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Does Pitocin (oxytocin) cause side effects?
Pitocin (oxytocin) is a protein produced by the pituitary gland of mammals including man. Pitocin is a man-made version of oxytocin used to stimulate contraction of the uterus. Pitocin works by increasing the concentration of calcium inside muscle cells that control contraction of the uterus. Increased calcium increases contraction of the uterus.
Common side effects of Pitocin include
Serious side effects of Pitocin include
- severe allergic reactions,
- bleeding after childbirth,
- abnormal heartbeats,
- high blood pressure (hypertension), and
- rupture of the uterus.
Pitocin may be secreted in breast milk. Mothers should not breastfeed for at least one day after stopping Pitocin.
Pitocin (oxytocin) side effects list for healthcare professionals
The following adverse reactions have been reported in the mother:
- Anaphylactic reaction
- Premature ventricular contractions
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- Pelvic hematoma
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage
- Fatal afibrinogenemia
- Hypertensive episodes
- Rupture of the uterus
Excessive dosage or hypersensitivity to the drug may result in
- uterine hypertonicity,
- 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:||Due to use of oxytocin in the mother:|
|Bradycardia||Low Apgar scores at five minutes|
|Premature ventricular contractions and other arrhythmias||Neonatal jaundice|
|Permanent CNS or brain damage||Neonatal retinal hemorrhage|
|Neonatal seizures have been reported with the use of Pitocin.|
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/.
What drugs interact with Pitocin (oxytocin)?
Severe hypertension has been reported when oxytocin was given three to four hours following prophylactic administration of a vasoconstrictor in conjunction with caudal block anesthesia.
Cyclopropane anesthesia may modify oxytocin's cardiovascular effects, so as to produce unexpected results such as hypotension. Maternal sinus bradycardia with abnormal atrioventricular rhythms has also been noted when oxytocin was used concomitantly with cyclopropane anesthesia.
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Related Disease Conditions
Labor Symptoms (Early Signs)
Every woman's experience with labor and delivery is unique for each woman, and thus "Normal" labor varies from woman to woman. Some of the common signs and symptoms of normal labor include the "baby dropping," increase urination, back pain, contractions, and diarrhea.
Childbirth Delivery Methods and Types
There are various childbirth delivery methods and types such as the Lamaze method, the Bradley method, water birth, and assisted births. Options for where a woman can deliver her baby include home birth, a birthing center, and a hospital. The method and type of labor and delivery options should be discussed with a woman's doctor.
Braxton Hicks vs. True Labor: How to Tell the Difference
Some pregnant women may mistake Braxton Hicks contractions (false labor) for real labor contractions, especially in the first pregnancy. Real labor contractions occur at regular intervals that become progressively shorter; more painful as labor progresses; are described as a tightening, pounding, or stabbing pain. Braxton Hicks contractions do not occur in regular intervals; do not become longer over time; and may disappear for a period of time and then return. Braxton Hicks contractions occur in third trimester of pregnancy, however, sometimes can occur in the second trimester. True labor contractions begin around your due date (unless your baby is preterm, in which you will be in preterm labor). So how can you tell the difference? Here are a few similarities and differences between Braxton Hicks contractions and True or real labor contractions. Braxton Hicks contractionsBraxton Hicks contractions tend to become more frequent toward the end of pregnancy, and are not as painful as real labor contractions; do not occur in regular intervals; do not become longer over time; and may disappear for a period of time and then return.Labor contractions Frequently one of the early symptoms and signs of true labor is when the contractions begin to occur less than 10 minutes apart. Real labor Real labor contractions occur at regular intervals that become progressively shorter; more painful as labor progresses; are described as a tightening, pounding, or stabbing pain; may feel similar to menstrual cramps; and sometimes Braxton Hicks contractions can be triggered by dehydration, sexual intercourse, increased activity of the mother or baby, touching of the pregnant woman's abdomen, or a distended bladder. Natural and home remedies to soothe and provide comfort for Braxton Hicks contractions include relaxation exercises like deep breathing or mental relaxation; change positions or take a walk if you have been active and rest; drink a glass of herbal tea or water; eat; or soak in a warm bath for 30 minutes (or less). Preterm labor signs and symptomsWhen you have reached 37 weeks, and the contractions are more painful and are increasing in frequency you will have abdominal pain or menstrual-like cramping, an increase in pelvic pressure or back pain, and the contractions are more than four contractions an hour.
Pregnancy Discomforts: Common Causes
During pregnancy, most women will experience discomforts during the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimesters. Common causes of discomforts during pregnancy include nausea and vomiting (morning sickness), fatigue, breast swelling and pain, hemorrhoids, stretch marks, mood swings, dizziness, migraines, tooth pain and bleeding gums, and pica. Common causes of pregnancy discomforts include constipation, heartburn, indigestion, reflux, varicose veins, abdominal pain, problems sleeping, congested or bloody nose, and flu like body aches.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
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.
Professional side effects and drug interactions sections courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.