. Allergopedia

Dictionary of Allergies .. Oxytocin

Oxytocin is normally released by the pituitary gland in the brain towards the end of pregnancy to stimulate the smooth muscle of the uterus . The oxytocin causes muscle contractions of the uterus  during labour so that the baby can be pushed out.

Synthetic oxytocin is used to induce labour for medical reasons, or if labour has not started naturally. The dose of the medicine is adjusted until the contractions produced are in a similar pattern to that of normal labour.

Synthetic oxytocin can also be used to stimulate labour that has started naturally, but is considered too weak to push out the baby. In this case the medicine strengthens the contractions of the uterus.

Anaphylactoid reaction to Syntocinon is rare, but has been described in the literature. The reactions described include patchy erythema, hypotension, bronchospasm and oxygen desaturation, but pulseless electrical activity following Syntocinon has not been reported. Pant D, et al (2009)  presented the case of a 34-year-old primigravida with essential hypertension, gestational diabetes and hypothyroidism with a twin pregnancy following in vitro fertilization. During elective caesarean delivery she developed a severe anaphylactic reaction to Syntocinon leading to pulseless electrical activity[2].

1. Slater RM, Bowles BJ, Pumphrey RS. Anaphylactoid reaction to oxytocin in pregnancy. Anaesthesia. 1985 Jul;40(7):655-6.

2. Pant D, Vohra VK, Pandey SS, Sood J. Pulseless electrical activity during caesarean delivery under spinal anaesthesia: a case report of severe anaphylactic reaction to Syntocinon. Int J Obstet Anesth. 2009 Jan;18(1):85-8.

Γκέλης Ν.Δ. - Λεξικό Αλλεργίας - Εκδόσεις ΒΕΛΛΕΡOΦΟΝΤΗΣ - Κόρινθος 2013

Gelis Ν.D. - Dictionary of Allergies - VELLEROFONTIS Publications - Corinth 2013