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Perioperative stress relief: a new role for the love hormone???

Sukhminder Jit Singh Bajwa, Madhuri S Kurdi



The hormone oxytocin(OXT) was originally known to stimulate labour and maternal milk ejection. It is also known to produce anti-stress like effects, anxiolytic effects, improvement in social interaction, reduction in blood pressure and cortisol levels and promotion of growth and healing. It is in fact popularly called as the ‘love hormone’, or the ‘hug hormone’ or the ‘cuddle hormone’. It is administered commonly intravenously in labor rooms and maternity suites to stimulate uterine contractions and to promote milk secretion. Intranasal OXT is used to improve social behavior in children with autism. We hypothesized that this anti-stress property of OXT can be put to use in the operation theatre to reduce perioperative stress in the surgical patient and to improve patient –doctor / operation theatre staff social interaction. We did an electronic and hand search of literature keeping this hypothesis in mind. We conclude that there is certainly a growing interest in the clinical applications and research potential of intranasal OXT. Intranasal OXT has the potential to become a game-changer in perioperative medicine.

Keywords: Intranasal administration, perioperative period, perioperative medicine, oxytocin, oxytocin receptors, stress

Cite this Article

Sukhminder Jit Singh Bajwa, Madhuri S. Kurdi. Perioperative Stress Relief: a New Role for the Love Hormone? Research & Reviews: A Journal of Drug Design & Discovery. 2020; 7(2): 23–27p.


Intranasal administration; oxytocin; oxytocin receptors; perioperative period; perioperative medicine; stress

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