Cytotec is prescribed to prevent stomach ulcers in adults who are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This medication can help prevent ulcers in people who are at risk for developing complications from ulcers or in those who had an ulcer in the past. There are also some off-label uses for Cytotec, such as to cause an abortion, induce labor, or treat chronic constipation.
What Is Cytotec Used For?Cytotec® (misoprostol) is a prescription medication approved to prevent stomach ulcers (gastric ulcers) in people taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This medicine is specifically designed for those who are at risk for developing serious problems from ulcers or who have had an ulcer in the past. It is a synthetic (made in a laboratory) prostaglandin E1, which is a hormone-type substance found naturally in the body.
Using Cytotec to Prevent UlcersA peptic ulcer is a break or sore in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine (the duodenum). Peptic ulcers occur when acid in the digestive tract eats away at the lining of the small intestine or stomach. When peptic ulcers occur in the upper part of the small intestine, they are called duodenal ulcers. Peptic ulcers in the stomach are called gastric ulcers.
The majority of peptic ulcers are caused by bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). However, ulcers can also be caused by regular use of NSAIDs, including:
NSAIDs can irritate and weaken the lining of the small intestine or stomach, allowing acid to reach the stomach or duodenal wall.
A burning pain is the most common symptom of an ulcer. The pain may be worse when your stomach is empty, or at night. Other symptoms may include:
- Nausea or vomiting, which may include blood
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
- Black, bloody, or tarry stools.
Cytotec is used to decrease the risk of a gastric ulcer from NSAID use. It has not been shown to reduce the risk of duodenal ulcers in people taking NSAIDs. It also has not been shown to reduce stomach pain or discomfort from NSAID use.
It is important to contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of a peptic ulcer. If left untreated, the condition can cause serious problems, such as internal bleeding.