Oxytocin—often called the love hormone—is quite popular in women’s health circles. It’s famous for causing intense feelings of love and attachment following orgasm and birth. But that’s not all oxytocin is good for. Is oxytocin an opioid alternative?
Some providers prescribe oxytocin as an alternative to opioids since it is an effective way to manage pain without the risk of addiction. Let’s learn more about oxytocin and pain relief.
We mentioned that oxytocin is a powerful hormone, but what exactly is a hormone? A hormone is a substance that sends a message in your body to cause a specific result. Oxytocin’s messages are often related to social bonding, social attachment, and childbirth.
When oxytocin is released in the body, much of it heads to the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. The brain and spinal cord are where we process the signals that we interpret as pain. But oxytocin receptors are present in these locations too. When oxytocin binds to its receptors, it can help reduce pain signals. But that’s not all!
Not only can oxytocin bind to its own oxytocin receptors. It can also bond to opioid receptors and cannabinoid receptors, which leads to the release of natural opioids in the body. Natural opioids, like their drug counterparts, relieve pain.
The level of pain relief you may experience from oxytocin differs from person to person, but it may be worth a try, especially in situations where opioids aren’t preferred due to the risk of addiction.
The knowledgeable pharmacists at The Compounding Center prepare two different formulations of customized oxytocin: sublingual tablets (the kind that go under your tongue) and oxytocin nasal sprays. Both are easy, convenient, easily-absorbed, and affordable.