Objectives To measure the tocolytic effect of the combination of the oxytocin receptor antagonist atosiban with the β-mimetic agent fenoterol on human myometrium of pregnant women. Methods An in vitro study of contractility in human myometrium at the Laboratory of the Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland, was performed. Thirty-six human myometrial biopsies were obtained during elective caesarean sections of singleton pregnancies at term. Tissue samples were exposed to atosiban, fenoterol and the combination of atosiban with fenoterol. Contractility was measured as area under the curve during 30 min of spontaneous contractions. The effect of treatment was expressed as the percentage of change from basal activity during 30 min of exposure. Differences were calculated using a paired Wilcoxon signed-rank test. An additive effect of dual tocolysis was assumed when no significant difference was detected between the observed and expected inhibition of dual tocolysis. When inhibition was greater or lower than expected, the dual combination was characterised as "synergistic" or "antagonistic", respectively. Results Atosiban and fenoterol alone suppressed contractions by a median of 43.2% and 29.8%, respectively. The combination of atosiban plus fenoterol was measured at a level of 67.3% inhibition. There was no significant difference in the expected (63.2%) and observed inhibition effect of dual tocolysis (P=0.945). Conclusions This study demonstrated an additive effect of dual tocolysis of atosiban and fenoterol on human myometrium in vitro, but no synergistic or antagonistic effect.