Cytotec is a synthetic prostoglandin intended for use in the treatment of gastric ulcers. The FDA has not approved cytotec for use in inductions, however it is used commonly. It is important for expectant mothers to research the risks and benefits of using cytotec for induction purposes.
What is cytotec?
Cytotec (also known as misoprostol) is a synthetic prostoglandin manufactured by Searle Pharmaceuticals and is intended for use in the treatment of gastric ulcers. Prostoglandins play an important role in the softening of the cervix, preparing it to respond to the contractions.
How is cytotec used?
Cytotec is available in pill form and may be administered orally, but when used for induction, the pill is usually administered vaginally, near the cervix. This allows the prostoglandin properties of the medication to begin working on the cervix.
What are some reasons cytotec may be needed?
Cytotec is used to help soften the cervix and begin labor. Cytotec is often used when the cervix is considered less than favorable for induction.
A cytotec induction may be used when an induction is deemed medically necessary due to conditions such as toxemia or intrauterine growth restriction. Alternately, cytotec may be used in elective inductions done for reasons such as scheduling conflicts on the part of the patient or physician, or simply the mother’s desire to end her pregnancy and meet her baby.
What are the advantages of cytotec?
Cytotec has been proven to begin labor quicker than pitocin. Many physicians find it more efficient in starting labor than other labor inducing agents.
Cytotec is relatively inexpensive, easy to store and readily available in more hospitals making it a more popular choice among physicians and patients.
What are the disadvantages of cytotec?
Cytotec increases the risk of uterine hyper stimulation, and the risk of uterine rupture. Uterine rupture is life-threatening for both the mother and baby and a cesarean must be performed immediately.
Once administered, the effects of cytotec cannot be reversed or slowed down after administration.
Cytotec has not been approved for use in inductions, and no safe or effective dose has been established for use in inductions.
While undergoing a cytotec induction, the woman must remain on either internal or external fetal monitors to monitor for any fluctuations in the baby’s heart rate, as well as to monitor the intensity and frequency of the woman’s contractions. This monitoring greatly limit’s the woman’s mobility, which may have an adverse affect on labor progression as movement during labor helps promote healthy labor progression.
Cytotec may increase the risk of fetal distress as well as increase the instances of me conium stained fluid, which may lead to respiratory issues in the newborn.
“Cytotec – Labor Induction.” Birthing Naturally. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
“Cytotec: Safe for Inducing Labor? – IVillage.” IVillage.com: Health, Beauty, Pregnancy, Entertainment, Women’s Community and More. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
“Misoprostol (Cytotec) for Labor Induction: A Cautionary Tale.” International Cesarean Awareness Network. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.