Public Safety Training Facility

Monroe Community College
Rochester, New York

MCC Paramedic Program


Generic Name: ADH (Anti-Diuretic Hormone)

Trade Name: Vasopressin®

FDA Category: Sythetic Pituitary Hormone

FDA Pregnancy class: B

Half life: 20 minutes with normal metabolism

Excretion: Hepatic and renal

Uses: Vasopressin has historically been used in smaller doses for GI manipulation for radiologic examination, to slow or stop GI bleeding and in Diabetes Insipidus. In each of these cases the usual administration is SQ or IM. The latest indication is for cardiac arrest d/t VT or Vf.

Action: Vasopressin, also known as Anti-Diuretic Hormone, works by stimulating smooth muscles of the gut and vasculature to contract. In addition to this, the kidneys are less able to remove water. The use in cardiac arrest is that of a powerful vasoconstrictor. This vasoconstriction has been shown to increase the effectiveness of CPR and increase myocardial responsiveness to standard resuscitative measures. Vasopressin has no cardiac stimulatory properties, thus it may be preferable over epinephrine in cases of pulseless ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia where excessive cardiac stimulation is the rule.

How Packaged: Vasopressin Injection, USP, is a sterile & aqueous solution of synthetic vasopressin (8-L-arginine vasopressin) of the posterior pituitary gland for intravenous (cardiac arrest only), intramuscular or subcutaneous use. It is substantially free from the oxytocic principle and is standardized to contain 20 pressor units/mL. Each mL contains: Vasopressin 20 units, Sodium Chloride 9 mg, Chlorobutanol 0.5% (as a preservative), Water for Injection q.s. pH (range 2.5 - 4.5) adjusted with Acetic Acid.

It has the following molecular formula: C46H65N15O12S2

Dose: For cardiac arrest the dose is 40 units (2 mls) IV push. IM and SQ routes should not be used. At this time it is not known if the ET route provides adequate bioavailability and should not be used. The dose could be repeated again in 30 minutes if needed.

Learn more about Vasopressin

Back Back to New Medications

Home Return to Paramedic Home Page

URL: /depts/pstc/backup/paravaso.htm

Author: Peter Bonadonna, EMT-P

Updated: Nov. 01, 2000