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oxytocin(oxytocin) to induce childbirth. Learn about the other uses of the drug, the side effects that can occur with it, important tips before using the drug, contraindications to the use of the drug, and answering the most important questions about the drug.


What is oxytocin?

It is a drug that stimulates uterine contractions at the end of pregnancy to induce labor, or to control bleeding after childbirth, and it can also be used with some other medications to terminate pregnancy. Oxytocin is originally found in the body in the form of a hormone, and it is one of the most important hormones released by the pituitary gland in the blood, and its main function is to facilitate childbirth and create a bond between the mother and the fetus, so this hormone is known as the hormone of love.

Generic name of the drug oxytocin;
Brand Names Pitocin, Syntocinon.
drug classification Of the factors of uterine tension.
Pharmaceutical Forms Nasal spray – injectable solution.
drug manufacturer Rotex Medica.

Top 5 Reasons to Use Oxytocin

Top 5 Reasons to Use Oxytocin
Top 5 Reasons to Use Oxytocin

There are many uses for this drug, which are specific to the pregnant woman, and they are:

  1. It is used to expedite natural childbirth.
  2. To get rid of the rest of the uterine debris after childbirth.
  3. To control bleeding that sometimes occurs after cesarean delivery as a result of uterine contraction.
  4. It has a role in the lactation process, as it helps in the process of milk exiting the mother’s breast after childbirth.
  5. It can be used in some cases to terminate pregnancy.

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Contraindications to the use of oxytocin

There are some cases in which this medicine is contraindicated, including:

  • If the patient is allergic to the active substance of this medicine or any other medicines.
  • This medicine should not be used if the patient needs an emergency delivery.
  • This medicine should not be taken at home.
  • If the woman suffers from acute septicemia, which is usually preceded by convulsions.

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Important tips before using oxytocin

The most famous tips that a woman needs to know before using this medicine:

  1. The woman must tell the doctor if she is on this list:
    1. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
    2. She has any of the different heart diseases such as: valvular heart disease, ischemic heart disease, coronary artery spasm.
    3. You have genital herpes.
    4. She has high blood pressure caused by pregnancy.
    5. She was diagnosed with long QT syndrome.
    6. You have a uterine infection.
    7. Diseases of the kidneys or liver.
    8. She has difficulty in labor due to a small pelvis, which is caused by a disproportionate head and pelvis.
    9. If the woman had previous surgery on the cervix, or the uterus itself, or had a caesarean section.
  2. No need to worry about dosing; Because the doctor will give the necessary of it, however, it is forbidden to increase or decrease the doses unnecessarily.
  3. The woman to whom the doctor prescribes this treatment should ask him about any questions or any questions she has about this medicine.

pregnancy and breastfeeding

For a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, this medicine is only taken under the supervision of a doctor and in a health center or hospital, and it is not known to have an effect on either the fetus in the case of a pregnant woman or the infant in the case of a breastfeeding woman.

A nursing woman for whom the doctor recommends this medicine in the form of a nasal spray should make sure that the correct and appropriate dose is taken and not exceeded.


How to take oxytocin

How to take oxytocin
How to take oxytocin

A health care provider will usually administer this medication to a patient as follows:

  • These injections can be given intravenously or intramuscularly but are often given intramuscularly.
  • Only the doctor can determine the duration of treatment for each patient.

The doctor will monitor the woman and child’s vital signs and heart rate after the woman has been given the medication. To evaluate the effects of this drug on each.


oxytocin doses

The dose that the doctor prescribes to the patient depends on many factors, the most important of which are the reason for which this drug is used, and the patient’s weight, and they are as follows:

  • The appropriate dose to stop bleeding after childbirth

The recommended dose in this case is 10 units given intramuscularly after the placenta has been removed. 10 to 40 units may also be added to an intravenous solution of a volume of 1000 mL and injected into a vein.

  • Recommended dose to induce labor

The doctor usually recommends a dose ranging between (0.5-1) units/minute given intravenously.

  • Termination of pregnancy (abortion)

The recommended dose is 10 to 20 units/minute. Do not exceed the dose specified by the doctor, and do not reach 30 units / 12 hours.

What do you do if you forget to take a dose?

Don’t worry about missing a dose; Because there is no set timetable for taking this medicine at home, it is given by a doctor in the hospital.

What do you do if you take an overdose?

There is no need to worry in case of taking an overdose (drug overdose); Because the doctor who gave you the dose will do the necessary and in all cases the doctor monitors the patient and the fetus and sees the effect of the treatment on them.

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Actions to avoid while taking this medicine

The patient must adhere to the doctor’s instructions for food and drink. In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you limit your drinking of water with this medicine.


Oxytocin side effects

There are some side effects that can appear with this drug, the most famous of which are:

  • The appearance of signs indicating the patient’s sensitivity to the active substance, such as: swelling in the face and lips, difficulty breathing.
  • Severe headache and general weakness.
  • Heavy bleeding after cesarean delivery.
  • Blurred vision, pain in the ears and neck.
  • The patient has jaundice.
  • Arrhythmia.
  • Breathing problems.

These are the most common side effects that your doctor notices and monitors for. The patient can talk to the doctor about the harm and benefits of this drug for her and her fetus.


Drugs that interact with oxytocin

Drugs that interact with oxytocin
Drugs that interact with oxytocin

The patient to whom the doctor recommended this treatment should take her own list of medicines and present it to the doctor, provided that this list contains prescribed and non-prescribed medicines, herbs and vitamins; To study the possibility of a drug interaction between this drug and any other medication the patient is taking.

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Alternative medicines to oxytocin

The most famous alternatives that can be used instead of this drug:

  1. pitocin;
  2. Syntocinon.
  3. Oxyson injection.

The price of oxytocin in the local market

This treatment is available in many Arab countries, especially Egypt, where the price of a 10-unit oxytocin ampoule is about 14.4 Egyptian pounds. Globally it costs about $29 for an ampoule of 25mL (10 units/mL).


Frequently asked questions about oxytocin

How can I keep oxytocin?

For intravenous or intramuscular injections, it must be kept at a temperature ranging from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, as well as for the nasal spray, and in both cases, because the medicine is given in the hospital, the doctor will store it in an appropriate manner.

What are the most important things a doctor should monitor with a patient who is taking this medication?

The doctor must closely monitor the patient after giving her the medicine, especially by monitoring the amount of fluid entering and leaving the body, the activity of the uterus, the heart rate of the mother and fetus, and the blood pressure of the mother and fetus.


In the end, oxytocin is one of the most important medications that a doctor uses with pregnant women to speed up the process of natural childbirth for some of them. The woman should not worry about the side effects that could affect her or her fetus, and she can schedule a session with the specialist doctor and ask all the questions she has about this drug before using it.