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Vol 19, No 3 (2022)
Review paper
Published online: 2021-12-27
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May application of oxytocin be relevant in the therapy of perinatal mental disorders?

Miłosz Gołyszny1, Magdalena Durańska2, Oliwia Korzonek2, Michał Zieliński1, Ewa Obuchowicz1
Psychiatria 2022;19(3):214-226.


The perinatal period is a time, when mental diseases occur more frequently, than in other stages of life. Treatment of postpartum depression, psychosis, anxiety is a very hard task. Many psychotropic drugs display a toxic potential during the perinatal period. Hence, it seems that, searching for an alternative pharmacotherapy is relevant. Oxytocin is a substance, that may be successfully used in gynecological treatment. However, its potential is definitely greater. Studies from recent years indicated, that oxytocin is involved in complex pathomechanism of affective disorders. Latest outcomes indicate, that intranasal administration of oxytocin is effective in the treatment of anxiety- and depressive behaviors. The aim of the study is based on the question: Is oxytocin relevant for mental disorders in perinatal period therapy? This question was posed in order to gain psychiatric knowledge about perinatal period’s mental problems and indicates putative novel therapeutic solutions. The research team has performed a review of the studies, searching well-known online scientific databases, including PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus and MedLine. Our findings shed light on oxytocin’s significance in a potential new therapy of perinatal mental disorders. Further studies should be focused on intranasal oxytocin administration and its effectivity in the treatment of mentioned diseases, adverse effects, pharmacovigilance, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Still, scarce data from clinical studies do not allow the implementation of oxytocin in treatment of perinatal affective disturbances, despite of rationale psychobiological and pharmacological prerequisites. Hence, it is necessary to investigate the relation: oxytocin intervention — perinatal affective disorders.

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