Oxytocin Pitocin

1. The goal of oxytocin administration is to stimulate uterine activity that is sufficient to produce cervical change and fetal descent while avoiding uterine hyperstimulation and fetal compromise.

2. Minimally effective uterine activity is 3 contractions per 10 minutes averaging greater than 25 mm Hg above baseline. A maximum of 5 contractions in a 10-minute period with resultant cervical dilatation is considered adequate.

3. Hyperstimulation is characterized by more than five contractions in 10 minutes, contractions lasting 2 minutes or more, or contractions of normal duration occurring within 1 minute of each other.

4. Oxytocin is administered when a patient is progressing slowly through the latent phase of labor or has a protraction or an arrest disorder of labor, or when a hypotonic uterine contraction pattern is identified.

5. A pelvic examination should be performed before initiation of oxytocin infusion.

6. Oxytocin is usually diluted 10 units in 1 liter of normal saline IVPB.

Labor Stimulation with Oxytocin (Pitocin)




Incremental Increase (mU/min)







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