Misoprostol (Cytotec) – a Safe and Effective Multifunctional Medication
Misoprostol (Cytotec) at Canadian Pharmacy Mall: General Information, Mechanism of Action, Precautions, Side Effects, Warnings, Interactions, Usage Instructions, Missing a Dose, Overdose, Storage Instructions
- What Is Misoprostol?
- Misoprostol Warnings and Precautions
- Misoprostol Side Effects
- How to Take Misoprostol?
What Is Misoprostol (Cytotec)?
Misoprostol is a medication that is commonly used to reduce the risk of developing stomach ulcers in patients who are taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. It is particularly useful for patients who already have a history of stomach ulcers or are at a higher risk of developing one. You might also need to take misoprostol if you have been diagnosed with a stomach ulcer, since it is capable of significantly reducing the risk of experiencing serious ulcer complications, such as internal bleeding. Misoprostol reduces the impact of acid on your stomach lining by minimizing the amount of contact between the acid and the insides of your stomach.
Misoprostol can also be used by pregnant women for two purposes. First, it is often used to induce labor. When used for this purpose, misoprostol will be inserted into a woman’s vagina by a health care professional who is assisting with childbirth. It forces the vaginal muscles to start contracting, thus triggering labor if needed. Alternatively, it can be used to reduce the vaginal bleeding after delivering the baby (only in severe cases).
Second, combined with mifepristone or methotrexate, misoprostol can be used as a relatively cheap and safe way of performing an abortion. It is often used by people who have relatively low income as a viable alternative to surgical abortion methods. Using misoprostol is generally safer, less invasive and more discreet as compared to surgical methods. However, it is not necessarily effective, and if the abortion is unsuccessful, there is a high risk of the baby being born with defects. Also, it may induce vaginal bleeding and sometimes has to be followed by more effective abortion methods.
Misoprostol may also be used for other purposes if prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not try to use misoprostol to address any other conditions unless such use was approved by your doctor.
Misoprostol Warnings and Precautions
Misoprostol can easily be obtained in most online pharmacies as Canadian Pharmacy Mall www.canadianhealthmall.com, but that does not mean that you can use it without consulting your medical practitioner first. It might be dangerous for you to start using misoprostol, so it is highly recommended that you make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the possible implications of taking misoprostol.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you suffer from one or more of the following conditions:
- Cardiovascular problems
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Any other medical condition that may worsen if you experience dehydration
It is advisable that you make your healthcare provider fully aware of your medical history so that he or she can make an informed decision as to whether it is safe for you to start taking misoprostol. In addition, you might want to make a list of all medications (whether they are prescription or non-prescription ones), including herbal and dietary supplements, to show your doctor during the appointment. That way, you will make the most out of your appointment time, and no pharmaceutical will fail to be mentioned.
You might also happen to be allergic to misoprostol, as well as the inactive components used in the medication, so you should tell your medical practitioner about all your food and drug allergies. You should also mention having taken misoprostol earlier, especially if any problems occurred during your treatment course.
Misoprostol may interact with other medications, so it should be used with caution if combined with one or more other drugs. However, no dangerous misoprostol interactions have been reported yet.
If you smoke tobacco and/or drink alcohol on a daily basis, it increases your risk of developing a stomach bleeding significantly. It is advisable that you limit your alcohol consumption and stop smoking so that it would not minimize the beneficial effect of misoprostol in treating stomach ulcers. Ask your doctor for more details on this.
Misoprostol is known to be capable of harming an unborn baby, so it should not be taken by pregnant women. If you find out that you are pregnant while using misoprostol, you should tell your healthcare provider that immediately and stop using the medication. If you know that you might become pregnant while taking misoprostol, you have to make sure that you are using effective birth control methods during your treatment course and for at least 1 month after it is over.
Misoprostol is also known to pass into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding a baby during your misoprostol treatment course, you should discuss the possible impact of the medication on your child’s health. You might need to adjust the dosage of misoprostol, stop taking it temporarily or switch to another medication.
It is recommended to avoid using misoprostol in children because currently there is no evidence supporting its safety or efficiency in patients who are less than 18 years old.
If you are using misoprostol for an abortion, you should be supervised by a healthcare professional before and after the procedure. He or she should inform you what to do if something goes wrong after taking misoprostol. It is important that you have scheduled appointments on a regular basis to keep track of your progress and make sure that there are no complications. You may expect to experience vaginal bleeding after using misoprostol, but it should not be severe. If you experience prolonged vaginal bleeding, you should consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
It might be dangerous for you to use misoprostol for abortion purposes if you are at risk for uterine rupture from the following factors: five or more previous pregnancies, previous uterine surgery, prior Cesarean delivery, etc.).
