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Pitocin Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Pitocin (oxytocin injection, USP) is used to induce labor, strengthen labor contractions during childbirth, control bleeding after childbirth, or to induce an abortion. Oxytocin is a natural hormone that causes the uterus to contract. Common side effects include redness or irritation at the injection site, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, cramping, or stomach pain.
Pitocin is administered under a physician's supervision. The initial dose of Pitocin should be 0.5-1 mU/min (equal to 3-6 mL of the dilute oxytocin solution per hour). At 30-60 minute intervals the dose should be gradually increased in increments of 1-2 mU/min until the desired contraction pattern has been established. Pitocin may interact with drugs used in anesthesia, prochlorperazine injection, or warfarin. Tell your doctor all medications you use. Pitocin should be used during pregnancy only if prescribed. There are no known indications for use of this medication in the first 3 months of pregnancy other than in relation to spontaneous or induced abortion. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Our Pitocin (oxytocin injection, USP) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Pitocin in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Side effects with oxytocin are not common. Serious side effects include:
- an allergic reaction (shortness of breath; closing of the throat; hives; swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; rash; or fainting);
- difficulty urinating;
- chest pain or irregular heart beat;
- difficulty breathing;
- sudden weight gain or excessive swelling;
- severe headache;
- excessive vaginal bleeding; or
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Talk to your doctor if you experience
- redness or irritation at the injection site;
- loss of appetite; or
- nausea or vomiting.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Pitocin (Oxytocin Injection) »
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Pitocin FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
The following adverse reactions have been reported in the mother:
Premature ventricular contractions
Rupture of the uterus
Excessive dosage or hypersensitivity to the drug may result in uterine hypertonicity, spasm, tetanic contraction, or rupture of the uterus.
The possibility of increased blood loss and afibrinogenemia should be kept in mind when administering the drug.
Severe water intoxication with convulsions and coma has occurred, associated with a slow oxytocin infusion over a 24-hour period. Maternal death due to oxytocin-induced water intoxication has been reported.
The following adverse reactions have been reported in the fetus or neonate:
Due to induced uterine motility
Premature ventricular contractions and other arrhythmias
Permanent CNS or brain damage
Neonatal seizures have been reported with the use of Pitocin.
Due to use of oxytocin in the mother
For medical advice about adverse reactions contact your medical professional. To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact JHP at 1-866-923-2547 or MEDWATCH at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Pitocin (Oxytocin Injection) »
Additional Pitocin Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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