Generic Pitocin

OXYTOCIN is a man-made form of a natural hormone. It works by causing the uterus to contract. It is used to increase the strength of contractions of the uterus. It can be used during childbirth to speed delivery or after childbirth to control bleeding. It is also used clear the uterus after an incomplete abortion or miscarriage. Compare pituitary hormones.

Looking for the compounded version? See prices for oxytocin nasal spray.


What is Oxytocin?

Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Pitocin

Therapeutic ClassificationsUterine Stimulant

Pharmacologic ClassificationsPituitary Hormone, Posterior



Blackbox WarningTOP

Intravenous route (Solution)

Oxytocin is not indicated for elective induction of labor since the available data is inadequate to evaluate the benefits-to-risks considerations .

Intramuscular route (Solution)

Oxytocin is not indicated for elective induction of labor since the available data is inadequate to evaluate the benefits-to-risks considerations .


Oxytocin is a hormone used to help start or continue labor and to control bleeding after delivery. It is also sometimes used to help milk secretion in breast-feeding.

Oxytocin may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

In general, oxytocin should not be used to start labor unless there are specific medical reasons. Be sure you have discussed this with your doctor before receiving this medicine.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals removed Syntocinon® nasal spray from the market in March 1995.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although this use is not included in product labeling, oxytocin is used in certain patients for the following:

  • Testing the ability of the placenta to support a pregnancy.

Proper UseTOP

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins or as a shot into one of your muscles.

Before UsingTOP

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of oxytocin in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of oxytocin in geriatric patients.


Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast FeedingTOP

Studies suggest that this medication may alter milk production or composition. If an alternative to this medication is not prescribed, you should monitor the infant for side effects and adequate milk intake.

Drug InteractionsTOP

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other InteractionsTOP

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical ProblemsTOP

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Cephalopelvic disproportion or
  • Cervical cancer or
  • Fetal distress or
  • Grand multiparity (giving birth more than five times) or
  • Major surgery on the cervix or uterus (e.g., caesarean delivery), history of or
  • Overdistended uterus or
  • Premature fetus or
  • Problems with uterine contraction (e.g., uterine atony, strong uterine contractions) or
  • Toxemia, severe or
  • Unfavorable fetal position (e.g., transverse lies) or
  • Other conditions that may require caesarean delivery (e.g., cord prolapse, total placenta previa, vasa previa, or during an emergency)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. Effects may be increased because of slower removal of this medicine from the body.


Oxytocin can be very useful for helping labor. However, there are certain risks with using it. Oxytocin causes contractions of the uterus. In women who are unusually sensitive to its effects, these contractions may become too strong. In rare cases, this may lead to tearing of the uterus. Also, if contractions are too strong, the supply of blood and oxygen to the fetus may be decreased.

Oxytocin may cause jaundice and eye problems such as retinal hemorrhage in some newborn infants. If you have concerns about this, ask your doctor.

This medicine may cause a serious condition called water intoxication. Tell your doctor right away if you start having have confusion, drowsiness, headache, or seizures while you are receiving this medicine.

GoodRx is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the pharmacies identified in its price comparisons. All trademarks, brands, logos and copyright images are property of their respective owners and rights holders and are used solely to represent the products of these rights holders. This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. GoodRx is not offering advice, recommending or endorsing any specific prescription drug, pharmacy or other information on the site. GoodRx provides no warranty for any of the pricing data or other information. Please seek medical advice before starting, changing or terminating any medical treatment.
The information contained in the Truven Health Micromedex products as delivered by GoodRx is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.
The use of the Truven Health products is at your sole risk. These products are provided "AS IS" and "as available" for use, without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. Truven Health and GoodRx make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, timeliness, usefulness or completeness of any of the information contained in the products. Additionally, TRUVEN HEALTH MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE OPINIONS OR OTHER SERVICE OR DATA YOU MAY ACCESS, DOWNLOAD OR USE AS A RESULT OF USE OF THE THOMSON REUTERS HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS. ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE ARE HEREBY EXCLUDED. Truven Health does not assume any responsibility or risk for your use of the Truven Health products.