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What Is Misoprostol?

Misoprostol (Cytotec®) is prescribed to adults who are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and have certain risks associated with stomach ulcers. But what is misoprostol, and what are the risks and benefits of using this drug?
 
Because NSAIDs can weaken the lining of the stomach, they can increase the risk for gastric ulcers (stomach ulcers). However, misoprostol can help decrease stomach acid and protect the lining of the stomach. It is specifically approved for use in adults who are taking NSAIDs and are at risk for developing serious problems from ulcers or who have had an ulcer in the past.
 
Misoprostol comes in tablet form and is taken four times daily. Side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, and gas.
 
(To learn more, click Misoprostol. This selection from the eMedTV Web site explains what misoprostol is and how it works to help prevent stomach ulcers in people taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.)
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