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Discontinued Warning IconPlease Note: This Brand Name drug is no longer available in the US.
(Generic versions may still be available.)

Pitressin Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 8/2/2015

Pitressin (vasopressin) is a man-made form of a hormone called "anti-diuretic hormone" that is normally secreted by the pituitary gland used to treat diabetes insipidus, which is caused by a lack of a naturally occurring pituitary hormone in the body. Vasopressin is also used to treat or prevent certain conditions of the stomach after surgery or during abdominal x-rays. Vasopressin is also used as a drug to treat cardiac arrest. The brand name drug Pitressin is no longer available in the U.S. Generic versions (vasopressin) are still available. Common side effects of Pitressin (vasopressin) include stomach pain, bloating, gas, dizziness, or throbbing headache.

Vasopressin is an injection that may be administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously (under the skin). Dose is determined by the patient's condition and response. It is usually given in a hospital setting. Vasopressin may interact with carbamazepine, chlorpropamide, clofibrate, fludrocortisone, demeclocycline, lithium, heparin, muscle relaxers, or antidepressants. Tell your doctor all medications you are taking. During pregnancy this medication should only be taken if prescribed, as it may be harmful to a fetus. Vasopressin may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Our Pitressin (vasopressin) Injection 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.

Pitressin in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

Some people receiving vasopressin have had an immediate reaction to the medication. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel weak, nauseated, light-headed, sweaty, or have a fast heartbeat, chest tightness, or weak breathing just after receiving vasopressin.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • slow or uneven heart rate;
  • gasping or trouble breathing;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • tingling or loss of feeling in your hands or feet;
  • skin changes or discoloration;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting; or
  • severe nausea or stomach pain.

Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:

  • mild stomach pain, bloating, or gas;
  • dizziness; or
  • throbbing headache.

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 Pitressin (Vasopressin)

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Pitressin FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


Local or systemic allergic reactions may occur in hypersensitive individuals. The following side effects have been reported following the administration of vasopressin.

Body as a Whole: anaphylaxia (cardiac arrest and/or shock) has been observed shortly after injection of vasopressin.

Cardiovascular: cardiac arrest, circumoral pallor, arrhythmias, decreased cardiac output, angina, myocardial ischemia, peripheral vasoconstruction and gangrene.

Gastrointestinal: abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, passage of gas.

Nervous System: tremor, vertigo, "pounding" in head.

Respiratory: bronchial constriction.

Skin and Appendages: sweating, urticaris, cutaneous gangrene.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Pitressin (Vasopressin)

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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