• Type: Uterotonic
  • Dosage Forms:
  • Routes of Administration: IM/IV
  • Common Trade Names: Pitocin

Adult Dosing

Postpartum hemorrhage

  • 10 international units (IU) can be injected intramuscularly OR[1]
  • 20 IU in 1 L of saline may be infused at a rate of 250 mL per hour
    • 500 mL can be infused over 10 minutes without complications.

Pediatric Dosing

Special Populations



  • Allergy to class/drug
  • Many contraindications when used to induce labor

Adverse Reactions


  • Half-life: 1-6min
  • Metabolism:
  • Excretion: Urine (small amounts)
  • Mechanism of Action: "Uterine stimulant, vasopressive, & antidiuretic effects; activates G-protein-coupled receptors that trigger increases in intracellular calcium levels in uterine myofibrils, which results in uterine contractions; increases local prostaglandin production, which further stimulates uterine contraction"[2]


See Also


  1. Soriano D et al. A prospective cohort study of oxytocin plus ergometrine compared with oxytocin alone for prevention of postpartum haemorrhage. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1996;103:1068–73.
  2. https://reference.medscape.com/drug/pitocin-oxytocin-343132#10