How Do Oxytocic Agents Work

Reviewed on 1/12/2022

HOW DO OXYTOCIC AGENTS WORK?

Oxytocic agents are medications that stimulate uterine activity and are used to induce labor, increase contractions, reduce the risk of postpartum hemorrhage immediately after birth, and expel fetal contents in incomplete abortion. Endogenous oxytocic drugs are also given routinely following C-section to prevent the development of uterine atony.

Endogenous oxytocin produced synthetically, which acts like oxytocin hormone and is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is indicated during:

Oxytocin is a nonapeptide hormone synthesized by the hypothalamus but stored and released by the posterior pituitary gland. Oxytocin is a uterine stimulant and causes uterine contractions by activating G protein-coupled receptors that increase intracellular calcium levels in the uterine myofibrils, resulting in uterine contractions. Uterine contractions increase the production of local prostaglandin, which further stimulates uterine contraction.

Oxytocin helps in the ejection of breast milk which helps to feed the baby. Oxytocin has both antidiuretic and vasodilatory effects, increasing cerebral, coronary, and even renal blood flow.

HOW ARE OXYTOCIC AGENTS USED?

Oxytocic agents are given as intravenous or intramuscular injections to treat:

  • Postpartum hemorrhage
  • Labor induction
  • Incomplete or inevitable abortion

SLIDESHOW

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WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF OXYTOCIC AGENTS?

Side effects of oxytocic agents on mother include:

Side of oxytocic agents on fetus include:

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

WHAT ARE NAMES OF OXYTOCIC AGENTS?

Generic and brand names of oxytocic agent drugs include:

References
https://reference.medscape.com/drugs/oxytocic-agents

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507848/

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