Cytotec was approved by the FDA to treat stomach ulcers in 1999. It works by reducing stomach acid and replacing protective substances in the stomach. It is also known generically as misoprostol. It has also been promoted for “off-label” use as an inducing agent in pregnant women. The manufacturer has never conducted studies on this use and it has not been approved by the FDA.

As a result of this “off-label” use of Cytotec, many pregnant women and their babies have suffered severe side effects. Some of the effects linked to the use of Cytotec during labor include ruptures of the uterus, birth injuries to children, and death of the mother and/or child. These statistics have been proven especially true in women who had previously undergone a cesarean section.

Although women rarely die of uterus ruptures, it is very common that the baby they were carrying dies. Many times the woman’s doctor must perform a hysterectomy, eliminating any possibility of becoming pregnant again.

In 1999, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists warned that until study results were available, which proved that Cytotec was safe to use as an inducing agent, doctors should not employ the drug for that use.

Other serious side effects that Cytotec can cause when used to induce labor include; jaundice in the baby, and fetal distress.

Serious Side Effects may include:

  • Mild to moderate diarrhea, stomach cramps, and/or nausea

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Flatulence
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Menstrual cramps, spotting, or increased or irregular menstruation
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