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Ergometrine with oxytocin parenteral

Updated 2 Feb 2023 | Oxytocics


Injection containing ergometrine and oxytocin

Drugs List

  • ergometrine 500microgram/1ml and oxytocin 5unit/1ml injection
  • SYNTOMETRINE 500microgram+5unit/1ml injection
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Labour - management during third stage
    Post partum haemorrhage



    Active management of the third stage of labour
    Intramuscular injection of 1 ml after delivery of the anterior shoulder, or at the latest, immediately after delivery of the child. Expulsion of the placenta, which is usually separated by the first strong uterine contraction, should be assisted by gentle suprapubic pressure and controlled cord traction.

    Prevention and treatment of post partum haemorrhage
    Intramuscular injection of 1 ml following expulsion of the placenta, or when bleeding occurs.

    Third stage of labour and postpartum haemorrhage
    A dose of 0.5 to 1 ml can given by slow intravenous injection; this route of administration is generally not recommended.

    Additional Dosage Information

    In breech presentations or other abnormal presentations, ergometrine with oxytocin should be given only after delivery.

    In multiple births, it should be given only after delivery of the last child.


    Administration by intramuscular injection is the recommended route.

    Intravenous administration by slow injection is possible, but should be limited to use only in cases of severe haemorrhage due to uterine atony.


    Long QT syndrome
    Severe cardiac disorder
    Severe hepatic impairment
    Severe hypertension
    Severe renal impairment
    Torsade de pointes
    Vascular disorder

    Precautions and Warnings

    Family history of long QT syndrome
    Cardiac disorder
    Electrolyte imbalance
    Hepatic impairment
    History of torsade de pointes
    Renal impairment

    Correct electrolyte disorders before treatment
    Consider monitoring ECG in patients at risk of QT prolongation
    Monitor serum electrolytes
    Advise patient grapefruit products may increase plasma level

    In postpartum haemorrhage, if bleeding is not arrested by ergometrine and oxytocin injection, exclude the presence of retained placental fragment, soft tissue injury such as cervical or vaginal laceration or of clotting defects before giving a further dose.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Ergometrine with oxytocin is contraindicated in pregnancy.

    Ergometrine and oxytocin is used for the management of the third stage of labour and postpartum haemorrhage and cause tonic uterine contractions. Ergometrine and oxytocin injection is contraindicated during pregnancy because of the risk of foetal hypoxia and death caused by its uterine effect.

    Accidental use during the 1st trimester does not automatically require termination of the pregnancy. Detailed ultrasound scanning can exclude morphologic developmental disorders.

    The use of all medication in pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible; particularly in the first trimester. Non-drug treatments should also be considered. When essential, a medication with the best safety record over time should be chosen, employing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Polypharmacy should be avoided. Teratogens taken in the pre-embryonic period, often quoted as lasting until 14 to 17 days post-conception, are believed to have an all-or-nothing effect. Where drugs have a short half-life, and when the date of conception is certain, this may allow women to be reassured where drug exposure has occurred within this time frame. Further advice may be available from the UK National Teratology Information Service (NTIS) and through ToxBase, available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).


    Ergometrine with oxytocin is contraindicated in breastfeeding.

    Ergometrine with oxytocin injection is indicated only for the management of the third stage of labour and for postpartum haemorrhage. There is no indication for its use during breastfeeding.

    Neonates, infants born prematurely, those with low birth weight, those with an unstable gastrointestinal function or who have serious illnesses may require special consideration. For any infant, if a drug is prescribed to the nursing mother, it should be at the lowest practical dose and for the shortest time. When drug administration is unavoidable and breastfeeding is to continue, minimisation of exposure of the infant to the drug may sometimes be achieved by timing the maternal doses to just after a feeding episode. Infants exposed to drugs via breast milk should be monitored for unusual signs or symptoms. Interactions between the drug received by the infant from the mother's milk and medication prescribed for the infant should also be considered, for example, when the drug given to the infant may prevent metabolism of the drug received via breast milk.
    Specialist advice is available from the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service at

    Side Effects

    Abdominal pain
    Anaphylactoid-like reaction
    Cardiac arrhythmias
    Chest pain
    Coronary vasospasm
    Hypertension (transient)
    Myocardial infarction


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: April 2016

    Reference Sources

    Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment, 2nd edition (2007) ed. Schaefer, C., Peters, P. and Miller, R. Elsevier, London.

    Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 9th edition (2011) ed. Briggs, G., Freeman, R. and Yaffe, S. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.

    Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary. 71st ed. London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press; 2016.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Syntometrine Ampoules. Alliance Pharmaceuticals. Revised January 2016.

    The Welsh Medicines Information Centre (WMIC) - Porphyria Information Service.
    Available at:
    Last revised: May 2015
    Last accessed: 15 April 2016

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