal insert (Cervidil®) and a vaginal suppository (Prostin E2®).
(Click Prepidil Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Prepidil is made by Pharmacia and Upjohn Company, a division of Pfizer, Inc.

How Does Prepidil Work?

Prepidil is a manufactured (synthetic) version of a hormone in the body known as prostaglandin E2. Prostaglandin E2 is naturally secreted by the fetus and placenta during pregnancy, and plays an important role in the steps leading to labor. Importantly, the hormone is involved in cervical ripening, which is when the cervix softens and relaxes to allow passage of the baby during birth.

When and How to Use It

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Prepidil include the following:
  • This medication comes in gel form. The gel is inserted into the cervix using a syringe.
  • Prepidil should only be inserted by a trained medical provider in a hospital setting.
  • After the gel is inserted, you will need to remain lying down for at least 15 to 30 minutes to prevent the medication from leaking out.
  • For Prepidil to work properly, it must be used as prescribed.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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