Misoprostol in resource poor countries

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39554.346759.BE (Published 08 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1032
  1. Staffan Bergström, professor1,
  2. Annette Aronsson, senior obstetrician2
  1. 1AMDD Program, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA
  2. 2Division of International Health, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Staffan.Bergstrom{at}ki.se

    Is cheap and effective, yet its availability remains restricted

    An evidence based guideline on the use of misoprostol for women’s reproductive health has recently been published.1 It underlines the value of misoprostol for specific clinical indications in obstetrics and gynaecology despite the remarkable absence of marketing efforts by producers. Misoprostol is a prostaglandin E1 analogue, which is effective, cheap, and can be used safely for a variety of obstetric and gynaecological indications.2 It is rare that a new drug can potentially save tens of thousands of maternal lives, particularly in the poorest countries in the world.

    The uterotonic action of misoprostol was discovered as a side effect of its main intended use of treating peptic ulcer.3 For more than 20 years it has been a focus of …

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