Cytotec for Birth is Dangerous

When I first started doing homebirths 32+ years ago the mortal sin was to use buccal Pitocin (the pill form, which is put under the tongue to begin or augment labor.) The reason that it was a no-no is that it might cause tetanic contractions, which can lead to uterine rupture, problems with the baby, or both. Moreover, once it is begun, the absorption of that dose cannot be controlled or stopped quickly enough to safely stop those extra-hard contractions.


Today the drug Cytotec (misoprostol) is used just as cavalierly. It has the same hazards, plus more (hyperstimulation of the uterus, which can lead to fetal distress, amniotic embolism, uterine rupture, fetal death and postpartum hemorrhage). Several years ago a man called our office crying. His wife and baby had just been killed as a result of the doctor administering Cytotec, which ruptured her uterus and killed them both; or was it manslaughter?


The side effects of Cytotec are well-known, yet its use is rampant in many countries by physicians and midwives. If you are a midwife who uses it, I beg you to stop. It is dangerous. If birth doesn’t happen normally at home it belongs in hospitalwithout Cytotec.


Marsden Wagner wrote articles for Midwifery Today about deaths associated with Cytotec. Click here to read his articles on our website. 

Jan Tritten

Midwifery Today



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