for people ages 18-65 (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
at La Jolla, California
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Laura Case
Headshot of Laura Case
Laura Case



Research shows that slow gentle skin stroking can activate special sensory nerves in the skin that elicit relaxing effects on the body and mind, similar to the effects of the hormone oxytocin. Studies also suggest that gentle stroking may even release oxytocin in the skin. However, we do not know what oxytocin does in the skin and how it affects nerves that send pleasant touch or pain signals to the brain. The proposed study will determine how individuals perceive gentle stroking and experimental pain before and after a skin injection of oxytocin compared to a placebo injection.

Official Title

Effect of Peripheral Oxytocin on Touch Pleasantness and Pain


Healthy Adults, Oxytocin, Pitocin, Order 1, Order 2


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-65

  1. Between the ages of 18 and 65 years old
  2. Fluent in English
  3. Healthy

You CAN'T join if...

  1. Sensory or motor nerve deficit
  2. Acute or chronic pain
  3. Major medical conditions such as kidney, liver, cardiovascular (hypertension, preexisting cardiac arrhythmia), autonomic, pulmonary, or neurological problems (e.g., seizure disorder) or a chronic systemic disease (e.g., diabetes).
  4. Any disease, diagnosis, or condition (medical or surgical) that, in the opinion of the Principal Investigator, would place the subject at increased risk (active gynecologic disease in which increased tone would be detrimental e.g., uterine fibroids with ongoing bleeding), compromise the subject's compliance with study procedures, or compromise the quality of the data
  5. Unstable psychiatric conditions
  6. Needle phobia or history of fainting

    10. Current use of opiate medication(s) 11. Hypersensitivity, allergy, or significant reaction to any ingredient of Pitocin® 12. Currently pregnant or pregnant within the last two years 13. Currently nursing or lactating 14. Current or history of ventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation or prolonged QT


    15. Past or current history of hyponatremia or at risk for hyponatremia 16. Current use of thiazide diuretics, loop diuretics, combination diuretics, lithium,

    carbamazepine, enalapril, Ramipril, celecoxib, temazepam, gliclazide, glimepiride, glibenclamide, glipizide, omeprazole, pantoprazole, desmopressin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, monoamine oxidase inhibitora, or the recreational drug ecstasy

    17. Latex allergy


    La Jolla California 92115 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Laura Case
    Assistant Adjunct Professor, Anesthesiology, Vc-health Sciences-schools. Authored (or co-authored) 23 research publications


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Phase 2
Study Type
Expecting 20 study participants
Last Updated