Misoprostol is a synthetic prostaglandin E1 analogue that is used off-label for a variety of indications in the practice of obstetrics and gynecology, including medication abortion.
Cytotec (Misoprostol) is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers resulting from chronic administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Cytotec has been extensively studied in reproductive health and is widely recommended for the treatment of missed and incomplete miscarriages, the induction of abortion, and cervical preparation before uterine instrumentation, induction of labor and postpartum hemorrhage prophylaxis and treatment.
When used for abortion a woman should buy at least 12 pills of 200 mcg Misoprostol. One pill of Cytotec should contain 200 micrograms of Misoprostol. Look for the dosage of Misoprostol on the package, usually the tablets contain 200 mcg, but other dosages do exist. If the pills do not contain 200 micrograms of Misoprostol, recalculate the number of pills so that the same total amount of Misoprostol is used. Using Cytotec (or Misoprostol) alone to cause an abortion will be successful 99% of the time. If it is not effective the first time, you can try again after 3 days. The information is based on research by the World Health Organization.
Misoprostol added to list of Medicines for the treatment of incomplete miscarriage and abortion
The World Health Organization announced the inclusion of misoprostol to its Model List of Essential Medicines based on its proven safety and efficacy for the treatment of incomplete abortion and miscarriage. The judgment was made by an expert committee that evaluated available evidence, which includes several guidelines and numerous randomized and comparative clinical trials for this indication.
The proposal was submitted by Gynuity Health Projects based on the following evidence and considerations:
- Misoprostol is effective for this purpose. More than a dozen randomized or comparative trials have been carried out, the most recent showing that misoprostol has a success rate of about 99% for treatment of incomplete abortion and miscarriage.
- Medical evacuation of the uterus with misoprostol offers an alternative to surgical treatment, which in low-resource settings is often unavailable and may be associated with significant morbidity.
- Misoprostol is inexpensive and so offers a low-cost but safe and effective means of treating this common obstetrical condition.
- Misoprostol is safe. More than 500 studies have been published on the use of misoprostol in obstetrics and gynecology that have involved well over 100 000 women.
- Incomplete abortion contributes disproportionately to maternal morbidity and mortality in much of the developing world.
The recommended doses for treatment of incomplete abortion and miscarriage are:
- A single oral dose of 600 micrograms
- A single sublingual dose of 400 micrograms
How does an abortion with Cytotec work
The best and safest way a woman can do an abortion herself until the 12th week of pregnancy is with the use of medicine called Misoprostol (also known as Cytotec, Arthrotec, Oxaprost, Cyprostol, Mibetec, Prostokos or Misotrol). If you live in a country where there is no access to safe abortion services, and you would like to obtain a medical abortion with Misoprostol, please read this.
Cytotec for medical abortion works best in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. After that, there is an increased risk of a complication and need for medical attention. A woman should make sure she is pregnant. She can do a pregnancy test or have an ultrasound.
To cause an abortion, a woman must put 4 pills of 200 micrograms (in total 800 mcg) Cytotec under the tongue. Do not swallow the pills (at least until 30 minutes after putting the tablets under the tongue).
After 3 hours she should put another 4 pills of Cytotec under the tongue.
After 3 hours she should put another 4 pills of Cytotec under the tongue again for a third time. Do not swallow.