How can women’s lives be saved with misoprostol (cytotec)?
While Pfizer originally registered Cytotec for preventing gastric ulcers, subsequent research has shown it can save women’s lives. Cytotec can also be used for safe abortion, prevention and treatment of Post Partum Hemorrhage, induction of labor, and treatment of incomplete miscarriage. Since 2005 Cytotec has been included on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines.
Misoprostol (Cytotec) causes contractions of the womb.
To cause an abortion:
- A woman should put 4 pills of 200 micrograms (in total 800 mcg) Misoprostol under the tongue. Do not swallow the pills for at least 30 minutes until the tablets are dissolved! Spit out the remains
- After 3 hours she should put another 4 pills of Misoprostol under the tongue. Do not swallow the pills for at least 30 minutes, until the tablets are dissolved! Spit out the remains
- After 3 hours she should put another 4 pills of Misoprostol under the tongue again for a third time. Do not swallow the pills for at least 30 minutes, until the tablets are dissolved!
The success rate is 90%. This means that 9 women in every 10 women will have an abortion after this procedure.
How to prevent PPH:
It is possible to prevent PPH in 60% of the cases if the following measures are taken after the child has been born but before the placenta is out.
- Immediately after giving birth, dry and stimulate the baby, put it on the belly of the mother close to the breasts if she wants to breastfeed. Cover the head of the baby with warm cloth or blanket
- Within 1 minute after the baby is born, feel the belly to make sure there is not another baby in the womb. Make the womb contract by putting Misoprostol 3 tablets of 200 mcg under the tongue. After using Misoprostol a woman can experience fever/chills, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, pain. (A woman can do this herself in all cases even when there is nobody to assist her during labour.
- Wait at least 2-3 minutes after birth before clamp the cord
- Massage the womb (at the top end) after the placenta comes out until it is contracted (feels like hard ball). Do this every 15 minutes for the next 2 hours. A woman can do this herself or have anybody present at the birth do this for her.
The only contraindication of giving Misoprostol directly after birth is when there still is another baby. In that case there is a small risk that the second baby might get trapped in the womb.
If a woman starts or continues to loose a lot of blood after using Misoprostol she should be transported to a hospital as soon as possible!! Even when trying to prevent PPH as described above, 3 % of women will loose more than 1000 ml of blood, which is life threatening.
World Health Organization, WHO, 2012