What is Pitocin® (oxytocin) used for?
It is used to end a pregnancy. It may be given to you for other reasons.
How should I take Pitocin® (oxytocin)?
Use Pitocin® as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
Pitocin® is given as a shot into a muscle. It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
How do I store Pitocin® (oxytocin)?
Pitocin® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Pitocin® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Pitocin® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Pitocin® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Pitocin® (oxytocin)?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Pitocin® or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
Very bad and sometimes deadly effects like high blood pressure, bleeding in the brain, rupture of the uterus, too much water in the body, and deaths of the unborn baby from many causes have happened with Pitocin. Talk with your doctor.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Pitocin® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Pitocin®. Pitocin® is pregnancy risk category X, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from Pitocin® (oxytocin)?
Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight
- Bleeding a lot (soaking 1 pad per hour)
- Slow heartbeat
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal
- Trouble passing urine
- Very bad belly pain
- Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight
Call your doctor or get medical help if upset stomach or throwing up bother you or do not go away.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Pitocin® (oxytocin)?
Pitocin® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Does food or alcohol interact with Pitocin® (oxytocin)?
Pitocin® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Pitocin® (oxytocin)?
Pitocin® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Pitocin® (oxytocin).
What is the dose of Pitocin® (oxytocin) for an adult?
Induction or Stimulation of Labor
Intravenous infusion (drip method) is the only acceptable method of parenteral administration of Pitocin for the induction or stimulation of labor. Accurate control of the rate of infusion is essential and is best accomplished by an infusion pump. It is convenient to piggyback the Pitocin infusion on a physiologic electrolyte solution, permitting the Pitocin® infusion to be stopped abruptly without interrupting the electrolyte infusion. This is done in the following way.
Control of Postpartum Uterine Bleeding
- Intravenous infusion (drip method). If the patient has an intravenous infusion running, 10 to 40 units of oxytocin may be added to the bottle, depending on the amount of electrolyte or dextrose solution remaining (maximum 40 units to 1000 mL). Adjust the infusion rate to sustain uterine contraction and control uterine atony.
- Intramuscular administration. (One mL) Ten (10) units of Pitocin can be given after the delivery of the placenta.
Treatment of Incomplete, Inevitable, or Elective Abortion
Intravenous infusion of 10 units of Pitocin® added to 500 mL of a physiologic saline solution or 5% dextrose-in-water solution may help the uterus contract after a suction or sharp curettage for an incomplete, inevitable, or elective abortion.
Subsequent to intra-amniotic injection of hypertonic saline, prostaglandins, urea, etc., for midtrimester elective abortion, the injection-to-abortion time may be shortened by infusion of Pitocin at the rate of 10 to 20 milliunits (20 to 40 drops) per minute. The total dose should not exceed 30 units in a 12-hour period due to the risk of water intoxication.
What is the dose of Pitocin® (oxytocin) for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Pitocin® (oxytocin) available?
Pitocin® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Injection: oxytocin 10[iU] in 1mL
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Pitocin®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Pitocin®. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/pitocin.html. Accessed September 6, 2017
Pitocin®. http://reference.medscape.com/drug/pitocin-oxytocin-343132. Accessed September 6, 2017
Review Date: September 7, 2017 | Last Modified: September 7, 2017