Misoprostol or Cytotec is an abortion pill used to terminate a pregnancy on its on or together with mifepristone or methotrexate. The abortion pill misoprostol can be taken by mouth or placed in the vagina. Misoprostol is most effective when it is used with methotrexate or mifepristone (RU-486)
Misoprostol, a prostaglandin analogue, binds to myometrial cells to cause strong myometrial contractions leading to expulsion of tissue. Misoprostol can also be used to dilate the cervix in preparation for a surgical abortion, particularly in the second trimester (either alone or in combination with laminaria stents).
A vaginal form of misoprostol is sold in the EU under the names Misodel and Mysodelle for use in labor induction. Misoprostol alone may be more effective in earlier gestation. WHO guidelines recommend for pregnancies up to 12 weeks to use 12 tablets of 200 mcg (micrograms).
Misoprostol binds to and stimulates prostaglandin EP2 receptors, prostaglandin EP3 receptor and prostaglandin EP4 receptor but not Prostaglandin EP1 receptor and therefore is expected to have a more restricted range of physiological and potentially toxic actions than prostaglandin E2 or other analogs which activate all four prostaglandin receptors