A reversible increase in the number of normal surface gastric epithelial cells occurred in the dog, rat, and mouse. No such increase has been observed in humans administered misoprostol for up to 1 year.
An apparent response of the female mouse to misoprostol in long-term studies at 100 to 1000 times the human dose was hyperostosis, mainly of the medulla of sternebrae. Hyperostosis did not occur in long-term studies in the dog and rat and has not been seen in humans treated with misoprostol.
Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
There was no evidence of an effect of misoprostol on tumor occurrence or incidence in rats receiving daily doses up to 150 times the human dose for 24 months. Similarly, there was no effect of misoprostol on tumor occurrence or incidence in mice receiving daily doses up to 1000 times the human dose for 21 months. The mutagenic potential of misoprostol was tested in several in vitro assays, all of which were negative.
Misoprostol, when administered to breeding male and female rats at doses 6.25 times to 625 times the maximum recommended human therapeutic dose, produced dose-related pre- and post-implantation losses and a significant decrease in the number of live pups born at the highest dose. These findings suggest the possibility of a general adverse effect on fertility in males and females.
Pregnancy: Pregnancy Category X
See boxed WARNINGS. Congenital anomalies sometimes associated with fetal death have been reported subsequent to the unsuccessful use of misoprostol as an abortifacient, but the drug's teratogenic mechanism has not been demonstrated. Several reports in the literature associate the use of misoprostol during the first trimester of pregnancy with skull defects, cranial nerve palsies, facial malformations, and limb defects.
Misoprostol is not fetotoxic or teratogenic in rats and rabbits at doses 625 and 63 times the human dose, respectively.
See boxed WARNINGS. Misoprostol may endanger pregnancy (may cause abortion) and thereby cause harm to the fetus when administered to a pregnant woman. Misoprostol may produce uterine contractions, uterine bleeding, and expulsion of the products of conception. Abortions caused by misoprostol may be incomplete. If a woman is or becomes pregnant while taking this drug to reduce the risk of NSAID-induced ulcers, the drug should be discontinued and the patient apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus.