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How Misoprostol Works

A healthcare provider may prescribe misoprostol (Cytotec®) to certain people who are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and have an increased risk for developing ulcers or ulcer-related complications. But how does misoprostol work to prevent ulcers?
 
Misoprostol is a type of prostaglandin, a hormone-like substance found naturally in the body. Prostaglandins protect the stomach lining from stomach acid and other harmful substances. Taking NSAIDs can block the production of prostaglandins in the body, increasing the risk for ulcers. However, taking misoprostol in combination with NSAIDs helps protect the lining of the stomach and decreases stomach acid secretion.
 
(To learn more about how this drug works, click Misoprostol. This resource also discusses when this drug is prescribed, how it is taken, and why it may not be the most appropriate choice for some people.)
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