POM: Prescription only medicine
This information is intended for use by health professionals
Cytotec 200 microgram tablets
Each tablet contains 200 micrograms misoprostol.
For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.
White to off-white hexagonal tablets scored both sides, engraved SEARLE 1461 on one side for oral administration.
Cytotec is indicated for the healing of duodenal ulcer and gastric ulcer including those induced by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) in arthritic patients at risk, whilst continuing their NSAID therapy. In addition, Cytotec can be used for the prophylaxis of NSAID-induced ulcers.
Healing of duodenal ulcer, gastric ulcer and NSAID-induced peptic ulcer: 800 micrograms daily in two or four divided doses taken with breakfast and / or each main meal and at bedtime.
Treatment should be given initially for at least 4 weeks even if symptomatic relief has been achieved sooner. In most patients ulcers will be healed in 4 weeks but treatment may be continued for up to 8 weeks if required. If the ulcer relapses further treatment courses may be given.
Prophylaxis of NSAID-induced peptic ulcer: 200 micrograms twice daily, three times daily or four times daily. Treatment can be continued as required. Dosage should be individualised according to the clinical condition of each patient.
Renal impairment: Available evidence indicates that no adjustment of dosage is necessary in patients with renal impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Cytotec is metabolised by fatty acid oxidising systems present in organs throughout the body. Its metabolism and plasma levels are therefore unlikely to be affected markedly in patients with hepatic impairment.
The usual dosage may be used.
Use of Cytotec in children has not yet been evaluated in the treatment of peptic ulceration or NSAID-induced peptic ulcer disease.
Misoprostol is contraindicated:
• In women of childbearing potential who are not using effective contraception (see sections 4.4, 4.6 and 4.8)
• In women who are pregnant, or in whom pregnancy has not been excluded, or who are planning a pregnancy as misoprostol increases uterine tone and contractions in pregnancy which may cause partial or complete expulsion of the products of conception (see sections 4.4, 4.6 and 4.8). Use in pregnancy has been associated with birth defects.
• In patients with a known hypersensitivity to misoprostol or to any other component of the product, or to other prostaglandins.
In women of childbearing potential Cytotec must not bestarted on misoprostol until pregnancy is excluded, and should be fully counselled on the importance of adequate contraception while undergoing treatment. If pregnancy is suspected, use of the product should be discontinued (see sections 4.3, 4.6 and 4.8).
In such patients it is advised that Cytotec should only be used if the patient:
• takes effective contraceptive measures
• has been advised of the risks of taking Cytotec if pregnant (see section 4.3)
Gastrointestinal bleeding, ulceration, and perforation have occurred in NSAID-treated patients receiving misoprostol. Physicians and patients should remain alert for ulceration, even in the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms, and, where appropriate, endoscopy and biopsy should be carried out before use to ensure that malignant disease is absent in the upper gastrointestinal tract. These investigations and any others considered necessary by the clinician should be repeated at appropriate intervals for follow-up purposes.
Symptomatic responses to misoprostol do not preclude the presence of gastric malignancy.
Misoprostol should be used with caution in patients with conditions that predispose them to diarrhoea, such as inflammatory bowel disease. To minimise the risk of diarrhoea, misoprostol should be taken with food, and magnesium-containing antacids should be avoided (see section 4.5).
Misoprostol should be used with caution in patients in whom dehydration would be dangerous. These patients should be monitored carefully.
The results of clinical studies indicate that Cytotec does not produce hypotension at dosages effective in promoting the healing of gastric and duodenal ulcers. Nevertheless, Cytotec should be used with caution in the presence of disease states where hypotension might precipitate severe complications, e.g. cerebrovascular disease, coronary artery disease or severe peripheral vascular disease including hypertension.
There is no evidence that Cytotec has adverse effects on glucose metabolism in human volunteers or patients with diabetes mellitus.
Concomitant administration of NSAIDs and misoprostol in rare cases can cause a transaminase increase and peripheral oedema.
