Oxytocin Medication Information
A healthcare provider may recommend oxytocin (Pitocin®) to help stimulate or improve uterine contractions right before or immediately after childbirth. This medication comes as a liquid and is given as an intravenous (IV) infusion or as an injection into a muscle. There are several approved uses for this drug, such as:
- Inducing labor in women for whom this is medically necessary
- Emptying the womb for an elective abortion
- Controlling bleeding after labor and delivery.
While most women tolerate this medicine well, some women will experience side effects. Some of the reported reactions include vomiting, excessive bleeding, and heart rhythm problems.
While this drug may be effective for many women, not everyone can use it. Information on oxytocin should be discussed with your healthcare provider before receiving it to minimize risks and avoid potentially serious complications. For example, you may not be able to receive this medicine if you have had a difficult labor and delivery in the past or a C-section.
(For more information, click Oxytocin. This article offers a closer look at this medication, including how it works, dosing instructions, and why it is not appropriate for some women.)