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Generic Name: vasopressin (VAY soe PRES in)
Brand Name: Vasostrict

Medically reviewed by on Mar 20, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Vasostrict?

Vasostrict is a man-made form of a hormone called "anti-diuretic hormone" that is normally secreted by the pituitary gland. This medicine acts on the kidneys and blood vessels.

Vasostrict helps prevent loss of water from the body by reducing urine output and helping the kidneys reabsorb water into the body. This medicine also raises blood pressure by narrowing blood vessels.

Vasostrict is used to treat diabetes insipidus, which is caused by a lack of a naturally occurring pituitary hormone in the body. This medicine is also used to treat or prevent certain conditions of the stomach after surgery or during abdominal x-rays.

Vasostrict may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Follow your doctor's instructions about the amount of liquids you should drink during your treatment with Vasostrict. In some cases, drinking too much liquid can be as unsafe as not drinking enough.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with Vasostrict if you are allergic to it.

To make sure Vasostrict is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Vasostrict can cause premature labor contractions if you receive Vasostrict during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

It is not known whether vasopressin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is Vasostrict given?

Vasostrict is injected into a muscle or under the skin, or into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Vasostrict is usually given as needed to help control your condition. The time interval between doses will depend on how your body responds to the medication.

To treat diabetes insipidus, Vasostrict is sometimes given into the nose by nasal spray or medicine dropper, or insertion of a cotton pad that has been soaked in this medicine.

When used for abdominal x-ray, Vasostrict injections are usually given at 2 hours before and 30 minutes before your x-ray. Your doctor may also recommend you receive an enema before you receive your first dose of vasopressin.

Vasostrict can cause temporary side effects such as nausea, stomach pain, or "blanching" of your skin (pale spots when you press on the skin).

Drinking 1 or 2 glasses of water each time you receive an injection may help ease these side effects. If you are receiving this medicine in your vein through an IV, you may be told not to drink water for a certain period of time.

While using Vasostrict, you may need frequent blood tests. Your heart function may also need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG).

Follow your doctor's instructions about the amount of liquids you should drink during your treatment with Vasostrict. In some cases, drinking too much liquid can be as unsafe as not drinking enough.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Because you will receive Vasostrict in a medical 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 while receiving Vasostrict?

Avoid drinking alcohol during your treatment with Vasostrict. Alcohol can make this medicine less effective.

Vasostrict 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 right away if you have:

  • chest pain or tight feeling;

  • severe or pounding headache, severe drowsiness, feeling very weak;

  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing;

  • loss of color in your lips or around your mouth;

  • numbness or tingling in your hands or feet; or

  • pain or loss of feeling anywhere in your body.

Common side effects may include:

  • slow heartbeats;

  • pale skin, numbness in your fingers or toes;

  • stomach pain, gas, nausea, vomiting;

  • dizziness, headache;

  • sweating; or

  • rash.

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.

What other drugs will affect Vasostrict?

Other drugs may interact with vasopressin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

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