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- What is misoprostol, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- 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?
- What is the dosage for misoprostol?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with misoprostol?
- Is misoprostol safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about misoprostol?
What is misoprostol, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Misoprostol is a synthetic (man-made) prostaglandin that is used to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers in patients treated with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory 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?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
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.
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