Does Hemabate (carboprost) cause side effects?

Hemabate (carboprost) is a man-made oxytocic medication that mimics the action of a naturally occurring chemical called prostaglandin F2 alpha and is used to abort pregnancy during the second trimester and to treat uterine bleeding after delivery.

Common side effects of Hemabate include

Serious side effects of Hemabate include

  • inflammation of the lining of the uterus (endometritis),
  • retained placental fragments,
  • excessive uterine bleeding, and
  • hypersensitivity with allergic reactions.

Drug interactions of Hemabate include oxytocin because both medications work similarly. 

Oxytocin also induces contractions during labor; therefore, the use of both medications is not recommended. Hemabate should be used only for termination of pregnancy and to treat hemorrhage after delivery. 

It is unknown if Hemabate is excreted in breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding

What are the important side effects of Hemabate (carboprost)?

Common side effects of carboprost are:

It also may cause:

  • Endometritis (inflammation of the lining of the uterus)
  • Retained placental fragments
  • Excessive uterine bleeding

Hypersensitivity with allergic reactions may occur. Therefore, patients must be under medical supervision while carboprost is being administered.

Hemabate (carboprost) side effects list for healthcare professionals

The adverse effects of Hemabate Sterile Solution are generally transient and reversible when therapy ends. The most frequent adverse reactions observed are related to its contractile effect on smooth muscle.

In patients studied, approximately two-thirds experienced vomiting and diarrhea, approximately onethird had nausea, one-eighth had a temperature increase greater than 2° F, and one-fourteenth experienced flushing.

The pretreatment or concurrent administration of antiemetic and antidiarrheal drugs decreases considerably the very high incidence of gastrointestinal effects common with all prostaglandins used for abortion. Their use should be considered an integral part of the management of patients undergoing abortion with Hemabate.

Of those patients experiencing a temperature elevation, approximately one-sixteenth had a clinical diagnosis of endometritis. The remaining temperature elevations returned to normal within several hours after the last injection.

Adverse effects observed during the use of Hemabate for abortion and for hemorrhage, not all of which are clearly drug related, in decreasing order of frequency include:

Vomiting Nervousness
Diarrhea Nosebleed
Nausea Sleep disorders
Flushing or hot flashes Dyspnea
Chills or shivering Tightness in chest
Coughing Wheezing
Headaches Posterior cervical perforation
Endometritis Weakness
Hiccough Diaphoresis
Dysmenorrhea-like pain Dizziness
Paresthesia Blurred vision
Backache Epigastric pain
Muscular pain Excessive thirst
Breast tenderness Twitching eyelids
Eye pain Gagging, retching
Drowsiness Dry throat
Dystonia Sensation of choking
Asthma Thyroid storm
Injection site pain Syncope
Tinnitus Palpitations
Vertigo Rash
Vaso-vagal syndrome Upper respiratory infection
Dryness of mouth Leg cramps
Hyperventilation Perforated uterus
Respiratory distress Anxiety
Hematemesis Chest pain
Taste alterations Retained placental fragment
Urinary tract infection Shortness of breath
Septic shock Fullness of throat
Torticollis Uterine sacculation
Lethargy Faintness, light-headedness
Hypertension Uterine rupture
Pulmonary edema  
Endometritis from IUCD  

The most common complications when Hemabate was utilized for abortion requiring additional treatment after discharge from the hospital were endometritis, retained placental fragments, and excessive uterine bleeding, occurring in about one in every 50 patients.

Post-Marketing Experience

What drugs interact with Hemabate (carboprost)?

  • Hemabate may augment the activity of other oxytocic agents.
  • Concomitant use with other oxytocic agents is not recommended.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

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Medically Reviewed on 1/21/2021
FDA Prescribing Information

Professional side effects and drug interactions sections courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.