Generic Name: oxytocin (OX i TOE sin)
Brand Name: Pitocin
What is Pitocin?
Pitocin is a natural hormone that causes the uterus to contract.
Pitocin is used to induce labor or strengthen labor contractions during childbirth, and to control bleeding after childbirth. This medicine is also used to stimulate uterine contractions in a woman with an incomplete or threatened miscarriage.
Pitocin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before you receive Pitocin, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions or allergies, and all the medicines you are using.
Before taking this medicine
You should not receive this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Pitocin.
To make sure Pitocin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
a heart rhythm disorder;
a severe infection in your uterus;
five or more pregnancies;
a difficult labor because you have a small pelvis;
surgery on your cervix or uterus (including a prior C-section); or
if you are less than 37 weeks pregnant.
Also tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is oxytocin given?
Pitocin is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a hospital setting.
Your contractions and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving Pitocin. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with this medication.
During labor, your baby's heart rate will also be watched with a fetal heart monitor to evaluate any effects of Pitocin on the baby.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Because you will receive Pitocin in a clinical setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.
What should I avoid after receiving Pitocin?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Pitocin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Tell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
a fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;
excessive bleeding long after childbirth;
increased blood pressure--severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, anxiety, nosebleed.
Common side effects may include:
memory problems; or
more intense or more frequent contractions (this is an expected effect of Pitocin).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Pitocin?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with oxytocin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about Pitocin (oxytocin)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 1 Review – Add your own review/rating
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: uterotonic agents
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Pitocin.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.01.
Date modified: January 03, 2018
Last reviewed: October 13, 2017