Pitocin Side Effects
Generic Name: oxytocin
Note: This document contains side effect information about oxytocin. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Pitocin.
For the Consumer
Applies to oxytocin: parenteral injection
Side effects include:
Adverse effects usually are dose related.
Uterine hyperstimulation and subsequent fetal heart rate deceleration most common. (See Uterine Hyperactivity under General Precautions.)
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to oxytocin: compounding powder, injectable solution, intravenous solution
Common (1% to 10%): Tachycardia, bradycardia
Frequency not reported: Premature ventricular contractions, hypertensive episodes, cardiac arrhythmia, bradycardia (neonate), premature ventricular contractions and other arrhythmias (neonate)
Bradycardia and premature ventricular contractions and other arrhythmias have been reported in the neonate due to induced uterine motility.[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Headache
Frequency not reported: Subarachnoid hemorrhage, permanent CNS or brain damage (neonate), neonatal seizures[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Severe water intoxication with convulsions, coma, fatal water intoxication
Frequency not reported: Anaphylactic reaction
Postmarketing reports: Anaphylactic reaction and shock[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Uterine Rupture, pelvic hematoma, postpartum hemorrhage
Postmarketing reports: Uterine hypertonicity, tetanic contractions, rupture of the uterus; fetal distress (neonate), amniotic fluid embolism[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Fatal afibrinogenemia
Frequency not reported: Neonatal jaundice[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting[Ref]
Postmarketing reports: Acute pulmonary edema, asphyxia (neonate)
Frequency not reported: Neonatal retinal hemorrhage[Ref]
Neonatal retinal hemorrhage has been reported in the neonate due to use of oxytocin in the mother.[Ref]
Fetal death has been reported due to induced uterine motility; low Apgar scores at 5 minutes have been reported in the neonate due to oxytocin (the active ingredient contained in Pitocin) use in the mother.
Frequency not reported: Fetal death, low Apgar scores at 5 minutes
Postmarketing reports: Angioedema
1. "Product Information. Syntocinon (oxytocin)." Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, NJ.
2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
4. "Product Information. Pitocin (oxytocin)." Pfizer U.S. Pharmaceuticals Group, New York, NY.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.
More about Pitocin (oxytocin)
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
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- Drug class: uterotonic agents
- FDA Alerts (3)