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an oxytocic used as the maleate salt especially to prevent or combat postpartum hemorrhage or atony.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


(meth-ill-er-goe-noe-veen) ,


(trade name)


Therapeutic: oxytocic
Pharmacologic: ergot alkaloids
Pregnancy Category: C


Prevention and treatment of postpartum or postabortion hemorrhage caused by uterine atony or subinvolution.


Directly stimulates uterine and vascular smooth muscle.

Therapeutic effects

Uterine contraction.


Absorption: Well absorbed following oral or IM administration.
Distribution: Unknown. Enters breast milk in small quantities.
Metabolism and Excretion: Probably metabolized by the liver.
Half-life: 30–120 min.

Time/action profile (effects on uterine contractions)

PO5–15 minunknown3 hr
IM2–5 minunknown3 hr
IVimmediateunknown45 min–3 hr


Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity; Obstetric: Should not be used to induce labor; Lactation: Do not breast feed during treatment and for 12 hours after the last doseConcurrent use of potent CYP3A4 inhibitors
Use Cautiously in: Hypertensive or eclamptic patients (more susceptible to hypertensive and arrhythmogenic side effects);History of or risk factors for coronary artery diseaseSevere hepatic or renal disease;Sepsis.Concurrent use of moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors
Exercise Extreme Caution in: Obstetric: Third stage of labor.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

Central nervous system

  • stroke (life-threatening)
  • dizziness
  • headache

Ear, Eye, Nose, Throat

  • tinnitus


  • dyspnea


  • hypertension (life-threatening)
  • arrhythmias
  • AV block
  • chest pain
  • palpitations


  • nausea (most frequent)
  • vomiting (most frequent)


  • cramps (most frequent)


  • diaphoresis


  • paresthesia


  • allergic reactions


Drug-Drug interaction

Excessive vasoconstriction may result when used with heavy cigarette smoking (nicotine ), other vasopressors, such as dopamine, or beta-blockers.Potent CYP3A4 inhibitors, including erythromycin, clarithromycin, troleandomycin, ritonavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, delavirdine, ketoconazole, itraconazole, or voriconazole may ↑ levels and ↑ risk of ischemia; concurrent use contraindicatedModerate CYP3A4 inhibitors including saquinavir, nefazodone, fluconazole, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, zileuton, or clotrimazole may ↑ levels; use with cautionCYP3A4 inducers including nevirapine and rifampin may ↓ levelsAnesthetics may ↓ its oxytocic propertiesMay ↓ the antianginal effects of nitrates Grapefruit juice may ↑ levels; use with caution


Oral (Adults) 200–400 mcg (0.2–0.4 mg) q 6–12 hr for 2–7 days.
Intramuscular Intravenous (Adults) 200 mcg (0.2 mg) q 2–4 hr for up to 5 doses.

Availability (generic available)

Tablets: 200 mcg (0.2 mg)
Injection: 200 mcg (0.2 mg)/mL

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Monitor BP, heart rate, and uterine response frequently during medication administration. Notify health care professional promptly if uterine relaxation becomes prolonged or if character of vaginal bleeding changes.
  • Assess for signs of ergotism (cold, numb fingers and toes, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, muscle pain, weakness).
  • Lab Test Considerations: If no response to methylergonovine, calcium levels may need to be assessed. Effectiveness of medication is ↓ with hypocalcemia.
    • May cause ↓ serum prolactin levels.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Acute pain (Side Effects)


  • Intravenous Administration
  • Intravenous: IV administration is used for emergencies only. Oral and IM routes are preferred.
  • Diluent: May be given undiluted or diluted in 5 mL of 0.9% NaCl and administered through Y site. Do not add to IV solutions. Do not mix in syringe with any other drug. Refrigerate; stable for storage at room temperature for 60 days; deteriorates with age. Use only solution that is clear and colorless and that contains no precipitate.Concentration: 0.2 mg/mL.
  • Rate: Administer at a rate of 0.2 mg over at least 1 min.
  • Y-Site Compatibility: heparin, hydrocortisone sodium succinate, potassium chloride, vitamin B complex with C

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take medication as directed; do not skip or double up on missed doses. If a dose is missed, omit it and return to regular dose schedule.
  • Advise patient that medication may cause menstrual-like cramps.
  • Caution patient to avoid smoking, because nicotine constricts blood vessels.
  • Instruct patient to notify health care professional if infection develops, as this may cause increased sensitivity to the medication.
  • Advise patient to notify health care professional of all Rx or OTC medications, vitamins, or herbal products being taken and to consult with health care professional before taking other medications.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Contractions that maintain uterine tone and prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
Drug Guide, © 2015 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
The group that received inhalation anesthetics had greater blood loss despite the fact that they had approximately twice the frequency of use of doses of methylergonovine than the group receiving IV anesthetics (Figure 2).
As ventricular fibrillation is a possible complication following the administration of intracoronary methylergonovine, tests outside the cardiac catheterization rooms are not recommended.
Moreover, it's essential to move on to something else if one dose of methylergonovine doesn't work, since it can't be given again for 2 hours, Dr.
Research Biochemicals supplied ergocomine, ergocristine, methylergonovine maleate, and methysergide maleate.
(1,2) Medications reported to reduce postpartum bleeding include oxytocin, misoprostol, ergonovine, methylergonovine, carboprost, and tranexamic acid.
Methylergonovine, or 15-methylprostaglandin [F.sub.2[alpha]], produces severe hypertension, tachycardia and increased pulmonary vascular resistance.
The researchers observed that the median ERL was greater in cases that involved administration of misoprostol, methylergonovine, or carboprost tromethamine vs.
The combination of oxytocin and methylergonovine was more effective in preventing postpartum hemorrhage than any single agent.
The IV oxytocin at the prescribed dose is running wide open, extra personnel are summoned to help, the first doses of methylergonovine are given, and the misoprostol tablets are stored in the nearby drawer as prescribed by the institution's protocol.
Both carboprost and methylergonovine are contraindicated in patients with cardiovascular and respiratory problems.