Cytotec is predominantly metabolised via fatty acid oxidising systems and has shown no adverse effect on the hepatic microsomal mixed function oxidase (P450) enzyme system. In specific studies no clinically significant pharmacokinetic interaction has been demonstrated with antipyrine or diazepam. A modest increase in propranolol concentrations (mean approximately 20% in AUC, 30% in Cmax) has been observed with multiple dosing of misoprostol. In extensive clinical studies no drug interactions have been attributed to Cytotec. Drug interaction studies with misoprostol and several NSAIDs showed no clinically significant effect on the kinetics of ibuprofen, diclofenac, piroxicam, aspirin, naproxen or indomethacin.
Magnesium-containing antacids should be avoided during treatment with misoprostol as this may worsen the misoprostol-induced diarrhoea.
Women of childbearing potential
Women of childbearing potential must be informed about the risk of teratogenicity prior to treatment with Cytotec. Treatment must not be initiated until pregnancy is excluded, and women should be fully counselled on the importance of adequate contraception while undergoing treatment. If pregnancy is suspected, treatment must be immediately discontinued (see sections 4.3 and 4.4).
Misoprostol induces uterine contractions and is associated with abortion, premature birth, foetal death and foetal malformations.
Approximately a 3-fold increased risk of malformations was reported in pregnancies exposed to misoprostol during the first trimester, compared to a control group incidence of 2%. In particular, prenatal exposure to misoprostol has been associated with Moebius syndrome (congenital facial paralysis leading to hypomimia, troubles of suckling and deglutition and eye movements, with or without limb defects); amniotic band syndrome (limb deformities/ amputations, especially clubfoot, acheiria, olygodactyly, cleft palate inter alia) and central nervous system anomalies (cerebral and cranial anomalies as anencephaly, hydrocephaly, cerebellar hypoplasia, neural tube defects). Other defects including arthrogryposis have been observed.
- Women should be informed of the risk of teratogenicity.
- Should the patient wish to continue with her pregnancy after exposure of misoprostol in utero, a careful ultrasound scan monitoring of the pregnancy, with special attention to the limbs and head must be carried out.
The risk of uterine rupture increases with advancing gestational age and with prior uterine surgery, including Caesarean delivery. Grand multiparity also appears to be a risk factor for uterine rupture.
Misoprostol is rapidly metabolised in the mother to misoprostol acid, which is biologically active and is excreted in breast milk. Misoprostol should not be administered to nursing mothers because the excretion of misoprostol acid could cause undesirable effects such as diarrhoea in nursing infants.
Cytotec can cause dizziness. Patients should be cautioned about operating machinery and driving.
The Adverse reaction terms were then categorised utilising the incidence rate as follows:
Very Common: ≥ 1/10 (≥10%)
Common: ≥ 1/100 and < 1/10, (≥1% and <10%)
Uncommon: ≥ 1/1000 and < 1/100, (≥0.1% and <1%)
Rare: ≥ 1/10,000 and < 1/1000, (≥0.01% and <0.1%)
Very Rare: < 1/10,000, (<0.01%)
Immune System Disorder
Nervous System Disorders
Abdominal pain*, constipation, dyspepsia, flatulence, nausea, vomiting
Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders
Pregnancy, puerperium, and perinatal conditions
Amniotic fluid embolism, abnormal uterine contractions, foetal death, incomplete abortion, premature birth, retained placenta, uterine perforation
Reproductive System and Breast Disorders
Vaginal haemorrhage (including postmenopausal bleeding), intermenstrual bleeding, menstrual disorder, uterine cramping
Congenital, Familial and Genetic Disorders
General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions
* Diarrhoea and abdominal pain were dose-related, usually developed early in the course of therapy, and were typically self-limiting. Rare instances of profound diarrhoea leading to severe dehydration has been reported.
**Uterine rupture has been uncommonly reported after prostaglandin intake during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Uterine ruptures occurred particularly in multiparous women or in women with a caesarean section scar.
