CYTOTEC (misoprostol)

Misoprostol tablets To view Atlanta CBS Channel 46's Investigative Report on Cytotec, click here. Baby's hand

Cytotec is a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat stomach ulcers. Specifically, it is approved to treat stomach ulcers that are a result of taking NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs).

One of the side effects of Cytotec is that it causes uterine contractions.   The contractions can be sufficiently strong to induce abortion.  Therefore, the manufacturer recommends that the drug not be used by pregnant women.

Because the drug causes uterine contractions, obstetricians began using Cytotec to induce labor.  One of the justifications for using the drug is that Cytotec is less expensive than other labor-inducing drugs.  Cytotec costs less than 25 cents a pill.   Pitocin can cost $150 or more.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has sanctioned the use of Cytotec for cervical ripening and for labor induction.

The following organizations have recommended against the use of Cytotec for cervical ripening and for labor induction:
  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  2. Best scientific opinion—Cochrane Database
  3. Searle (manufacturer of Cytotec)
  4. Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
  5. British Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  6. All obstetric organizations in Scandinavia
  7. FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics)
  8. World Health Organization
  9. Obstetric organizations and drug regulatory agencies in many other countries
Food and Drug Administration's warning about using Cytotec in pregnant women and for labor inductions.
Midwifery Today's article about the effects of drugs used during labor.
The Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation- dedicated to empowering women, specifically in the area of childbirth and pregnancy.
Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program- An online site where patients and doctors can report adverse effects of drugs. Call 1-800-332-1088 to file a report by phone.
Pfizer, the drug's manufacturer, has placed the drug insert online as a pdf file.
Cytotec patient information insert that comes with the medication.
Cytotec Induction and Off-Label Use by Marsden Wagner, MD, MS. Dr. Wagner is a neonatologist who served for 15 years as a director of women's and children's health in industrialized countries for the World Health Organization.
Timéo et les Autres...(Timeo and the others): is a French association fighting to end the use of Cytotec as a labor induction agent. The introduction page is in English and French. Andrew's page is in French.

It's your body.
It's your life.
It's your baby.
It's your right to say, "No!"

Our Mission:
TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC about patient rights and responsibilities
TO SUPPORT LEGISLATION requiring patients' informed consent
for off-label use of prescription medication