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Misoprostol Induction of Labor

Misoprostol (Cytotec®) is a drug approved to reduce the risk for stomach ulcers in people taking certain pain relievers that increase the risk for ulcers. However, there are some unapproved, or "off-label," uses for this medication.
For example, there may be an occasion when a healthcare provider prescribes misoprostol for the induction of labor. This medicine can cause contractions of the uterus. However, there are some potential risks associated with this use. There have been reports that this medicine could cause a potentially serious problem called uterine rupture (a tear in the lining of the uterus) when used to induce labor in women who are more than eight weeks pregnant. This complication can harm an unborn child and the mother.
(To learn more about using this drug to induce labor, click What Is Misoprostol Used For?. This full-length article takes an in-depth look at uses for this drug, including approved and unapproved reasons a healthcare provider may prescribe it.)
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