Last reviewed by Parth Dalal on September 4th, 2018.
What is Oxytocin
Oxytocin is biologically classified as neuropeptide (hormone) which is secreted by pituitary gland which is located at the base of brain. It acts both as a hormone and as a brain neurotransmitter.
As per medication guide it is used for the purpose of uterus contraction in order to start labor pain or increase the labor pain and secondly to control bleeding after childbirth. Oxytocin is also used in women with threatened or incomplete miscarriage for induced utreus contraction.
Oxytocin is associated with mating, parental and social behaviors. Oxytocin can be administered by different route of administration that include oral, I.V , I.M and topical (intranassal spray). The nasal spray is sold under the name of Syntocinon.
Is oxytocin an hormone or neurotransmitter
Oxytocin is a hormone that is secreted by the pituitary gland which is located at the base of brain (hypothalamus). In chemistry, oxytocin is classified as a nanopeptide( an peptide chain containing long chain of amino acids), while it is biologically classified as a neuropeptide. But the best thing about oxytocin is that is acts as both hormone and neurotransmitter.
The secreted oxytocin by the pituitary gland acts to regulate the female reproductive system by
- inducing uterus contraction helping in child birth
- Easy Milk let down Breast feeding
What is Oxytocin nasal spray and its ingredients
Oxytocin intranasal spray is topical route of administration for hormone oxytocin which is causes contractions of the myo epithelial tissue surrounding the alveoli of the breats . This contraction begins within a minute of its use and persists for about 20 minutes.
As contraction begins in the breasts it secrets milk from the mammary glands for breast feeding. The ingredients of oxytocin nasal spray itself contains oxytocin hormone as active pharmaceutical ingredient and other excipients which are used to make the formulation compatible to use.
Oxytocin nasal spray dosage
The dose should be strictly used as directed by your doctor and consult your doctor first for its use during pregnancy. The original formulation “Syntocion” was 40 units/ml.
Direction of oxytocin nasal spray use
The nasal spray is developed due to incompatibility with its absorption of oxytocin by the body. Begin with 1 or 2 sprays in nostril before breast feeding or pumping. The dose is decided upon the requirement and can be used again after few minutes in each nostrils as need during breastfeeding or pumping.
For the convenience if spray is not good for you try as drops in nose . 1 drop is equal to 1 spray.
Side effects of oxytocin nasal spray
Side effects can range from minor to major and some need right away medical attention . Patients may experience
- Hypersensitive uterine reaction
- hypertonic uterine contraction
- postpartum hemorrhage
- uterine rupture
- cardiovascular effects include arrhythmias ,premature ventricular contraction
- associated with anaphylatic reactions
- neonatal jaundice
- nausea and vomiting
seek medical attention if following reactions are observed
- allergic reactions like skin rash
- swelling of face lips,etc
- breathing problems
- excessive and continuous vaginal bleeding
- irregular heart beat
- high blood pressure
- weight gain
Use of oxytocin nasal spray while breastfeeding
It has been found that when oxytocin nasal spray used 2-3 minutes before feeding their infant they find it easy for milk let down this means that with an effective use of oxytocin nasal spray it increased the flow of milk in mothers who wished to feed their babies.
However, when they tried to feed their babies without using oxytocin nasal spray mothers found it difficult to feed and they need to work hard to feed their babies by massaging their breast before feeding.
Is oxytocin nasal spray useful for inducing labor
Oxytocin as an hormone functions as an labor inducer which initially causes contraction of uterus or speed up the uterus contraction or labor. The use of oxytocin nasal spray evokes its action after 30 minutes of its use .
It either starts the labor uterus contraction or if labor is actually started but to not that extend for delivery of baby it increase the speed of uterus contraction helps in natural delivery of baby.
Can use oxytocin nasal spray in migraine
Yes, it is found that it is helpful in relieving from the chronic pain of migraine which was studied in an study conducted and was presented in year 2013 at International Headache Congress (IHC) , included 40 patiensts studies having chronic migraine who received the dose of oxytocin and were asked to rate their pain and other characteristics on a pain scale( indicating severe, moderate, mild, or none).
At from 2-4 hours , after the dose of oxytocin about 64% of the patients have reported a reduction in their pain by two categories.So it is useful in migraine pain management.
Effect of oxytocin on emotions
Irrespective of oxytocin regulating female reproductive system it also has affects emotional, cognitive, and social behaviors.
The pro-social behaviors and emotional responses contributes to:
- Psychological stability
- reduces stress and anxiety
- Increase in sexual behavior
Difference between pitocin and oxytocin
- It is naturally occurring hormone in your body.
- It is generic for oxytocin hormone
- Induces emotional behavior increase trust, sexual expression.
- It is extracted hormone.
- It is synthetic chemically equivalent to oxytocin.
- It is brand name for chemically equivalent to oxytocin hormone.
- It is significantly used to induce labor after past your delivery date.
- It also used to control bleeding or expel the placenta after delivery.
- It is also used to Let Milk Down.
- Shrink the uterus after a miscarriage.
- It increases a mother chances of casearean
Is oxytocin nasal spray causes addiction
No, it does not causes addiction as it is used at time of pregnancy and breast feeding which is an temporary phase not a permanent phase of life cycle. But the tendency of getting addict with any thing depends and vary from patient to patient with gender, sex and other conditions.
Can I buy oxytocin over the counter or online
It is not available over the counter and it has to be strictly prescribed by the doctor to the patient as its other side effects and connection with autism is unknown. But oxytocin nasal spray can be bought online form places like khemcrop and other online medicine selling portals.
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