What is this medication?

OXYTOCIN (ox i TOE sin) is a man-made form of a natural hormone. It works by causing the uterus to contract. It is used to increase the strength of contractions of the uterus. It can be used during childbirth to speed delivery or after childbirth to control bleeding. It is also used clear the uterus after an incomplete abortion or miscarriage.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Pitocin

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Any condition where vaginal childbirth is unwanted, such as cervical cancer, herpes infection, oversized fetal head
  • Dangerous position of the fetus, placenta, or umbilical cord
  • History of uterine surgery, such as cesarean section
  • Pregnant many times before
  • Uterus overstimulated
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to oxytocin, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medicine is for infusion into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

•Ephedra, Ma Huang

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

•dinoprostone, prostaglandin E2

•medicines for blood pressure

•medicines used for sleep during surgery

•other medicines to contract the uterus

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

•allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

•breathing problems

•excessive or continuing vaginal bleeding

•fast, irregular heartbeat

•feeling faint or lightheaded, falls

•high blood pressure

•seizures

•unusual bleeding or bruising

•unusual swelling, sudden weight gain

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

•headache

•nausea and vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2023 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy