What Is Syntocinon?

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You must be pretty familiar with the phrase “love is in the air” but ever heard that love is in the hormone? There is every good reason to be nonplussed until you come to know that Oxytoxin, a hormone released in women’s body during childbirth is known as the “love hormone”. The hormone is believed to have direct linkage with different types of human emotions like love, bonding and anxiety. Next time you see the picture of Madonna with a suckling baby Jesus in divine glory, know for sure that Oxytoxin is at play, strengthening the bond of love between a newborn and a nursing mother. In fact, the Oxytoxin hormone discharged from the pituitary glands of the brain plays a host of important roles in facilitating childbirth. Besides contracting the uterus muscles during childbirth, Oxytoxin fortifies child-mother bonding, stimulates the nipples and enable mothers to lactate smoothly post childbirth. Commensurate with the Greek meaning “quick birth” the love hormones play a most vital role during childbirth by contracting the uterus and pushing the baby out.




What is Syntocinon®?

Pre and post natal risks have reduced considerably today with a wide assortment of modern facilities and medicines available at beck and call. Syntocinon®, a synthetic version of the natural Oxytoxin hormone could now be easily administered through intravenous infusion (drip). This clear, colourless, sterile liquid also contains chlorobutanol, sodium acetate tri-hydrate,  acetic acid, ethanol, and water. Syntocinon® is induces the much needed rhythmic contraction of the womb muscles at the time of delivery. It is administered in regulated amount through into the patient’s bloodstream during caesarean operation. Women facing trouble in breastfeeding are also benefitted by Syntocinon®. The medicine contracts the delicate myoepithelial cells of the mammary glands and fosters lactation. Syntocinon® is often administered post childbirth in pushing out the placenta from the body thus preventing heavy blood loss. 




When is Syntocinon® not administered?

Albeit benefits are galore, Syntocinon® has got its fair share of side effects. The list of dos & don’ts are to be noted very carefully. Use of Syntocinon® is opposed when:

  • The patient’s body is antagonistic to Oxytocin or any other chemical components of the drug. 
  • Doctor feels that the baby lacks of oxygen
  • The womb is already contracting strongly
  • The baby is incorrectly positioned in the birth canal
  • The mother’s womb is distended with fluid and at the brink of rapture
  • Breaking of the placenta from womb prior to childbirth
  • The drug Prostaglandin has been administered to the patient within the last six hours for otherwise, the effect of both medicines are unnecessarily aggravated leading to high risk
  • Mother has been detected with anomalies in blood circulation or heart.




What are the common side-effects of Syntocinon®?

As a matter of fact, no drug is free from side effects, Syntocinon® being no exception. Common side effects include:

  • Heartbeat getting faster or slower
  • Nagging Headache
  • Rundown condition & general feeling of sickness

Some not- so-common side effects of Syntocinon® are:

  •  Rashes on skin
  • Erratic Heartbeat
  • Allergy and breathing discomfort with nauseating feeling

This synthetic hormone could affect the mother adversely and some complaints could include:

  • Unnecessarily strong contractions. Excessive contraction is a red flag for the docs. It could lower salt level of the baby and create shortage of oxygen. If allowed to prolong, it may even lead to infant mortality.
  • Irregularities in heartbeat
  • Plummeting of salt level in blood
  • Spasm of the womb muscles
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Pain in the chest




What medicines interfere with Syntocinon®?

Handing over the daily medicine consumption chart to the doctor should top the “To Do” list right at the onset of the treatment. 

  • Medicines that cause erratic heartbeat as Syntocinon® may rapidly increase a patient’s heartbeat working in sync with the medicine.
  • Anesthetics such as cyclopropane, desflurane, sevoflurane or  halothanethat are inhaled to induce sleep could debilitate the contraction or the heartbeat may become irregular.
  • Local anesthetics or pain relievers (epidural used for pain relief during labour) generally narrow the blood vessels. Syntocinon may add on to this leading to a sudden increase in blood pressure.
  • Prostagladins are recommended to start labour. It should not ideally be use in conjunction with Syntocinon® as the effect of both the drugs is intensified when used together.
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