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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 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.
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.
Which drugs or supplements interact with misoprostol?
: Misoprostol has no clinically important drug interactions.
Is misoprostol safe to take if I'm 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.
What else should I know about misoprostol?
What preparations of misoprostol are available?
Tablets: 100 and 200 mcg.
How should I keep misoprostol stored?
Tablets should be kept in a dry area with temperatures at or below 25 C (77 F)
Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions
Misoprostol (Cytotec) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of of the pain and inflammation of conditions such as arthritis, and for the prevention of stomach ulcers in patient's treated with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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