This medication is used to prevent stomach ulcers while you take NSAIDs (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen), especially if you are at risk for developing ulcers or have a history of ulcers. Misoprostol helps to decrease your risk of serious ulcer complications such as bleeding. This medication protects your stomach lining by lowering the amount of acid that comes in contact with it. This medication is also used in combination with another drug (mifepristone) to end a pregnancy (abortion).
How to use Misoprostol
This medicine comes with a patient information leaflet. Read it carefully. If you have any questions about this drug, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
If you are taking this drug to prevent stomach ulcers, take it by mouth usually four times a day, after meals and at bedtime to minimize diarrhea, or as directed by your doctor.
If you are taking this medication for abortion, take it by mouth exactly as directed by your doctor.
If you are using this medication to start labor, your healthcare professional will insert it into your vagina.
Avoid taking antacids that contain magnesium while using misoprostol because they may make diarrhea it causes worse. If you need an antacid, consult your doctor or pharmacist to help you choose a product.
For ulcer prevention, continue to take this drug for as long as you take NSAIDs. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Nausea or stomach cramps may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Diarrhea is common with misoprostol and usually occurs about two weeks after you start taking it, and lasts for about a week. Be sure to keep up your intake of fluids and minerals/electrolytes to prevent dehydration. Diarrhea that doesn’t go away may sometimes lead to a large loss of your body’s water and minerals. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of these serious signs of dehydration and mineral imbalance: severe dizziness, decreased urination, mental/mood changes, muscle weakness, and slow/irregular heartbeat.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: menstrual problems or irregularities, unusual/heavy vaginal bleeding.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, and trouble breathing.