Cytotec is one of the brand names for the drug misoprostol , a chemical with similar effects to prostaglandins. Its main function is as a medicine to prevent the appearance of stomach ulcers , especially those caused by the consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other compounds.NSAIDs and other medications alter the production of acid or the gastric mucosa. Cytotec is used to prevent these conditions. It is a drug with properties equivalent to those of prostaglandin E1, which is responsible for several functions on the digestive system and smooth muscles .

In addition, it is used as an inducer of labor and sometimes as an abortifacient . It acts on the smooth muscles of the abdominal organs and the womb. It is used in gynecology to help pregnant women begin labor, as it has the effects of dilating the cervix, causing uterine contractions and promoting cervical effacement.

What is the Cytotec for?

Being a prostaglandin analog, Cytotec is involved in the production of mucus that lines the stomach and helps reduce gastric acid production. It is used as a preventive and as a treatment in cases of ulcers and lesions in the stomach and duodenum. Its other effects, already mentioned, involve the induction of labor and the abortive process.

It serves to:

  • Management of medical conditions
  • Treat ulcers, gastrointestinal lesions, and transplants
  • Induce labor
  • Produce abortion

Management of medical conditions

Some of the most important functions of Cytotec are the development and maintenance of the gastric mucosa and the production of gastric acid. Cytotec or misoprostol affects the parietal cells that internally line the stomach, helping to inhibit excessive gastric acid production. Therefore, it is recommended for the prevention of ulcers and gastrointestinal lesions .

In some countries, Cytotec is used as an abortifacient, especially to induce abortion before the first trimester , as it is ineffective or dangerous afterward. In places where abortion is prohibited or regulated, it is trafficked on the black market with Cytotec, to be sold without a prescription to those interested in using or reselling it.

In general, the functions of the Cytotec are:

  • Treat ulcers caused by the consumption of NSAIDs
  • Prevent the appearance of ulcers by NSAIDs
  • Treat bleeding lesions
  • Treat some gastric injuries
  • Treat erosion in the walls due to the use of NSAIDs
  • Reduce gastric complications due to NSAIDs
  • Treat ulcers not related to NSAIDs
  • Treat gastric lesions not related to NSAIDs
  • Avoid rejection in kidney transplants
  • Induce labor in term pregnancies
  • Produce uterine contractions
  • Promote cervical effacement
  • Dilate the cervix
  • Provoke abortion
  • Complete an abortion

Cytotec or misoprostol induces the labor process and even has abortifacient effects.

Treat ulcers, gastrointestinal lesions, and transplants

The preferred use of Cytotec is as a medicine against duodenal and gastric ulcers, because in addition to reducing gastrointestinal lesions, it acts on the parietal cells of the stomach walls . This inhibits the nocturnal basal secretion, which reduces the production of acids that can damage the internal gastric lining.

Cytotec is a drug frequently prescribed for the elderly, who due to degenerative diseases must constantly consume NSAIDs. In addition to preventing duodenal and gastric ulcers, they are prevented from worsening if they already exist. It is also used to prevent other injuries not related to NSAIDs, such as erosions and pre-ulcer lesions.

Cytotec is used to prevent rejections in kidney transplant cases , especially when drugs such as prednisone and cyclosporine are used. This is because Cytotec, when combined with other medications that suppress the immune system, decreases the effect of the body rejecting the transplanted organ, also helping a good kidney function.

Induce labor

Cytotec or misoprostol is widely used in gynecology to help the woman’s body go into labor. This action is necessary, especially in cases where the pregnancy is at term or very advanced, and it is necessary to advance the delivery, to protect both the health of the mother and the baby.

To induce contractions, cervical dilation, and cervical effacement , both Cytotec tablets and vaginal devices are often used with misoprostol, which sits very close to the cervix to promote dilation.

It should be noted that Cytotec is only applied in special cases and for a very short period , as it can damage the fetus, cause malformations and generate complications.

Produce abortion

A very popular use of Cytotec is as an abortifacient drug . It is recognized among countries where abortion is controlled or prohibited, being one of the drugs with which the most traffic is provided, both regionally and internationally through the Internet.

Cytotec causes processes such as:

  • Uterine contractions
  • Dilation of the cervix
  • Cervical effacement
  • Stimulation of placental abruption
  • Expulsion of the embryo

All of them because misoprostol is a chemical compound analogous to prostaglandins E, which have effects on the smooth muscles of the uterus.

Many doctors use cytotec in conjunction with other chemical abortifacient methods such as mifepristone , and follow up with the patient to make sure there are no complications.

In general, doctors do not approve the use of Cytotec to cause abortion in pregnancies that exceed 9 weeks , because the more advanced the pregnancy, the less effective this drug is. In addition, it increases the risk to the health of the mother and the fetus, should the abortion survive.

Cytotec is usually administered both orally and by inserting pills vaginally to cause abortion, but some doctors do not recommend this second option because of the side effects it can produce in the vagina.

Cytotec is also used to complete abortions , especially when the first attempt with this same or other methods that were not totally effective failed. In these cases, Cytotec doses are usually repeated to promote the expulsion of the embryo or the placental remains that remain in the uterus.

Cytotec is a support to start labor.

Cytotec contraindications

Cytotec is a drug whose administration should be under medical supervision or completely avoided in cases of people such as:

  • Male or elderly patients who use it to avoid ulcers
  • Women with pregnancy of more than 9 weeks
  • Women with ectopic pregnancy
  • Women presenting with fetal stress pregnancy
  • Women with pregnancy injuries
  • Women with caesarean section less than six months
  • Women with heart problems
  • Women taking blood thinners
  • Women suffering from anemia
  • Women with vaginal bleeding

Cytotec side effects

The use of Cytotec inside the vagina as an abortifacient is related to side effects such as:

  • Rupture of the uterus
  • Appearance of ulcers
  • Bleeding
  • Embryonic remains
  • Septicemia
  • Cramps
  • Strong pains

The use of Cytotec orally produces side effects such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Threw up
  • Sickness
  • Gases
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Colic
  • Bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

The psychological side effects from the consumption of Cytotec are:

  • Depression
  • Sadness
  • Melancholia
  • Suicide attempts
  • Ira

All psychological effects occur regardless of the post-abortion syndrome and the beliefs of the woman.

Cytotec adversely affects the embryo or fetus if it survives the abortion or when the drug was used by the mother while pregnant. Side effects such as:

  • Deformities
  • Moebius syndrome
  • Artrogriposis
  • Clubfoot
  • Microcephaly
  • Other congenital malformations

Therefore, the use of this drug in pregnant women who wish to continue with the pregnancy is prohibited. In the case of those who wish to terminate it, there must be a medical follow-up.

Cytotec can also cause side effects in the mother after the abortion, such as:

  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Fertility problems
  • Sterility
  • Loss of the uterus (in case the drug causes perforations and an emergency operation is required)
  • Loss of the ovaries (in case the drug causes perforations and an emergency operation is required)
  • Dizziness
  • Soft spot
  • Permanent uterine bleeding
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Need for transfusions in case of bleeding

Cytotec is related to maternal deaths due to abortion , especially in cases of home abortions and where there was no medical supervision. Deaths are generally due to hemorrhage and septicemia related to missed abortions or ruptured uterus or fallopian tubes.

Cytotec is not a contraceptive method nor does it replace the use of a condom or birth control pills. It does not have a morning-after pill effect, nor should it be consumed without medical supervision.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical opinion. Consult a doctor.


Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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