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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Pitocin, Syntocinon

Generic Name: oxytocin (Pronunciation: ox e TOW sin)

What is oxytocin (Pitocin, Syntocinon)?

Oxytocin is a natural hormone that causes the uterus to contract.

Oxytocin is used to induce labor, strengthen labor contractions during childbirth, control bleeding after childbirth, or to induce an abortion.

Oxytocin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of oxytocin (Pitocin, Syntocinon)?

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;
  • confusion;
  • sudden weight gain or excessive swelling;
  • severe headache;
  • rash;
  • excessive vaginal bleeding; or
  • seizures.

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.

What is the most important information I should know about oxytocin (Pitocin, Syntocinon)?

Oxytocin should be administered as an injection into a muscle or intravenously by a healthcare provider. It should be administered in a clinical setting where a healthcare provider can monitor uterine contractions and other vital signs (blood pressure, heart rates) and where an emergency situation can be handled properly.



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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From WebMD