Oxytocin (Into the nose)


Oxytocin (ox-i-TOE-sin)

Helps stimulate the breasts to release milk in women who are breastfeeding.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to oxytocin, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine


  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Use this medicine 2 to 3 minutes before you breastfeed or use a breast pump.
  • Before using the medicine, gently blow your nose to clear the nostrils.
  • It is best to use this medicine while you are sitting up rather than lying down. Hold the bottle upright when you use the spray.
  • Another way to use the medicine is to turn the bottle upside down and gently squeeze it until the medicine comes out in drops. Tilt your head back while dropping the medicine into your nostril.
  • Never share your medicine with anyone.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • After using the nasal spray, wipe the tip of the bottle with a clean tissue and put the cap back on.
  • Keep the bottle tightly closed when not using it. Store at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Keep all medicine away from children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • This medicine is to be used only during the first week of breastfeeding.
  • Oxytocin will not make your breasts produce more milk, but will help stimulate the "let-down reflex," which releases the milk from the breasts. Call your doctor if you think the medicine is not causing your breasts to release milk.
  • This medicine may cause your breasts to leak milk while you are not nursing. You may wear absorbent nursing pads to keep the milk from staining your clothing. These pads are available at grocery and drug stores.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
  • Unexplained or heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Pain or cramps in your pelvic area

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Runny, stuffy, or irritated nose

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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