Oxytocin

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    21st Feb, 2019

Context

The central government moved Supreme Court against the Delhi high court order which quashed the ban on sale of Oxytocin by private manufacturers and retail chemists.

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  • Last year government has banned oxytocin’s private manufacture and sale stating its indiscriminate use in milch cattle has affected the health of cattle and humans as well.
  • The Delhi high court recently had quashed the Centre’s December 14, 2018 notification, which had banned its sale by private manufacturers and retail chemists, saying the sale was allowed.
  • Oxytocin has been moved to the H1 category, which means retailers must maintain record of sales.
  • It also figures in the National List of Essential Medicines.

Why was it banned?

  • The government’s ban order referred to a 2016 Himachal Pradesh High Court judgment, which said daily oxytocin injections made cattle barren and reduced their lifespans.
  • In addition, drinking milk from oxytocin-treated cattle led to male impotence, early puberty among women and cancers.

What is Oxytocin and what are its uses?

  • Oxytocin is naturally secreted by the pituitary glands of mammals during sex, childbirth, lactation or social bonding, and is sometimes called “love hormone”.
  • It is used as a drug during childbirth because it can contract the uterus and induce delivery, control bleeding, and promote the release of breast milk.
  • Oxytocin can be administered to humans as an injection or a nasal solution.
  • It is chemically synthesised and sold by pharmaceutical companies across the world.

Why is oxytocin important for India?

  • Around 45,000 women die due to causes related to childbirth each year.
  • Synthetic version of a human hormone is used to induce labour in pregnant women and to stem postpartum bleeding.
  • WHO recommends it as the drug of choice in postpartum haemorrhage.

    Scheduled Drugs:  Drugs and Cosmetics Act differentiates prescription drugs, narcotic and psychotropic substances, over the counter drugs and medical devices, with a view to promote safety in public health.This scheduling system helps law makers, law enforcers, and healthcare professionals identify the nature of existing as well as new drugs.

    Schedule H Drugs: Only the required amount of medications mentioned in the prescription can be dispensed. These drugs can be supplied only to the licensed parties. The drug label must exhibit the text “Rx” and Schedule H drug warning. To be sold by retails on the prescription of a registered medical practioner only.

    Schedule H1 Drugs: These include 3rd & 4th generation antibiotics, anti-tuberculosis drugs and certain habit-forming drugs like psychotropic drugs.

    Schedule X drugs: That stipulates prescription in duplicate, separate license requirement and meticulous storage and dispensing records)

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