Trying To Avoid Pitocin? There Are Alternatives

Towards the end of pregnancy, many women feel less than comfortable with their situation. Although there's undoubtedly some excitement over the impending introduction to their brand-new child, for which they've waited so long, there's also sometimes a feeling of wanting things to be over. There are many women who wish to be induced and many who want to avoid it if at all possible. And for the former group, there are some who are all about that Pitocin and those who don't want it to come anywhere near them. If you fall into the latter camp, you should know the alternative drugs to Pitocin just in case you end up needing to be induced.

In an interview with Fit Pregnancy, labor and delivery nurse Jeanne Faulkner explained that Pitocin is the synthetic version of oxytocin, the naturally occurring hormone that makes your uterus contract during labor. So why might some women want to steer clear? Well, in 2013, researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City published a study that found that pitocin may cause "adverse effects" including a spike in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) admissions. Although doctors aren't quite willing to discourage its use, it's clear that more analysis is needed to better understand how Pitocin can affect the baby, not just the mother. If you're strongly anti-Pitocin, talk to your physician and see if these alternative drugs are an option for you.




Misoprostol, or Cytotec, is used to induce labor one of two ways. According to WebMD, misoprostol can either be taken orally as a pill or inserted into the vagina. According to La Leche League International, Misoprostol is more effective at softening the cervix than some other induction medications. However, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved Misoprostol for use in labor due to potentially fatal side effects. So if you are looking to use this as an alternative, you would be taking a big risk.




Dinoprostone works similarly to Cervidil and Prepidil. According to The Bump, Cervidil is a vaginal insert, similar to a tampon. Prepidil gel is, obviously, a gel that's applied to the cervix, according to Healthline. Dinoprostone is more expensive than Misoprostol, so for some women it's a less-desirable option.