Oxytocin

A synthetic polypeptide hormone that stimulates uterine contraction:

■ Acts promptly when given intravenously

■ Should not be employed for more than a few hours

Complications

■ Potent antidiuretic effects of oxytocin (oxytocin is related structurally and functionally to vasopressin or antidiuretic hormone) can cause water intoxication, which can lead to convulsions, coma, and death.

■ Risk of uterine tetanic contractions (overstimulation)

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