Carbetocin is a long-acting synthetic oxytocin analog. Although a 100 mcg dose is currently recommended, there is still some question as to the ideal dose. Dosing as low as 20 mcg may possibly be equally effective.
Carbetocin is currently only recommended for use during elective cesarean delivery, obviating the need for a post-operative oxytocin infusion currently practiced in many countries. In some countries it is also used after vaginal delivery.
It is at least as efficacious as intravenous oxytocin, and may possibly be superior at reducing postpartum haemorrhage.
Due to it's comparatively high cost compared with oxytocin however, the economic benefit of avoiding post-operative oxytocin infusions has not been demonstrated.
In the scenario of emergency cesarean section after labor augmentation with oxytocin, a much larger dose is likely required and carbetocin cannot be recommended.
One study has suggested a post-operative analgesic benefit of carbetocin vs oxytocin, although the evidence base for this is far from conclusive.summary