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This medication is used to prevent stomach ulcers while you take NSAIDs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen), especially if you are at risk for developing ulcers or have a history of ulcers. Misoprostol helps to decrease your risk of serious ulcer complications such as bleeding. This medication protects your stomach lining by lowering the amount of acid that comes in contact with it.
This medication is also used in combination with another drug (mifepristone) to end a pregnancy (abortion).
This medicine comes with a patient information leaflet. Read it carefully. If you have any questions about this drug, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
If you are taking this drug to prevent stomach ulcers, take it by mouth usually four times a day, after meals and at bedtime to minimize diarrhea, or as directed by your doctor.
If you are taking this medication for abortion, take it by mouth exactly as directed by your doctor.
If you are using this medication to start labor, your healthcare professional will insert it into your vagina.
Avoid taking antacids that contain magnesium while using misoprostol because they may make the diarrhea it causes worse. If you need an antacid, consult your doctor or pharmacist to help you choose a product.
For ulcer prevention, continue to take this drug for as long as you take NSAIDs. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same times each day.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Nausea or stomach cramps may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Diarrhea is common with misoprostol and usually occurs about two weeks after you start taking it, and lasts for about a week. Be sure to keep up your intake of fluids and minerals/electrolytes to prevent dehydration. Persistent diarrhea may sometimes lead to a large loss of your body's water and minerals. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of these serious signs of dehydration and mineral imbalance: severe dizziness, decreased urination, mental/mood changes, muscle weakness, slow/irregular heartbeat.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: menstrual problems or irregularities, unusual/heavy vaginal bleeding.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before taking misoprostol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: stomach/intestinal disease (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease), risk factors for uterine rupture when this drug is used vaginally (e.g., prior Cesarean delivery, uterine surgery, five or more previous pregnancies).
Daily use of alcohol and tobacco may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcohol beverages and stop smoking. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
If you are taking this medication in combination with mifepristone to end a pregnancy, an incomplete abortion may rarely occur. It is very important for you to be closely monitored by your doctor and to keep your scheduled appointments to follow your progress. Be sure to have clear instructions from your doctor about who to call and what to do in case of an emergency. Expect vaginal bleeding after you take the combined medicine, however tell your doctor right away if you develop any unlikely symptoms such as severe/prolonged vaginal bleeding, signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills), or fainting.
This drug must not be used during pregnancy to prevent stomach ulcers because of possible harm to an unborn baby (see also Warnings). If you are of childbearing age, use effective birth control methods while taking misoprostol and for at least one month or one completed menstrual cycle after you stop taking it. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor right away.
This medication passes into breast milk. However, this drug is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at or below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) in a dry place away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
See also the How to Use section.
Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use.
Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, seizures, severe dizziness, slow/irregular heartbeats.
Do not share this medication with others.