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Pitressin Injection Dosage

Generic name: vasopressin, unspecified 20[USP'U] in 1mL
Dosage form: injection
Drug class: Antidiuretic hormones

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 9, 2022.

Pitressin may be administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly.

Ten units of Pitressin (0.5 mL) will usually elicit full physiologic response in adult patients; 5 units will be adequate in many cases. Pitressin should be given intramuscularly at 3- or 4-hour intervals as needed. The dosage should be proportionately reduced for pediatric patients. (For an additional discussion of dosage, consult the sections below.)

When determining the dose of Pitressin for a given case, the following should be kept in mind.

It is particularly desirable to give a dose not much larger than is just sufficient to elicit the desired physiologic response. Excessive doses may cause undesirable side effects—blanching of the skin, abdominal cramps, nausea—which, though not serious, may be alarming to the patient. Spontaneous recovery from such side effects occurs in a few minutes. It has been found that one or two glasses of water given at the time Pitressin is administered reduce such symptoms.

Abdominal Distention

In the average postoperative adult patient, give 5 units (0.25 mL) initially; increase to 10 units (0.5 mL) at subsequent injections if necessary. It is recommended that Pitressin be given intramuscularly and that injections be repeated at 3- or 4-hour intervals as required. Dosage to be reduced proportionately for pediatric patients.

Pitressin used in this manner will frequently prevent or relieve postoperative distention. These recommendations apply also to distention complicating pneumonia or other acute toxemias.

Abdominal Roentgenography

For the average case, two injections of 10 units each (0.5 mL) are suggested. These should be given two hours and one-half hour, respectively, before films are exposed. Many roentgenologists advise giving an enema prior to the first dose of Pitressin.

Diabetes Insipidus

Pitressin may be given by injection or administered intranasally on cotton pledgets, by nasal spray, or by dropper. The dose by injection is 5 to 10 units (0.25 to 0.5 mL) repeated two or three times daily as needed. When Pitressin is administered intranasally by spray or on pledgets, the dosage and interval between treatments must be determined for each patient.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.