Cytotec Side Effects
Generic Name: misoprostol
Note: This document contains side effect information about misoprostol. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Cytotec.
Some side effects of Cytotec may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
For the Consumer
Applies to misoprostol: oral tablet
Along with its needed effects, misoprostol (the active ingredient contained in Cytotec) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Some side effects of misoprostol may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
- Abdominal or stomach pain (mild)
- Bleeding from vagina
- cramps in lower abdomen or stomach area
- heartburn, indigestion, or acid stomach
- nausea and/or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- convulsions (seizures)
- fast or pounding heartbeat
- low blood pressure
- slow heartbeat
- troubled breathing
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to misoprostol: oral tablet
Gastrointestinal side effects, especially diarrhea, are dose-related and typically transient. However, profound diarrhea has led to severe dehydration in rare cases. Diarrhea may be aggravated by magnesium-containing antacids.
While administration with meals helps to minimize gastrointestinal side effects, dosage reductions may be necessary in some patients who develop severe diarrhea.
Gastrointestinal side effects, including diarrhea (up to 40%), abdominal pain (up to 20%), nausea (3.2%), flatulence, and dyspepsia, are commonly associated with misoprostol therapy.
Genitourinary side effects occur in up to 3.3% of female patients and include spotting, cramps, hypermenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, and postmenopausal vaginal bleeding. In addition, urinary incontinence has been reported.
Postmenopausal bleeding may occur in patients treated with misoprostol. It is recommended that patients who develop postmenopausal bleeding undergo gynecological evaluation to rule out non-drug related pathology.
A 25-year-old female developed stress urinary incontinence after one month of misoprostol therapy. The patient was rechallenged with misoprostol with symptoms recurring after 7 days of therapy. Urodynamic studies revealed a deficiency in urethral resistance while on misoprostol.
Nervous system side effects of misoprostol (the active ingredient contained in Cytotec) are rare, but include headache, dizziness, and neuropathy. Lethargy and delusions have been described with concomitant use of misoprostol and phenylbutazone or naproxen.
A case of severe hyperthermia has been reported in a 20-year-old woman, in the immediate postpartum period, shortly after receiving an oral dose of misoprostol 800 mcg for prophylaxis against postpartum hemorrhage.
Hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, have been reported.
Hematologic abnormalities are uncommon, but include thrombocytopenia, purpura, anemia, abnormal differential, and increases in ESR.
Misoprostol-induced fever has been reported in the literature. The incidence of fever is related to misoprostol (the active ingredient contained in Cytotec) dosage and route (highest incidence found in the high-dose sublingual routes). However, there appears to be genetic variations between ethnic groups and intrapartum clinical factors.
A higher rate of caesarian delivery is reported in a study (n=425) of women, with a prior history of cesarean, given misoprostol for induction of labor.
Metabolic side effects have included chills.
More about Cytotec (misoprostol)
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