Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Cytotec

(Misoprostol)

  • Pill
  • Ulcer prevention from taking NSAIDs
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Prevents stomach ulcers and used for women's health.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Cytotec (Misoprostol) is an okay medication used to prevent stomach ulcers, but can never be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding unless you're trying to induce labor.

  • Starts working in 30 minutes and lasts for at least 3 hours.
  • Cytotec (Misoprostol) can be used while you are also taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and aspirin.
  • It does a good job of lowering your chance of developing stomach ulcers caused by NSAIDs.
  • Helps induce labor in women.
  • Can't be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, unless your doctor is trying to induce labor. It can terminate the pregnancy altogether.
  • Doesn't lower the risk of intestinal ulcers (only works for stomach ulcers).
  • Should be taken the entire time you're using NSAIDs if you're at risk for getting an ulcer.
  • Doesn't treat stomach pain or discomfort caused by NSAIDs.
  • Needs to be taken with a meal, with the last dose of the day being taken at bedtime.

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Side effects for Cytotec (Misoprostol)

From clinical trials of Cytotec / Any condition 

  • Abdominal painAbdominal pain7% for Misoprostol vs.0% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea3% for Misoprostol vs.0% for placebo
  • Passing gasPassing gas3% for Misoprostol vs.0% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache2% for Misoprostol vs.0% for placebo
  • IndigestionIndigestion2% for Misoprostol vs.0% for placebo
  • SpottingSpotting1% for Misoprostol vs.0% for placebo
  • CrampsCramps1% for Misoprostol vs.0% for placebo
  • Vaginal bleedingVaginal bleeding1% for Misoprostol vs.0% for placebo
  • VomitingVomiting1% for Misoprostol vs.0% for placebo
  • ConstipationConstipation1% for Misoprostol vs.0% for placebo

What to expect when you take Cytotec (Misoprostol)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take it with food to avoid getting diarrhea.
  • Don't take it with antacids that have magnesium since Cytotec (Misoprostol) won't work as well.
  • Don't give Cytotec (Misoprostol) to anyone that it isn't prescribed for, especially women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant.
  • The usual dose is 200 mcg four times a day with food, but if it makes you feel sick, you can probably take 100 mcg instead.

Risks and Warnings for Cytotec (Misoprostol)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Pregnancy
    • Breastfeeding
    • Women of childbearing age

    Do not use Cytotec (Misoprostol) if you are pregnant. It can cause abortion (sometimes incomplete which could lead to dangerous bleeding and require hospitalization and surgery), premature birth, or birth defects. Make sure to never share this drug with someone who is or trying to become pregnant.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Cytotec (Misoprostol)

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The FDA category for this medication is X. It is advised that you: Unsafe
Pregnancy
Food
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Needs to be taken with a meal, with the last dose of the day being taken at bedtime.
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take it with food to avoid getting diarrhea.
  • The usual dose is 200 mcg four times a day with food, but if it makes you feel sick, you can probably take 100 mcg instead.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Cytotec (Misoprostol) can cause diarrhea, stomach cramping, or nausea in some people. In most cases these problems happen during the first few weeks of treatment and stop after a week. You can lower your risk of diarrhea by taking Cytotec (Misoprostol) with food.