Diarrhoea can be minimised by using single doses not exceeding 200 micrograms with food and by avoiding the use of predominantly magnesium containing antacids when an antacid is required.
The pattern of adverse events associated with Cytotec is similar when an NSAID is given concomitantly.
In clinical trials, over 15,000 patients and subjects received at least one dose of misoprostol. Adverse reactions involved primarily the gastrointestinal system.
Diarrhoea and abdominal pain were dose-related, usually developed early in the course of therapy, and were typically self-limiting. Rare instances of profound diarrhoea leading to severe dehydration have been reported.
The profile for adverse reactions with >1% incidence was similar for subacute (four to twelve weeks duration) and long- term (up to one year) clinical trials.
The safety of long-term (greater than 12 weeks) administration of misoprostol has been demonstrated in several studies in which patients were treated continuously for up to one year. This includes no adverse or unusual change in the morphology of gastric mucosa, as determined by gastric biopsy.
There were no significant differences in the safety profile of misoprostol in patients who were 65 years of age or older, compared with younger patients.
The use of misoprostol in children has not been evaluated.
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.
Signs and symptoms of overdose
The toxic dose of misoprostol in humans has not been determined. Clinical signs that may indicate an overdose are sedation, tremor, convulsions, dyspnea, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever, palpitations, hypotension, or bradycardia.
Treatment of overdose
Because misoprostol is metabolized like a fatty acid, it is unlikely that dialysis would be appropriate treatment for overdosage. In cases of overdose, standard supportive measures should be adopted as required.
In clinical trials patients have tolerated 1200 micrograms daily for three months without significant adverse effects.
Pharmacotherapeutic group: prostaglandins, ATC code: A02BB01.
Cytotec is an analogue of naturally occurring prostaglandin E1 which promotes peptic ulcer healing and symptomatic relief.
Mechanism of action
Cytotec protects the gastroduodenal mucosa by inhibiting basal, stimulated and nocturnal acid secretion and by reducing the volume of gastric secretions, the proteolytic activity of the gastric fluid, and increasing bicarbonate and mucus secretion.
Cytotec is rapidly absorbed following oral administration, with peak plasma levels of the active metabolite (misoprostol acid) occurring after about 30 minutes. The plasma elimination half-life of misoprostol acid is 20-40 minutes. No accumulation of misoprostol acid in plasma occurs after repeated dosing of 400 micrograms twice daily.
In single and repeat-dose studies in dogs, rats and mice at multiples of the human dose, toxicological findings were consistent with the known pharmacological effects of the E-type prostaglandins, the main symptoms being diarrhoea, vomiting, mydriasis, tremors and hyperpyrexia. Gastric mucosal hyperplasia was also observed in the mouse, rat and the dog. In the rat and the dog the hyperplasia was reversible on discontinuation of misoprostol following one year of dosing. Histological examination of gastric biopsies in humans has shown no adverse tissue response after up to one year's treatment. In studies of fertility, teratogenicity and peri/post-natal toxicity in rats and rabbits there were no major findings. A decrease in implantations and some pup growth retardation was observed at doses greater than 100 times the human dose. It was concluded that misoprostol does not significantly affect fertility, is not teratogenic or embryotoxic and does not affect rat pups in the peri/post-natal period.
Misoprostol was negative in a battery of 6 in vitro assays and one in vivo test to assess mutagenic potential. In carcinogenicity studies in the rat and mouse it was concluded that there was no risk of carcinogenic hazard.
Sodium starch glycolate (Type A)
Hydrogenated castor oil
Do not store above 30°C. Store in the original package to protect from moisture.
Cold-formed aluminium blister packs of 56, 60, 112, 120 or 140 tablets.
Not all pack sizes may be marketed.
No special requirements.
Date of first authorisation: 10 May 2002
Date of latest renewal: 24 June 2013
Ref.: CZ 6_1
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