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Generic Name: Misoprostol (mye soe PROST ole)
Brand Name: Cytotec

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 14, 2020.


  • This medicine may cause birth defects, loss of the unborn baby, or premature birth if you take it while you are pregnant. It may also cause the uterus to tear (rupture). The chance of a rupture is raised as you get further along in pregnancy, or if you have had uterine surgery like a C-section in the past. A rupture can lead to very bad bleeding, and your uterus may need to be removed. Sometimes, a rupture has been deadly. If you are taking misoprostol to prevent gastric ulcers, do not take it if you are pregnant.
  • Most of the time, misoprostol is not for use in women who are able to get pregnant. However, there may be times when it is used in these women. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you are able to get pregnant, a pregnancy test will be done to show that you are NOT pregnant before starting misoprostol. Talk with your doctor.
  • Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking misoprostol.
  • You may need to have a pregnancy test while taking misoprostol. Talk with your doctor.
  • Start taking misoprostol only on the second or third day of your next normal menstrual period after the negative pregnancy test.
  • If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking misoprostol, call your doctor right away.
  • Do not share misoprostol with others.

Uses of Misoprostol:

  • It is used to prevent NSAID-associated gastric ulcers in patients with a history of ulcers.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Misoprostol?

  • If you have an allergy to misoprostol or any other part of misoprostol.
  • If you are allergic to misoprostol; any part of misoprostol; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you are getting oxytocin.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with misoprostol.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take misoprostol with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Misoprostol?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take misoprostol. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • High fever with fast heartbeat, seizures, or feeling confused or agitated have happened when misoprostol was used for bleeding after delivering a baby. If you have questions, talk with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Misoprostol) best taken?

Use misoprostol as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take misoprostol with meals and at bedtime or as you have been told by your doctor.
  • Do not take antacids that have magnesium with misoprostol.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it, with food.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Severe diarrhea.

What are some other side effects of Misoprostol?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Misoprostol?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about misoprostol, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.