There have been a lot of questions and confusion about the uses of Misoprostol, a popular Anti-ulcer medication sold under various brand names such as Cytotec, among others.
Hence, the need to write this short summary about the drug.
What is Misoprostol?
Misoprostol is an over-the-counter medication used in the management of stomach ulcers.
It is basically used as a protective measure to prevent the development of stomach ulcers in patients taking a different types of NSAIDs (such as Ibuprofen, Diclofenac), Aspirin, etc, especially for those who are majorly at greater risk of developing any kind of ulcers or already have a known history of ulcers.
What does Misoprostol do?
The drug is manufactured as an Antiulcer medication to decrease the risk of serious ulcer complications in these individuals. Examples of such complications are;
- bleeding (vaginal)
- stomach pain or upset
- heavy menstrual flow or
- menstrual cramps.
How does Misoprostol work?
it works by acting in the stomach and reducing the amount of acid that comes in contact with it, thereby, protecting it from Injury & ulcers.
Other Uses of Misoprostol
Aside from the protective effect of this drug against stomach ulcers, it is also used in;
- Labour: It is used by some health care professionals to induce labour in a woman who is overdue for delivery or one in whom they want to deliver a baby who died in the womb.
- Bleeding: In some places, It is used to stop Postpartum haemorrhage, This means bleeding that occurs after delivery of the baby.
- Termination of Pregnancy (Abortion): In countries where abortion is legal, Misoprostol is used together with another drug known as mifepristone to terminate a pregnancy. A process is known as abortion. We would talk about this later in another publication and the need for safe abortions.
Know that in Nigeria currently, Abortion is still illegal & a criminal offense, unless under such conditions as provided by the Nigeria penal code.
How is Misoprostol Used?
The usage of Misoprostol depends on what it is being used for;
- If taken for an ulcer, it is taken by mouth and at bedtime to prevent diarrhea.
- if to be used to induce labour, it is inserted in the vagina of the woman.
- if being taken for termination of pregnancy. This should be done as directed by the doctor.
Things to Know If taking Misoprostol
- Miso should not be taken with antacids containing magnesium, as they react, thereby worsening the diarrhea it causes.
- Never use this Miso during pregnancy to prevent ulcers due to the chances of harming the unborn child and leading to possible deformity.
- Do not take alcohol and tobacco with Miso, it may increase your chances of stomach bleeding.
- Continue to take Miso as long as you are taking NSAIDs for ulcer prevention. If you must stop the drug, or if you have any reaction to the drug, consult your doctor first.
- If you are taking this medication to end a pregnancy, you should be directed & monitored by a Doctor as there is a risk of incomplete abortion, and prolonged Vaginal bleeding that could lead to death, among other complications.
Side Effects of Misoprostol
This includes Nausea, Abdominal cramps/pain, diarrhea, menstrual problems/irregularities, and vaginal bleeding.
This doesn’t list all the possible side effects of Miso. If you notice any other side effects after taking this drug, contact your doctor.
What is the Cost of Misoprostol?
The cost/price of Misoprostol is N3000 per pack. This depends on the brand (e.g.: Cytotec). You should check for the price in your area.
Once again: Do not take drugs without a prescription from a doctor!!!
Drugs can become Poison if not taken appropriately!!
If you have any more questions, you can ask them below using the comment box.