What is Misoprostol and How Does it Work?
Misoprostol, a prescription drug is used to reduce the risk of NSAID-induced gastric ulcers in patients at a high risk of complications such as the elderly, patients with concomitant debilitating disease, and patients with a history of ulcers.
This medication has not been shown to reduce the risk of duodenal ulcers in patients taking NSAIDs. It is recommended to take Misoprostol for the whole duration of receiving NSAID therapy. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of gastric ulcers within a period of 3 months. However, as compared to placebo, it had no effect on gastrointestinal pain or discomfort associated with the use of NSAID.
Usage of Misoprostol
Misoprostol usage is required while taking NSAID- ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, by patients who have a history of ulcers. It helps to reduce the risk of serious complications such as bleeding. This medication reduces the amount of stomach acid that comes in contact with it, thereby protecting the lining of the stomach.
Misoprostol is also used to start labor, cause abortion and stop postpartum bleeding caused by poor uterus contractions. It is used in combination with mifepristone for the termination of pregnancy.
The dosage of misoprostol is based on a patient’s medical conditions and treatment responses. It can be taken orally for pregnancy termination and is inserted into the vagina to start labor.
Misoprostol is usually taken in tablet form of 200 mcg, 4 times a day after meals or as prescribed by the doctor. Before taking the ﬁrst dose of this medication, women are advised to wait for the second or third day of their menstrual period to ensure that they are not pregnant. It is advisable to avoid taking magnesium-containing antacids as it may worsen the side effect of diarrhea.
Side Effects of Misoprostol
The common side effects of Misoprostol include:
- Abdominal pain
- Menstrual disorder
- Weight changes
These side effects are expected to disappear within a few days as your body starts getting accustomed to the medicine. However, you must check with your doctor if diarrhea, cramps, or nausea is severe and does not stop within a week.
If you have been prescribed Misoprostol by your doctor, tell them about any other medication that you already take. This may avoid any possible interactions with other drugs. Although Misoprostol has no severe interactions with most drugs, moderate ones may occur with creamer and eluxadoline.