1 What is Cytotec?

Brand: Cytotec

Generic: Misoprostol

Brand name:


Misoprostol, a synthetic prostaglandin E1 analog, is used to reduce the risk of gastric ulcer development caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

This medication protects the stomach in two ways. It inhibits gastric acid secretion and it protects the gastric mucosa.

You need a prescription to purchase misoprostol.

It is sold as a tablet. Misoprostol also has other uses. It can be used as an abortifacient for women in their first and second trimester.

It can also be used for cervical ripening, induction of labor, and postpartum hemorrhage.

2 What to Know Before Using

You and your treating physician need to discuss the pros and cons associated with misoprostol use.

There are some factors to consider before initiating treatment. Misoprostol should not be given to patients who are allergic to prostaglandins. Inform your healthcare team if you have allergies to foods, animals, preservatives, and other drugs.

The efficacy and safety of misoprostol use in children have not been studied. Studies have shown that misoprostol use in elderly clients yields the same results as in younger adults.

This medication is a Pregnancy Category X. Misoprostol should not be used in women since it can cause abortion and other fetal abnormalities. There hasn’t been enough research done regarding the effects of this medication on lactating mothers or if it can be excreted in breast milk.

You need to weight the risks and benefits of using this medication carefully if you are currently nursing.

Your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding your baby.

Misoprostol should not be used concomitantly with phenylbutazone but can be necessary in some cases. In those instances, your doctor may adjust the dosage and timing of either or both medications.

This medication can also make the following medical conditions worse:

3 Proper Usage

Misoprostol should be taken with food or milk to decrease the risk of developing diarrhea or abdominal cramping. The last dose for the day should be taken at bedtime.

Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Dose and timing is different for each individual. However, the normal recommended dosage for gastric ulcer prevention in adult patients taking anti-inflammatory drugs is 200 mcg 4 times daily.

If you cannot tolerate 200 mcg, your physician can lower that to 100 mcg.

For children and teenagers, the dosage should be determined by the physician.

Use misoprostol only as directed by your doctor and only within the duration of your NSAID treatment.

Do not share your medication with someone else.

If you miss a dose, take it immediately. Skip the missed dose if it’s almost time of the next one.

Store your medications at room temperature and keep it out of children’s reach. If you have expired medicines, throw them away properly.

4 Precautions to Take

As mentioned earlier, misoprostol should be used as indicated by your physician.

Women need to make sure they are not and do not get pregnant while taking this medication.

Misoprostol can cause abortion.

Women need to use effective birth control methods within the duration of treatment. If you suspect that you are pregnant, contact your healthcare provider right away.

You may experience stomach cramping, diarrhea, or nausea within the first few days. However, these usually go away as the body gets used to the medication.

You can also decrease the risk of developing diarrhea if you take misoprostol with food.

If these symptoms are severe or do not go away within a week, consult your treating physician immediately.

5 Potential Side Effects

There are several side effects related to misoprostol use although you may not experience all of them.

Again, you may experience

the first few days of misoprostol use.

If diarrhea is not properly managed, you may become dehydrated. If you become seriously dehydrated, you may have

To prevent dehydration, drink enough fluids.

Consult your physician if you notice symptoms of severe dehydration.

You should also check with your doctor right away if you have menstrual irregularities and unusual/heavy vaginal bleeding. This medication can also cause adverse allergic reactions.

Symptoms of this include

  • itching/swelling (especially of the face, throat, or tongue),
  • rash,
  • trouble breathing
  • severe dizziness.

Get medical attention right away if you experience those symptoms.

You should tell your doctor if you also experience any other unusual side effects.

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