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Common Questions and Concerns About Cytotec: An FAQCommon Questions and Concerns About Cytotec: An FAQ

Cytotec (misoprostol) is a medication that was originally developed to prevent stomach ulcers. However, it was also discovered to be effective at inducing abortions during early pregnancy. This off-label use raises many questions for those considering using Cytotec. Here we address some of the most frequently asked questions.

What Exactly is Cytotec?

Cytotec contains the active ingredient misoprostol, which is a prostaglandin medication. It causes the cervix to soften and the uterus to contract. This terminates early pregnancies.

Cytotec comes in tablet form, typically 100mcg or 200mcg doses. It was never officially approved for use in abortion procedures.

How Does Cytotec Work to Induce Abortion?

Cytotec original works very similarly to how the body naturally passes a miscarriage. The prostaglandin causes cramping and contractions to empty the uterus contents. This is known as medication or medical abortion.

What is the Recommended Cytotec Dosage?

  • For pregnancies up to 9 weeks, the typical dosage is 800mcg (4 tablets) repeated in 3-4 hours.
  • For pregnancies 9-13 weeks, the dosage is 800mcg every 3 hours up to a total of 2400mcg (12 tablets) over 9 hours.

Exact dosing is guided by medical professionals based on the specifics of each case.

How Effective is Cytotec for Abortion?

When used properly under medical supervision, Cytotec is up to 98% effective at safely terminating pregnancies in the first trimester. The success rate decreases later in the pregnancy.

How Soon After Taking Cytotec Does it Work?

Most women begin cramping and bleeding within 1-4 hours after the first Cytotec dose. The pregnancy typically passes within 24 hours, but it can take longer in some cases.

What Side Effects are Associated with Cytotec?

Common side effects include cramping, bleeding, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low-grade fever, chills, headache, and dizziness. These typically dissipate within 24 hours.

Is Cytotec Painful?

Most women do report very painful menstrual-like cramping and contractions when the pregnancy passes after taking Cytotec. Having a pain management plan is recommended.

Where Can Someone Safely Obtain Cytotec?

The safest way is through legitimate telehealth abortion services or clinical providers where legal and available. Cytotec can also be acquired online from some international pharmacies. Verifying authenticity is critical when purchasing this way.

Does Cytotec Require a Prescription?

In most countries Cytotec legally requires a prescription. However, some international online pharmacies provide it without a prescription. The reliability of these sources varies.

What Percentage of Abortions Use Cytotec?

In the U.S., around 60% of medical abortions involve a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol (Cytotec). Rates vary globally.

Is Taking Cytotec Alone Dangerous?

Using Cytotec alone rather than with mifepristone does have higher risks of side effects like excess bleeding. Medical supervision is always advised when accessible.

What Should I Expect During the Abortion Process?

You can expect strong cramping and bleeding as the pregnancy tissue passes, typically within 24 hours but sometimes longer. The process closely mimics a natural miscarriage.

How Long Does Bleeding Last After Taking Cytotec?

Heavy bleeding and clotting often lasts around 4-6 hours. Light spotting can persist for 4-6 weeks after. Extended heavy bleeding suggests the abortion may be incomplete.

Do I Need a Follow-Up Appointment After Cytotec?

Yes, follow-up in 1-2 weeks is crucial to confirm the abortion is fully complete and check for any potential complications requiring treatment.

Is Cytotec Safe?

When used correctly under medical supervision, Cytotec is generally safe. However, side effects can sometimes be severe, so oversight is important.

Hopefully this FAQ helps provide fast answers to some of the most common Cytotec questions. As always, consulting your own provider is advised for guidance on your specific situation.


  • Medication containing the active ingredient misoprostol
  • Originally approved to prevent stomach ulcers
  • Also used off-label to induce medical abortion
  • Causes contractions and cervix softening to empty uterus


  • Misoprostol is a prostaglandin that stimulates uterine contractions
  • This empties the uterus contents, terminating the pregnancy
  • Very similar mechanism to natural miscarriage
  • Considered a medical or medication abortion


  • Up to 9 weeks: 800mcg repeated in 3-4 hrs
  • 9-13 weeks: 800mcg every 3hrs, up to 2400mcg total
  • Exact dosing guided by provider based on specifics


  • Up to 98% effective in early pregnancy when used properly
  • Success rates decrease later in first trimester
  • Medical supervision is key for best results


  • Cramping and bleeding often begins within 1-4 hours
  • Pregnancy typically passes within 24 hours
  • Can sometimes take longer to complete


  • Cramping, bleeding, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Low-grade fever, chills, dizziness, headache
  • Usually dissipate within 24 hours
  • Pain can be severe – have a pain management plan


  • Considered generally safe under medical supervision
  • Risks include excessive bleeding, incomplete abortion
  • Severe side effects possible in rare cases
  • Oversight by professional is recommended
  • Not approved by FDA for this purpose