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Homebreast cancermisoprostol (Cytotec): Drug Facts, Side Effects, and Dosage

misoprostol (Cytotec): Drug Facts, Side Effects, and Dosage

What is misoprostol? What are the uses for misoprostol?

Misoprostol is a synthetic (man-made) prostaglandin that is used to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers in patients treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, for example, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) that are used for pain and various inflammatory conditions, for example, arthritis. Misoprostol is used primarily in patients at high risk for stomach ulcers when treated with NSAIDs, for example, the elderly, patients with concomitant debilitating diseases, and patients with a history of ulcers. Prostaglandins are chemicals that are made within many organs of the body including the stomach. In the stomach, prostaglandins are believed to protect the inner lining of the stomach from the ulcer-producing effects of NSAIDs. Scientists now believe that NSAIDs produce ulceration by preventing the production of prostaglandins in the stomach. Synthetic prostaglandins such as misoprostol given orally "replace" the prostaglandins whose production is inhibited by NSAIDs and have been shown to protect the lining of the stomach from NSAID-induced ulcers. Misoprostol was approved by the FDA in December 1988.

What brand names are available for misoprostol?


Is misoprostol available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for misoprostol?


What are the side effects of misoprostol?

Common side effects include diarrhea and abdominal pain. Diarrhea is more common with higher doses and usually resolves with continued administration. Rarely, profound and persistent diarrhea necessitates stopping the drug. Less common side effects include headache, menstrual cramps, nausea, and flatulence. Allergic reactions have also been reported.


Pancreatitis is inflammation of an organ in the abdomen called the pancreas.
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What is the dosage for misoprostol?

The recommended adult oral dose for reducing the risk of NSAID-induced gastric ulcers is 200 mcg four times daily (every 6 hours) with food. If this dose cannot be tolerated, a dose of 100 mcg every 6 hours can be used. The last dose should be taken at bedtime.

For termination of pregnancy the dose is 400 mcg once if abortion has not occurred within 3 days of receiving mifepristone (Mifeprex).

Which drugs or supplements interact with misoprostol?

: Misoprostol has no clinically important drug interactions.

Is misoprostol safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Misoprostol should never be used during pregnancy since it can cause abortion, premature birth, or birth defects. Uterine rupture has been reported when misoprostol was administered to pregnant women to induce labor or to induce abortion beyond the eighth week of pregnancy.

It is not known if misoprostol is excreted in human milk; however it should not be administered to nursing mothers because it could cause significant diarrhea in nursing infants.

What else should I know about misoprostol?

What preparations of misoprostol are available?

Tablets: 100 and 200 mcg.

How should I store misoprostol?

Tablets should be kept in a dry area with temperatures at or below 25 C (77 F)


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