This medication both begins and increases the strength of uterine contractions by stimulating receptors on the uterine muscle wall. In addition, it also stimulates milk ejection from nipple.
This medication is given in conjunction with cervical ripening medications or after the cervix is ripened to increase and strengthen contractions.
After separation of the placenta, this medication may be indicated to control uterine bleeding as it causes contraction of the uterine wall decreasing blood flow to tissues.
Risk of rupturing the uterine wall is possible due to the strength of the muscle contractions this medication causes. Women with multiparity >5 (more than 5 pregnancies) or any previous uterine scarring are at higher risk due to weakened uterine walls.
This medication causes antidiuretic effects on the body and prevents the formation of urine. It is important to continuously monitor urine output while administering this medication.
This medication should never be given to any patient whose fetus is immature. This would be before 20 weeks of gestation or the determination of fetal lung immaturity via lab tests.
Giving this medication and inducing contractions before cervical ripening may cause fetal or maternal injuries.
Patients with an active genital herpes infection should never be administered this medication. These patients require cesarean delivery due to the high risk of vertical transmission of this TORCH infection.
Using the lowest dose of this medication prevents many of the side effects. As higher doses are used the strength of contractions are also increased which may cause placental insufficiency. It also increases the risk of water intoxication and uterine rupture.
This medication is destroyed by the gastrointestinal system and must be given IV or IM route. It has a relatively short half life that, when coupled with the potency, requires the use of an IV pump at all times when this medication is administered intravenously.
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