Generic Name: misoprostol (mye so PRAH stole)
Brand Name: Cytotec
Medically reviewed on July 10, 2017.
What is misoprostol?
Misoprostol reduces stomach acid and helps protect the stomach from damage that can be caused by taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.
Misoprostol is used to prevent stomach ulcers during treatment with aspirin or an NSAID.
Misoprostol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Misoprostol can cause birth defects, premature birth, uterine rupture, miscarriage, or incomplete miscarriage and dangerous uterine bleeding. Do not use misoprostol if you are pregnant.
If you are able to become pregnant, you will need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment. You will also need to use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy during treatment.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to misoprostol or other prostaglandins, or if you are pregnant.
To make sure misoprostol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease; or
if you are dehydrated.
FDA pregnancy category X. Misoprostol can cause birth defects, premature birth, uterine rupture, miscarriage, or incomplete miscarriage and dangerous uterine bleeding. Do not use misoprostol if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine, and for at least 1 month after your treatment ends.
If you are able to become pregnant, you will need to have a negative pregnancy test before you start taking misoprostol. Treatment with this medicine should begin on the second or third day of your menstrual period.
Stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether misoprostol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take misoprostol?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Do not share this medicine with another person.
Misoprostol is usually taken with meals and at bedtime. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Call your doctor if you have severe nausea, stomach pain, or diarrhea lasting longer than 8 days.
Read all medication guides or patient instructions provided with this medicine each time your receive a new supply.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking misoprostol?
Ask your doctor before using an antacid, and use only the type your doctor recommends. Some antacids can increase your risk of diarrhea while you are taking misoprostol.
Misoprostol side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe ongoing stomach discomfort or diarrhea; or
Common side effects may include:
stomach pain, nausea, upset stomach, gas;
vaginal bleeding or spotting, heavy menstrual flow; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect misoprostol?
Other drugs may interact with misoprostol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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- Drug class: miscellaneous GI agents
Other brands: Cytotec