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Generic Name: oxytocin (OX i TOE sin)
Brand Name: Pitocin, Syntocinon
Physician reviewed oxytocin patient information - includes oxytocin description, dosage and directions.
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Drug Information:
Oxytocin is a hormone that is used to induce labor or strengthen uterine contractions, or to control bleeding after childbirth. Oxytocin is also used to stimulate uterine contractions in a woman with an incomplete or threatened miscarriage. Oxytocin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Before you receive oxytocin, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions or allergies, and all the medicines you are using. You should not be treated with oxytocin if you are allergic to it. Learn more

Oxytocin Side Effects

Oxytocin Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to oxytocin: parenteral injection

Side effects include:

Adverse effects usually are dose related.

Uterine hyperstimulation and subsequent fetal heart rate deceleration most common. (See Uterine Hyperactivity under General Precautions.)

Maternal nausea, vomiting, sinus bradycardia, premature ventricular complexes; probably related to labor and not the drug.

Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, jaundice, retinal hemorrhage, low Apgar scores at 5 minutes.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to oxytocin: compounding powder, injectable solution, intravenous solution


The more commonly reported adverse effects have included headache, tachycardia, bradycardia, nausea and vomiting.


Common (1% to 10%): Tachycardia, bradycardia

Frequency not reported: Premature ventricular contractions, hypertensive episodes, cardiac arrhythmia, bradycardia (neonate), premature ventricular contractions and other arrhythmias (neonate)

Postmarketing reports: Myocardial ischemia, QTc prolongation, hypotension, flushing

Bradycardia and premature ventricular contractions and other arrhythmias have been reported in the neonate due to induced uterine motility.

Nervous system

Permanent CNS or brain damage, and seizures have been reported in the neonate due to induced uterine motility.

Common (1% to 10%): Headache

Frequency not reported: Subarachnoid hemorrhage, permanent CNS or brain damage (neonate), neonatal seizures


Frequency not reported: Severe water intoxication with convulsions, coma, fatal water intoxication

Postmarketing reports: Maternal hyponatremia, neonatal hyponatremia


Frequency not reported: Anaphylactic reaction

Postmarketing reports: Anaphylactic reaction and shock


Frequency not reported: Uterine Rupture, pelvic hematoma, postpartum hemorrhage

Postmarketing reports: Uterine hypertonicity, tetanic contractions, rupture of the uterus; fetal distress (neonate), amniotic fluid embolism


Frequency not reported: Fatal afibrinogenemia

Postmarketing reports: Disseminated intravascular coagulation


Frequency not reported: Neonatal jaundice

Neonatal jaundice has been reported in the neonate due to use of oxytocin in the mother.


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting


Postmarketing reports: Acute pulmonary edema, asphyxia (neonate)


Neonatal retinal hemorrhage has been reported in the neonate due to use of oxytocin in the mother.

Frequency not reported: Neonatal retinal hemorrhage


Fetal death has been reported due to induced uterine motility; low Apgar scores at 5 minutes have been reported in the neonate due to oxytocin use in the mother.

Frequency not reported: Fetal death, low Apgar scores at 5 minutes


Postmarketing reports: Angioedema

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Oxytocin