Birth Definitions

Pitocin Definition


Pitocin is a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin, which is produced naturally by the pituitary gland. Pitocin is used to induce labor, as well as to control bleeding after childbirth. It is also sometimes used to stimulate contractions during pregnancy in order to help prevent premature labor.

Pitocin is typically given intravenously, and the dosage is adjusted based on the response of the patient. Common side effects of Pitocin include nausea, vomiting, headaches, and dizziness. More serious side effects can include uterine rupture, water intoxication, and seizures.

Pitocin is generally considered safe when used as directed by a medical professional. However, as with any medication, there are potential risks and side effects that should be considered before its use.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Its advantages include its low cost and the fact that it is typically effective at inducing labor or controlling bleeding. Its disadvantages include the potential for serious side effects, as well as the fact that it can be associated with a number of discomforts, such as nausea and headaches.


It is usually confused with the hormone Oxytocin, which is produced naturally by the pituitary gland. However, they are two different hormones with different purposes. Pitocin is a man-made form of the hormone oxytocin while Oxytocin is the hormone that is naturally produced by our body.

This image shows how often the term ‘Pitocin’ is used in relation to other, similar birth terms:

Other Related Terms

Some terms closely associated with Pitocin include:

  • Oxytocin
  • Labor
  • Childbirth
  • Pregnancy

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