Oxytocin is a hormonal medicine used for inducing labour in full-term pregnant women. It is used in women who have pregnancy-induced diabetes (called gestational diabetes). Oxytocin is also used to abort the fetus in case of incomplete abortion, produce contractions during third stage labour and control excessive bleeding after childbirth.
Uses of Oxytocin
- Normal delivery
- In caesarean section after the birth of baby
- To stop bleeding after childbirth
- Pregnancy loss before 20 weeks
Contraindications of Oxytocin
When should one not use Oxytocin
- Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to it
- There is obstruction to normal delivery
- You have strong uterine contractions
- Normal delivery not possible
- You are given prostaglandin medicine
- Heart disease or severe pre eclampsia
- There is no response to this medicine
Side effects of Oxytocin
Common side effects of this drug are:
- Swelling of tongue, lips or face
- Uneven heart rate
- Tears in womb lining
- Retention of fluid in lungs
- Decrease oxygen supply to baby
Precautions and Warnings of Oxytocin
Can I take Oxytocin during pregnancy?
This medicine is not given till estimated date of delivery.
Can I take Oxytocin while breastfeeding?
Oxytocin can pass into breast milk in small amounts but adverse effects in breastfed babies do not occur as the baby’s digestive system make it ineffective.
Can I drive if I have consumed Oxytocin?
As Oxytocin causes uterine contractions, women should avoid driving.
Can I consume alcohol with Oxytocin?
It is not advisable to consume alcohol with this medicine. It may cause unwanted effects.
Other General Warnings
Talk to your doctor if
- You have a history of caesarean section
- You have chest pain
- You have heart disease, high blood pressure or kidney disease
- Your age is more than 35 years
- Duration of your pregnancy is more than 40 weeks
Mode of Action of Oxytocin
How Does It Work?
Oxytocin stimulates the uterine walls of the women, causing uterine contractions by changing the calcium concentrations in the uterine muscle cells. This induces labour and the child is delivered.
Interactions of Oxytocin
Interactions with other medicines
Prostaglandins, medicine use in epidural anaesthesia, cough and cold medicines containing decongestants, medicines containing caffeine or other stimulant medicin and other hormones used for various medical conditions.
Interactions with food items
It is given only at the time of labour in a hospital setup. Hence, interaction with food is minimal. The doctor should be consulted for any food interactions. Fluid intake should be minimum as retention of fluid in the body may occur.
Dietary Restrictions of Oxytocin
No data available.
Dosage of Oxytocin
Overdose of this medicine is unlikely, as healthcare professionals give it at the time of labour. Overdose with synthetic Oxytocin injection may cause excessive stimulation with strong (hypertonic) or prolonged contractions. This can further lead to rupture of uterus, cervical and vaginal tears, bleeding after delivery, low blood supply to the fetus, fetal heart failure, low oxygen supply to the fetus or fetal death.
Missed a Dose
Missing a dose is unlikely with this medicine as healthcare professionals give it at the time of labour.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: In which conditions can doctor advise to do caesarean section?
- Some conditions in which doctor will advise to do caesarean section are:
- If there is an obstruction for normal delivery to take place
- If the baby has a large head
- If baby’s position is not normal during delivery
Q: How can the estimated date of delivery (EDD) be calculated?
A: Estimated date of delivery can be calculated by adding 9 months and 7 days to your first day of last menstrual period (LMP).
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)
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