Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Prostaglandin E2

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AHFS/Drugs.com  Monograph
Routes of administration  intravaginal, IV
Formula  C20H32O5
CAS ID  363-24-6
MedlinePlus  a682512
ATC code  G02AD02 (WHO)
Molar mass  352.4651 g/mol
Prostaglandin E2
Trade names  PGE2, Cervidil, Propess, others
Pregnancy category  US: C (Risk not ruled out)

What is the definition of prostaglandin e2 medical school terminology dictionary

Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), also known as dinoprostone, is a naturally occurring prostaglandin which is used as a medication. As a medication it is used in labor induction, bleeding after delivery, termination of pregnancy, and in newborn babies to keep the ductus arteriosus open. In babies it is used in those with congenital heart defects until surgery can be carried out. It may be used within the vagina or by injection into a vein.


Common side effects include vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and excessive uterine contraction. In babies there may be decreased breathing and low blood pressure. Care should be taken in people with asthma or glaucoma and it is not recommended in those who have had a prior C-section. Prostaglandin E2 is in the oxytocics family of medications. It works by binding and activating the prostaglandin E2 receptor which results in the opening and softening of the cervix and dilation of blood vessels.

Prostaglandin E2 was first made in 1970 and approved for medical use in the United States in 1977. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. In the United Kingdom a dose costs the NHS about 8.50 to 30.00 pounds. In the United States a course of treatment costs more than 200 USD. Prostaglandin E2 works as well as prostaglandin E1 in babies; however, is much less expensive.

Side effects

Precautions: uterine scar tissues; asthma; low blood pressure; heart disease; adrenal problems; anemia; diabetes; glaucoma; icterus (jaundice); multiparity (number of children a woman has delivered previously); heart, lung or liver disease.

Physiological effects

It has important effects in labour (softening the cervix and causing uterine contraction) and also stimulates osteoblasts to release factors that stimulate bone resorption by osteoclasts. PGE2 is also the prostaglandin that ultimately induces fever. It is also implicated in duct-dependent congenital heart diseases and is used in infusion in order to open the duct although PGE1 is more commonly used.

It is a direct vasodilator, relaxing smooth muscles, and it inhibits the release of noradrenaline from sympathetic nerve terminals. It does not inhibit platelet aggregation, where PGI2 does.

PGE2 also suppresses T cell receptor signaling and may play a role in resolution of inflammation. Up-regulation of PGE2 has been implicated as a possible cause of nail clubbing. Furthermore, its postpartal synthesis in newborns is considered as one cause of patent ductus arteriosus.

Mechanism of action

PGE2 is a potent activator of the Wnt signaling pathway. It has been implicated in regulating the developmental specification and regeneration of hematopoietic stem cells through cAMP/PKA activity.


It was discovered by Bunting, Gryglewski, Moncada and Vane in 1976.

Society and culture

It is sold under the trade name of Cervidil(US) and Propess (by Ferring Pharmaceuticals). This is a controlled release vaginal insert. Prostin E2 (by Pfizer Inc.), and Glandin (by Nabiqasim Pharmaceuticals Pakistan) as a vaginal suppository, to prepare the cervix for labour; it is used to induce labour.


Prostaglandin E2 Wikipedia