Pitocin Medicine

Some pregnant women may receive Pitocin® (oxytocin), a medicine that is given to help cause or improve uterine contractions. It comes as a liquid that is given as an intravenous (IV) infusion or as an injection into a muscle (intramuscular injection). The dosage is highly individualized and will depend on the reason the woman is receiving the drug and how she responds to it.
Pitocin is approved for several reasons, including but not limited to:
  • Inducing labor in women for whom this is medically necessary
  • Improving contractions when the uterus is not contracting sufficiently during labor
  • Emptying the womb (the uterus) when a woman has a missed miscarriage (when the baby has died in the womb) or for an elective abortion.
Although many women tolerate this medicine well, Pitocin can cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and heart rhythm problems.
(To learn more about this medicine, click Pitocin. This Web selection provides more details on this drug, including how it works, how it is administered, and safety precautions to review before receiving it.)
Pregnancy and Pain
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