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Precautions and Warnings With Misoprostol

People who have heart disease or inflammatory bowel disease should talk to their healthcare provider before beginning treatment with misoprostol. Warnings for safely using this drug also include precautions for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. In addition, this medicine can cause potentially severe side effects like diarrhea and dehydration, which may require immediate medical treatment.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking misoprostol (Cytotec®) if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Misoprostol Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this drug include the following:
  • Misoprostol can cause diarrhea, which usually starts about two weeks after you begin treatment and often resolves a week later. Severe diarrhea can cause dehydration. Take your doses after a meal and your last dose at bedtime to help reduce this risk. If you have persistent or severe diarrhea during treatment, tell your healthcare provider. Also, contact your healthcare provider if you start to experience signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Dizziness
    • Decreased urination
    • A dry mouth or lips
    • Dry skin.
    • Abdominal (stomach) pain
    • Vomiting
    • Black or bloody stools.
  • This medicine should be used cautiously in people with heart disease. Make sure your healthcare provider knows your complete medical history before starting treatment.
  • Do not share this medicine with anyone else. It may not be the right medicine for their symptoms. Also, misoprostol can cause abortion, premature birth, or birth defects if taken by a pregnant woman.
  • Misoprostol is a pregnancy Category X medication. It should not be used by a pregnant woman (see Cytotec and Pregnancy). Your healthcare provider should make sure you are not pregnant before you begin treatment. Also, you should use an effective form of birth control while taking it.
  • Misoprostol passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Cytotec and Breastfeeding).

Misoprostol Drug Information

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