Meds and you

27 September 2013

Misoprostol

Misoprostol is an anti-ulcer drug. Anti-ulcer drugs are drugs that are used for the treatment and prevention of gastric ulcers.

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Misoprostol is the active ingredient of Cytotec tablets (Nappi code: 782416-004, 039).

General information
Misoprostol is an anti-ulcer drug. Anti-ulcer drugs are drugs that are used for the treatment and prevention of gastric ulcers.

In South Africa misoprostol is registered for the treatment of prevention of NSAID (a group of anti-inflammatory drugs)-induced stomach ulcers, and treatment of existing stomach or duodenal ulcers.

For this medication to be effective it has to be taken regularly, even if you do not notice an immediate effect. It is advised not to discontinue treatment before the recommended course has been completed.

Because of the risk of abortion, this drug should be used with great caution in women of child-bearing age.

How does misoprostol work? Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce certain chemicals called prostaglandins that play a protective role in the stomach. Misoprostol is a synthetic prostaglandin analog that replaces these protective chemicals.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 4
Available as: misoprostol is available as tablets
What does it do? Misoprostol reduces the amount of acid secreted in your stomach and is therefore effective in the treatment and prevention of stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Overdose risk: low
Dependence risk: low
Is misoprostol available as a generic? no
Is misoprostol available on prescription only? yes

User information

Duration of action: up to 24 hours
Dietary advice: take immediately after a meal to reduce the incidence of diarrhoea
Stopping this medicine: do not stop using this medication abruptly as it may cause a recurrence of the original symptoms being treated. It is advised that you only stop the drug after speaking to your doctor.

Special precautions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant
  • you have kidney disease
  • you have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular disorder
  • you have high blood pressure
  • you are currently taking any other medication

Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: this medication is safe for use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children under the age of 18 years.
The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.
Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be taken.
Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

Side Effect
Frequency
Consult your doctor

Common
Rare
Only if severe
In all cases
diarrhoea
X

X

indigestion
X

X

stomach pain

X
X

nausea/vomiting

X
X

constipation

X
X

headache

X
X

thirst

X
X

chest pain

X

X
vaginal bleeding

X

X

Interactions

Drug interactions

oxytocin increased effect of oxytocin. Administer 6-12 hours apart
antacids containing magnesium increased incidence and severity of diarrhoea
warfarin possible decrease in anti-coagulant effect

Disease interactions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, have kidney disease, have a heart or circulation disorder, or if you have high blood pressure.

Overdose action
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage
Adults, oral: 200 mcg 2 - 4 times daily with food.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 
 

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