“Women are not dying because of diseases we cannot treat. They are dying because societies have yet to make the decision that their lives are worth saving.”
Misoprostol is a drug that is used for the prevention of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-induced gastric ulcers, for early abortion, to treat missed miscarriage, and to induce labor. The last use is controversial in the United States. Misoprostol was invented and marketed by G.D. Searle & Company (now Pfizer) under the trade name Cytotec (often misspelled Cyotec), but other brand-name and generic formulations are now available as well.
Pharmacologically, misoprostol is a synthetic prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) analogue.
Misoprostol is approved for use in the prevention of NSAID-induced gastric ulcers. It acts upon gastric parietal cells, inhibiting the secretion of gastric acid via G-protein coupled receptor-mediated inhibition of adenylate cyclase, which leads to decreased intracellular cyclic AMP levels and decreased proton pump activity at the apical surface of the parietal cell. Because other classes of drugs, especially H2-receptor antagonists and proton pump inhibitors, are more effective for the treatment of acute peptic ulcers, Misoprostol is only indicated for use by people who are both taking NSAIDs and are at high risk for NSAID-induced ulcers, including the elderly and people with ulcer complications. Misoprostol is sometimes co-prescribed with NSAIDs to prevent their common adverse effect of gastric ulceration (e.g. with Diclofenac in Arthrotec).
Misoprostol has other protective actions, but is only clinically effective at doses high enough to reduce gastric acid secretion. For instance, at lower doses misoprostol may stimulate increased secretion of the protective mucus that lines the gastrointestinal tract and increase mucosal blood flow, thereby increasing mucosal integrity—however, these effects are not pronounced enough to warrant prescription of misoprostol at doses lower than those needed to achieve gastric acid suppression.
Misoprostol is commonly used for labor induction. It causes uterine contractions and the ripening (effacement or thinning) of the cervix.Misoprostol is more effective in starting labor than other drugs used for labor induction. It is also significantly less expensive than the other commonly used ripening agent, dinoprostone (trade names Cervidil and Prepidil).
Oxytocin (trade names Pitocin and Syntocinon) has long been used as the standard agent for labor induction, but doesn't work well when the cervix is not yet ripe. In addition to being used alone to induce labor, misoprostol may be used in conjunction with oxytocin.
Protocols for inducing labor with misoprostol typically call for 25 μg to be administered vaginally. In countries where the only approved use of misoprostol is ulcer prevention, misoprostol is not sold in tablets smaller than 100 μg. When used for induction, the 100 μg tablet is commonly split into two or four pieces.
In August 2000, Searle—the manufacturer of misoprostol—distributed a letter warning against the use of misoprostol in pregnant women. In addition to citing the abortifacient nature of the drug, the letter cited reports of uterine rupture and death associated with using misoprostol to induce labor. This letter generated much controversy over the use of misoprostol in labor inductions. Other rare complications include amniotic fluid embolism.Because these complications are rare, it is difficult to determine if misoprostol causes a higher risk than do other cervical ripening agents. One estimate is that it would require approximately 61,000 patients enrolled in randomized controlled trials to detect a clinically significant difference in serious fetal complications and approximately 155,000 patients to detect a clinically significant difference in serious maternal complications.
All cervical-ripening and induction agents can cause uterine hyperstimulation, which can negatively affect the blood supply to the fetus and increases the risk of complications such as uterine rupture.Concern has been raised that uterine hyperstimulation that occurs during a misoprostol-induced labor is more difficult to treat than hyperstimulation during labors induced by other drugs.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists holds that substantial evidence supports the use of misoprostol for induction of labor, a position it reaffirmed in 2000 in response to the Searle letter. Misoprostol is also on the WHO essential drug list for labor induction.
WHO (tablet 200 mg - tablet 200 micrograms,
* requires close medical supervision
where permitted under national law and where
Misoprostol is one of the drugs used for medical abortions in lieu of surgical evacuation. The advantages of medical abortion over surgical abortion include reduced invasiveness of the procedure, lack of risks from general anesthesia (which is often used for surgical abortions), and lack of risk of secondary infertility due to scarring and intrauterine adhesions (Asherman's Syndrome).citation needed Furthermore, it is less complicated to administer and less expensive.
In many countries which it is used in conjunction with mifepristone (RU-486). After mifepristone is taken orally, misoprostol is taken 24–72 hours later, causing the expulsion of the embryo and associated matter in approximately 92% of the cases. No large studies have established a protocol for the use of misoprostol alone, and the range of efficacy is 65%–93% depending on sample size, gestational age, and other test variables;
Misoprostol is also used to prevent and treat post-partum hemorrhage, but it has more side effects and is less effective than oxytocin for this purpose. ..
most of african countries are not practicing this somalia is including but problem there are so many cases reported and seen in different hospitals in somalia using as Post-partum hemorrhages.
By Dr.Abdirizak H. Mohammed
now working in pharmaceutical Industry (Q.C) Departmennt