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Oxytocin Nasal Spray

Oxytocin (Pitocin®) is given to cause or improve uterine contractions in women. It comes as a liquid that is injected into a muscle (intramuscular injection) or given as an intravenous (IV) infusion. Oxytocin was originally available as a nasal spray (Syntocinon®). However, the manufacturer removed this medication from the market in 1995.
Oxytocin is a synthetic version of the oxytocin hormone found naturally in the body that plays a major role in childbirth. This medication is approved for a number of uses, such as:
  • Inducing labor in women for whom this is medically necessary
  • Emptying the womb (the uterus) when a woman has a missed miscarriage (when the baby has died in the womb) or for an elective abortion
(To learn more, click Oxytocin. This Web selection offers a complete overview of this drug, including how it works, possible side effects, and what to expect when receiving this drug.)
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