Inhaled Oxytocin Project

The Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences’ Inhaled Oxytocin Project is developing a a novel aerosol delivery system for oxytocin, which is used to manage complications from excessive bleeding during and after childbirth. In its current form, oxytocin can only be administered by injection by trained personnel, and it must be refrigerated. In developing countries, where these conditions are not often readily met, 100,000 women each year die from postpartum haemorrhage. The new oxytocin delivery system will enable the life-saving drug to be inhaled from simple, disposable devices immediately as needs arise, and be safely administered by health workers, birth attendants, and mothers themselves. The Monash team has written that “access to oxytocin for every woman at every birth could save at least 1.4 million lives in the next decade”. The Foundation provided general support to this work under its earlier focus on maternal health in geographies with the lowest maternal and newborn health outcomes.