Common Brand Name(s): Cytotec
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Do not take this medication if you think that you may be pregnant. It may cause abortion, premature birth, or birth defects. In rare cases, serious complications (e.g., uterine rupture) have occurred when misoprostol was used to start labor or when used in combination with another drug to cause abortion after the eighth week of pregnancy. These complications have resulted in harm to the unborn baby and mother.
Avoid pregnancy while taking misoprostol and for at least one month or one completed menstrual cycle after you have stopped treatment. If you become pregnant while taking misoprostol, contact your doctor right away.
If you are pregnant, do not take this medication to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers due to aspirin or other related drugs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs-NSAIDs such as ibuprofen). Also, if you are of childbearing age, do not use this drug to reduce the risk of ulcers from NSAIDs unless you are at high risk of having an ulcer or ulcer complications.
Female patients must meet the following four requirements in order to use this drug: 1) test negative for pregnancy within two weeks before starting treatment; 2) use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy; 3) receive oral and written warnings on the dangers of using misoprostol while of childbearing age and the risks of possible birth control failure; 4) start taking misoprostol only on the second or third day of the next normal menstrual period.
This medication must not be shared with others.
This medication is used to prevent stomach ulcers while you take NSAIDs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen), especially if you are at risk for developing ulcers or have a history of ulcers. Misoprostol helps to decrease your risk of serious ulcer complications such as bleeding. This medication protects your stomach lining by lowering the amount of acid that comes in contact with it.
This medication is also used in combination with another drug (mifepristone) to end a pregnancy (abortion).
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used in the hospital to assist with childbirth, only at the time of delivery (such as cervical ripening, induction of labor) and for severe bleeding after delivery. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. When misoprostol is used vaginally for these purposes, it works by causing the womb muscles to contract.
How To Use
This medicine comes with a patient information leaflet. Read it carefully. If you have any questions about this drug, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
If you are taking this drug to prevent stomach ulcers, take it by mouth usually four times a day, after meals and at bedtime to minimize diarrhea, or as directed by your doctor.
If you are taking this medication for abortion, take it by mouth exactly as directed by your doctor.
If you are using this medication to start labor, your healthcare professional will insert it into your vagina.
Avoid taking antacids that contain magnesium while using misoprostol because they may make the diarrhea it causes worse. If you need an antacid, consult your doctor or pharmacist to help you choose a product.
For ulcer prevention, continue to take this drug for as long as you take NSAIDs. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same times each day.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Nausea or stomach cramps may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Diarrhea is common with misoprostol and usually occurs about two weeks after you start taking it, and lasts for about a week. Be sure to keep up your intake of fluids and minerals/electrolytes to prevent dehydration. Persistent diarrhea may sometimes lead to a large loss of your body's water and minerals. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of these serious signs of dehydration and mineral imbalance:
- severe dizziness
- decreased urination
- mental/mood changes
- muscle weakness
- slow/irregular heartbeat
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:
- menstrual problems or irregularities
- unusual/heavy vaginal bleeding
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking misoprostol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- stomach/intestinal disease (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease)
- risk factors for uterine rupture when this drug is used vaginally (e.g., prior Cesarean delivery, uterine surgery, five or more previous pregnancies)
Daily use of alcohol and tobacco may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcohol beverages and stop smoking. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
If you are taking this medication in combination with mifepristone to end a pregnancy, an incomplete abortion may rarely occur. It is very important for you to be closely monitored by your doctor and to keep your scheduled appointments to follow your progress. Be sure to have clear instructions from your doctor about who to call and what to do in case of an emergency. Expect vaginal bleeding after you take the combined medicine, however tell your doctor right away if you develop any unlikely symptoms such as severe/prolonged vaginal bleeding, signs of infection (including fever, chills), or fainting.
This drug must not be used during pregnancy to prevent stomach ulcers because of possible harm to an unborn baby (see also Warnings). If you are of childbearing age, use effective birth control methods while taking misoprostol and for at least one month or one completed menstrual cycle after you stop taking it. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor right away.
This medication passes into breast milk. However, this drug is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also the How to Use section.
Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use.
Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, seizures, severe dizziness, slow/irregular heartbeats.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at or below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) in a dry place away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised February 2019.
Copyright(c) 2019 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.