Misoprostol Side Effects
Many patients who use misoprostol report experiencing minimum or no side effects at all. However, your body may need to adjust itself to the effects of the medication, so you might develop the following adverse reactions: nausea and stomach cramps. Such reactions are mostly not dangerous and should go away of their own accord within a week. If these side effects persist for longer than a week, you should report them to your healthcare provider so that he or she can decide whether you need to have your misoprostol dosage adjusted or maybe even stop taking the medication.
Another common adverse effect of misoprostol is diarrhea. It is most likely to begin in two weeks after you started taking the medication, and last for at least a week since then. If you are experiencing continuous diarrhea, it is important to stay properly hydrated, so that your body does not run out of its stock of fluids. Also, pay attention to your minerals and electrolytes intake, as ongoing diarrhea may cause a serious mineral loss in your body.
You should also watch out for the following signs of mineral imbalance and heavy water loss:
- Severe dizziness
- Sudden and frequent mood changes
- Weakness and exhaustion
- Heartbeat disorders, such as slow or irregular heartbeat
- Decreased urination, along with changes in urine color
Some of the more serious side effects are highly unlikely to occur, but you still may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Bloody urine
- Changes in menstrual periods
- Unexplained bleeding or bruising
- Changes in stools
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual vomiting
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek professional medical help as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider about them and stop taking misoprostol if your doctor finds it a necessary measure.
Severe allergic reactions to misoprostol are very uncommon, but if you do experience one, you should seek emergency medical help immediately. In the case of an allergic reaction, your symptoms may include difficulties breathing, severe skin rashes, itching or swollen body areas (especially the tongue, throat, and face), as well as feeling dizzy and/or nauseated.
This list of misoprostol side effects is not complete, so you might develop some other symptoms which were not mentioned in this article. If it does happen to you, you might want to report your symptoms to the drug manufacturer so that they can be included in the drug’s description in the future.
How to Take Misoprostol?
If you have a prescription for misoprostol, you should read it carefully and follow the instructions from your doctor. In addition, you should read the special patient information leaflet that comes with misoprostol. If the information that you find there does not provide an answer to your question about misoprostol, do not hesitate to ask your healthcare provider for further information.
If you are using misoprostol to address or prevent stomach ulcers, you should take it four times a day (following meals and before going to bed). This is the common pattern for such misoprostol usage scenario, but your doctor may instruct you to do otherwise. In that case, you should follow the instructions of your medical practitioner. For ulcer prevention, use misoprostol for as long as you intend to be using the NSAIDs. Take the medication regularly, at even intervals to maximize its potential effect.
If you need this medication to start labor, it will be placed into your vagina by a health care professional who is assisting with childbirth. If misoprostol is used for abortion purposes, it should be taken by mouth and exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Misoprostol is likely to cause diarrhea, so you should take it during or after meals (unless you are instructed to do otherwise by your doctor). Taking this medicine with food may reduce the chances of experiencing diarrhea. You should take the last dose of the day right before bedtime.
You should avoid taking misoprostol simultaneously with antacid medicines that contain magnesium because their interaction is known to increase a patient’s chances of suffering from diarrhea. If you absolutely have to combine these pharmaceuticals, ask your healthcare provider for assistance in choosing the one that is the least likely to interact with misoprostol. Take the the antacid drug at least one hour prior to taking misoprostol, or two hours after it.
If you happen to miss a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember about it. If it is almost time to take the next dose, you should just skip the one you missed. Do not take double misoprostol dosage to make up for the missed dose.
If you overdose on misoprostol, you should contact your local poison control center or emergency room (depending on the severity of our symptoms). The overdose symptoms may include severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, fainting, seizures, severe dizziness, drowsiness, heartbeat disorders, tremors.
Misoprostol is to be stored in a dark place away from heat and moisture. It should not be stored in the bathroom. Make sure that the medication is placed out of reach for children and pets. You are not to share misoprostol with your friends or family, even if they are experiencing symptoms that are similar to yours. If you have some misoprostol left after your treatment course is over, you should ask your healthcare provider for disposal instructions. Do not flush it down the toilet or pour it down the drain unless you are instructed to do so.