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The following have been reported as adverse events in subjects receiving Cytotec:
In subjects receiving Cytotec 400 or 800 mcg daily in clinical trials, the most frequent gastrointestinal adverse events were diarrhea and abdominal pain. The incidence of diarrhea at 800 mcg in controlled trials in patients on NSAIDs ranged from 14–40% and in all studies (over 5,000 patients) averaged 13%. Abdominal pain occurred in 13–20% of patients in NSAID trials and about 7% in all studies, but there was no consistent difference from placebo.
Diarrhea was dose related and usually developed early in the course of therapy (after 13 days), usually was self-limiting (often resolving after 8 days), but sometimes required discontinuation of Cytotec (2% of the patients). Rare instances of profound diarrhea leading to severe dehydration have been reported. Patients with an underlying condition such as inflammatory bowel disease, or those in whom dehydration, were it to occur, would be dangerous, should be monitored carefully if Cytotec is prescribed. The incidence of diarrhea can be minimized by administering after meals and at bedtime, and by avoiding coadministration of Cytotec with magnesium-containing antacids.
Women who received Cytotec during clinical trials reported the following gynecological disorders: spotting (0.7%), cramps (0.6%), hypermenorrhea (0.5%), menstrual disorder (0.3%) and dysmenorrhea (0.1%). Postmenopausal vaginal bleeding may be related to Cytotec administration. If it occurs, diagnostic workup should be undertaken to rule out gynecological pathology. (See BOXED WARNINGS.)
There were no significant differences in the safety profile of Cytotec in approximately 500 ulcer patients who were 65 years of age or older compared with younger patients.
Additional adverse events which were reported are categorized as follows:
Incidence greater than 1%
In clinical trials, the following adverse reactions were reported by more than 1% of the subjects receiving Cytotec and may be causally related to the drug: nausea (3.2%), flatulence (2.9%), headache (2.4%), dyspepsia (2.0%), vomiting (1.3%), and constipation (1.1%). However, there were no significant differences between the incidences of these events for Cytotec and placebo.
Causal relationship unknown
The following adverse events were infrequently reported. Causal relationships between Cytotec and these events have not been established but cannot be excluded:
Body as a whole: aches/pains, asthenia, fatigue, fever, chills, rigors, weight changes.
Cardiovascular: chest pain, edema, diaphoresis, hypotension, hypertension, arrhythmia, phlebitis, increased cardiac enzymes, syncope, myocardial infarction (some fatal), thromboembolic events (e.g., pulmonary embolism, arterial thrombosis, and CVA).
Hypersensitivity: anaphylactic reaction
Metabolic: glycosuria, gout, increased nitrogen, increased alkaline phosphatase.
Read the Cytotec (misoprostol) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »
See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY. Cytotec has not been shown to interfere with the beneficial effects of aspirin on signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Cytotec does not exert clinically significant effects on the absorption, blood levels, and antiplatelet effects of therapeutic doses of aspirin. Cytotec has no clinically significant effect on the kinetics of diclofenac or ibuprofen.
Prostaglandins such as Cytotec may augment the activity of oxytocic agents, especially when given less than 4 hours prior to initiating oxytocin treatment. Concomitant use is not recommended.
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/7/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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