The Question of Oxytocin Degradation
I would like to address an issue here that many suppliers would not be interested in talking about. I know some people have read that Oxytocin is usually refrigerated since the Syntocinon is often refrigerated.
According to drugs.com – Oxytocin should be refrigerated, but can last up to 30 days if stored in room temperature.
Lyophilised Oxytocin Acetate (Powder Form of Oxytocin) is stable at room temperature for 90 days,however it should be stored in a freezer below -8C for any extended period of time. After reconstituting Oxytocin Acetate should be refrigerated at temperatures not to exceed 36 F.
That said Oxytocin does degrade under heat, it does not mean it becomes ineffective. It just means it becomes less effective over time.
Oxytocin only degrades fast under heat conditions above room temperature. There are studies which show the degradation of aqueous Oxytocin over time over heat.
So Why Is There So Much Indication of Oxytocin Requiring Refrigeration?
There are a few reasons why the medical industry would be considered with Oxytocin stored outside of cold conditions. We have to understand that Oxytocin medically is not normally used for autism, but rather for:
- Inducing labor in humans
- Stimulate release of milk in veterinary medicine
Oxytocin antidote is usually administrated intravenously directly into the blood stream at extremely controlled dosages. For example to induce labor an IV infusion of up to 2milliunits per minute at 60 min intervals.
This is a huge concern if Oxytocin’s effectiveness in a crucial medical situation if the amount of Oxytocin infused into the blood stream – which as you probably know directly into the bloodstream is extremely potent for any chemical or drug.
Oxytocin is incredibly potent. In its powder form, it is clearly marked with fatal upon ingestion. The calculation is something like 200mg of pure oxytocin would actually kill you.
To give you an idea of how potent Oxytocin is, 2 milliunits in the above example is a thousandth of an international unit (IU).
This is why degradation is a concern. Even then Oxytocin can still be stored at room temperatures for 30 days.
The resulting degraded oxytocin peptides are harmless, especially when in such small doses and intranasally.
The next big reason is that a lot of countries that are poor for example Africa. Lie within the tropics, where temperatures above room temperature (32 Celsius) is often experienced and the hospitals actually do not have refrigeration where they could store oxytocin at high heat levels for months.
Compound this with the above where a loss in say 50% effectiveness, it ends up really screwing with the attending doctors prescribed dosage to prevent blood loss save your life in an emergency during childbirth.
So Does Oxytocin Still Work Intranasally Even if Degraded?
Yes. The answer is pretty simple. In the autism studies where Oxytocin generated additional empathy and social behaviour, only an extremely small amount of Oxytocin is used. Since there is still active Oxytocin in the liquid, one can assume that it will work regardless – as long as it’s within the ballpark of similar dosages.
Oxytocin also degrades in aqueous forms much faster and easier to succumb to heat degradation when dissolved in a solution. This is why we make the oxytocin bottles as per order, as the original oxytocin is kept entirely stable at zero-degree conditions, as it should be.
So you are probably thinking, well thanks, but what if the bottle was lying in heat for ages, wouldn’t the bottle be useless too?
The answer is probably not because the required oxytocin for empathy is so little that even extremely degraded oxytocin will still have effects.
There is also “some” anecdotal evidence that the smaller bottles offered by other companies have effects. Of course dosage for dosage effects are preferable.
Will You Consider Sending it in a Cold Box?
There is always the option of sending air courier using a cool box, but the box would cost more money. Whether this is affordable or doable for us in Hong Kong, will take some research. We do not think sending Oxytocin in cold boxes is necessary, but if enough people ask we may offer it as an option.
Do you think this is something you would like to be offered?
How a Refrigerator Can Help Save Women’s Lives
Towards Heat-stable Oxytocin Formulations: Analysis of Degradation Kinetics and Identification of Degradation Products
On the mechanism of degradation of oxytocin and its analogues in aqueous solution.
Oxytocin Safety Sheet
Disclaimer: All thoughts and advice expressed are the personal opinions and gatherings of the author and do not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice please consult a doctor.