Which medications in the drug class Posterior Pituitary Hormones are used in the treatment of Lower Gastrointestinal Bleeding?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Burt Cagir, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Posterior Pituitary Hormones

Agents with vasopressor and antidiuretic hormone (ADH) activity may reduce lower gastrointestinal bleeding.

Vasopressin (Pitressin Injection)

Vasopressin is a pituitary hormone that causes severe vasoconstriction in the splanchnic bed. This agent has vasopressor and ADH activity: Vasopressin increases water resorption at the distal renal tubular epithelium (ADH effect) and promotes smooth muscle contraction throughout the vascular bed of the renal tubular epithelium (vasopressor effects). However, vasoconstriction also increases in the splanchnic, portal, coronary, cerebral, peripheral, pulmonary, and intrahepatic vessels.

Vasopressin decreases the portal pressure in portal hypertension. A notable undesirable effect is coronary artery constriction that may dispose patients with coronary artery disease to cardiac ischemia. This can be prevented with concurrent use of nitrates.

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