Cytotec (misoprostol) is a medication often used for early medical abortion. Like any drug, it can potentially interact with other medications or substances. Being aware of these interactions allows you to use Cytotec more safely and effectively.

What is Cytotec?

The active ingredient in Cytotec is misoprostol, which is a prostaglandin. It causes contractions of the uterus and softening of the cervix, which terminates early pregnancy.

Cytotec was originally approved to prevent stomach ulcers. It comes in tablet form, typically 100mcg or 200mcg doses.

Why Drug Interactions Matter

When two or more drugs are taken together, they can interact in the body and alter each other’s effects. The interactions may make one or both drugs more or less potent than expected.

Some interactions are harmless, but others can negatively impact the safety and efficacy of the medications. Being aware of possible Cytotec interactions allows you to prevent issues.

Cytotec Interactions to Be Aware Of

There are a few key interactions to keep in mind with Cytotec:


Medications like ibuprofen can potentially make Cytotec less effective for abortion purposes. These drugs affect prostaglandins like misoprostol.

Ulcer Medications

Antacids containing magnesium can reduce absorption of Cytotec, making it less effective. Other ulcer drugs have not demonstrated significant interactions.


If given closely together, Cytotec can amplify the effects of oxytocin used for labor induction. This increases risks and is not recommended.

Allergy Medications

Cytotec does not appear to interact significantly with medications like antihistamines and nasal decongestants. However, resistance from allergies could theoretically inhibit the effects of prostaglandins.


Studies found no significant interaction between therapeutic doses of aspirin and Cytotec in terms of efficacy or absorption.

Other NSAIDs

No significant interactions have been found between Cytotec and other common NSAIDs like diclofenac and ibuprofen.


Cytotec is not known to interfere with hormonal contraceptives. However, birth control failure is theoretically possible due to vomiting/diarrhea. Additional contraception for a short time is recommended.

Tips to Prevent Cytotec Interactions

To help avoid issues with Cytotec interactions:

  • Tell your provider about all medications, vitamins and supplements you take.
  • Take Cytotec on an empty stomach with just water if possible.
  • Avoid antacids and anti-inflammatories around the time of taking Cytotec when feasible.
  • Allow 3-4 hours between Cytotec and oxytocin administration if used together.
  • Use back-up birth control for a short time in case contraceptives are affected.
  • Check for drug interactions if an additional new medication is prescribed.

What to Do if an Interaction Occurs

If you experience issues like prolonged bleeding, severe cramping or other unusual symptoms after taking Cytotec, a drug interaction could be the cause.

Be sure to contact your medical provider right away. They may adjust the Cytotec dose or switch medications to ensure proper termination of the pregnancy.

The Bottom Line

While serious Cytotec drug interactions are relatively uncommon, being aware of the possibilities allows you to use the medication more safely and effectively. Discuss all your medications with your provider, follow recommended guidelines and report any concerning symptoms promptly. This helps ensure the best possible outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Cytotec interact with birth control pills?

Cytotec is not known to directly interact with oral contraceptives, but diarrhea/vomiting can potentially make birth control pills less effective if taken at the same time.

Can you take Cytotec with ibuprofen?

It’s best to avoid ibuprofen right before or after taking Cytotec, as NSAIDs like ibuprofen may make Cytotec less effective for abortion purposes.

What drugs should not be taken with Cytotec?

Avoid antacids with magnesium and anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen around the time of taking Cytotec. Allow 3-4 hours between oxytocin and Cytotec administration.

Does Cytotec interact with antibiotics?

No significant interactions have been found between Cytotec original and common antibiotics. However, antibiotics can potentially reduce efficacy of oral contraceptives.

Can you take Cytotec with pain medication?

Yes, medications like paracetamol (acetaminophen) can be used alongside Cytotec for cramping without issues. Avoid NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen.


  • Contains the active ingredient misoprostol
  • Originally approved to prevent stomach ulcers
  • Also used off-label for medical abortion
  • Causes contractions and softening of the cervix
  • Available in 100mcg and 200mcg tablets


  • When combined, drugs can alter each other’s effects
  • Interactions may increase or decrease potency
  • Some interactions are harmless, others are more serious
  • Being aware of possible interactions allows prevention


  • Ibuprofen and NSAIDs reduce efficacy
  • Antacids with magnesium decrease absorption
  • Amplifies oxytocin if used closely together
  • No significant interaction with aspirin or birth control
  • Diarrhea/vomiting may impact contraceptive efficacy


  • Inform provider about all medications you take
  • Take on empty stomach with just water
  • Avoid NSAIDs and antacids around time of use
  • Allow 3-4 hours between oxytocin and Cytotec
  • Use back-up birth control temporarily
  • Check for interactions with any new medications


  • Contact provider if you have unusual symptoms
  • Signs may include prolonged bleeding, severe cramping
  • Provider may adjust dose or switch medications
  • Prompt action helps ensure proper completion