What should I know about oxytocin before taking it?

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Oxytocin is a medication that is not right for everyone. Oxytocin should only be given in a clinical setting with healthcare professionals available to administer the drug and monitor its effects. There is a possibility of serious side effects as well as complications.

The following conditions may complicate your use of oxytocin: allergies, especially to oxytocin; cervical cancer (past or present); cervical or uterine surgery; eclampsia; fetal or umbilical cord issues such as a breech or placenta previa; herpes; more than seven past pregnancies; past C-section (caesarean section); premature labor; and prolapsed uterus.

Oxytocin carries a risk of drug interaction, complications, and side effects. Regular consumption of alcohol or caffeinated drinks may alter the effects of oxytocin. Use of tobacco and illegal drugs may also change its effects. Some medications may interact with oxytocin, which may make it less effective or cause serious side effects. To guard against drug interactions, you must tell your doctor about any and all medications and supplements that you are taking before you are treated with oxytocin.

There is a risk of complications from the drug. In rare cases, oxytocin has stimulated the uterus to contract too strongly, which has caused it to tear. Especially strong contractions may also limit blood and oxygen supply to the baby. Oxytocin can also put a newborn at risk for eye problems like hemorrhaging of the retina or for jaundice.

Talking to your doctor is the best way to decide if oxytocin is right for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.