Cytotec (misoprostol) is a medication often used for early medical abortion. Like any drug, it requires proper storage to maintain its potency and safety. Here we’ll look at how to store Cytotec correctly to avoid potential problems.
What is Cytotec?
Cytotec contains the active ingredient misoprostol, which is a prostaglandin medication. It causes contractions of the uterus and softening of the cervix. This empties the uterus contents, terminating early pregnancy.
Cytotec comes in tablet form, typically in doses of 100mcg or 200mcg. It is sometimes compounded into vaginal inserts as well.
Why Proper Storage Matters
Like any pharmaceutical drug, Cytotec has specific storage requirements to maintain stability and prevent degradation over time. If stored incorrectly, it risks becoming less effective or even dangerous to use.
Key storage factors include temperature, moisture, and exposure to light. Following the recommended guidelines helps ensure Cytotec retains full potency and safety.
How to Store Cytotec Tablets
The manufacturer provides these Cytotec tablet storage guidelines:
- Store at controlled room temperature of 25°C/77°F or below. Keep away from high heat and moisture.
- Keep in original packaging until use. Protect from light if possible.
- Do not remove foil strips until ready to use each dose. Foil helps protect the tablets.
- Check expiration date and do not use expired medication. Shelf life is typically 2-3 years.
- Avoid extremes of cold or heat. Do not freeze or refrigerate.
- Store in a dry area. Bathrooms and kitchens are often too humid.
- Keep well out of reach of children. A locked cabinet or closet is ideal.
Proper storage maintains the integrity of the tablets so they work as expected.
How to Store Compounded Cytotec
If using compounded Cytotec vaginal inserts:
- Follow pharmacist’s exact instructions for storage conditions and expiration.
- Typically stored frozen or refrigerated in sealed pouches.
- Thaw to room temperature 30+ minutes before use.
- Discard if liquid looks cloudy or discolored when thawed.
With correct freezing and thawing, compounded inserts maintain stability.
What Happens if Stored Incorrectly?
Storing Cytotec improperly risks:
- Decreased potency leading to reduced effectiveness
- Discoloration, crumbling, cracking, or dissolving of tablets
- Growth of potentially harmful bacteria or mold
- Unpredictable side effects from degraded medication
- Contamination impacting safety
Look closely at tablets before use and discard any that are damaged, discolored or compromised. Never use expired medication.
Tips for Traveling or Transporting Cytotec
If traveling with Cytotec:
- Use temperature regulating carrying cases if no climate control.
- Avoid leaving in hot vehicles or locations for extended periods.
- Do not freeze medication that is normally stored at room temperature.
- Check tablets closely for damage after transport.
With some care taken, original Cytotec can safely be transported for use when needed.
The Bottom Line
Like any medication, following the recommended storage guidelines for Cytotec helps ensure that it remains stable, potent, and safe to use as intended. Taking steps to avoid heat, moisture and direct light will help it retain full effectiveness. If unsure if medication has been compromised, it is best to obtain a new sealed dose when possible. Proper planning allows this important medication to be stored correctly when the need arises.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does Cytotec last if stored properly?
When stored correctly, Cytotec tablets typically remain potent until the printed expiration date, which is usually 2-3 years from manufacturing.
Can Cytotec be stored at room temperature?
Yes, Cytotec tablets should be stored at controlled room temperature below 77°F/25°C. Avoid freezing or refrigerating.
What happens if Cytotec gets too hot or cold?
Extreme heat or cold can affect potency and cause degradation. While brief temperature swings are OK, prolonged heat or freezing should be avoided.
Can Cytotec get wet or damp?
Moisture can compromise the medication, so keep Cytotec stored in dry, controlled conditions. Bathrooms and kitchens tend to be too humid.
How can you tell if Cytotec tablets are still good?
Inspect tablets before use. Discard if expired, discolored, cracked, moldy, or showing any signs of damage. Potency cannot be guaranteed if compromised.
- Controlled room temperature below 77°F/25°C
- In original packaging until use
- Protect from light and moisture
- Don’t remove foil strips until taking dose
- Check expiration date – 2-3 year shelf life
- Avoid temperature extremes
- Store in a dry location
- Keep out of reach of children
- Follow pharmacist instructions exactly
- Typically refrigerated or frozen
- Allow pouches to thaw before use
- Discard if liquid appears discolored or cloudy
- Reduced potency and effectiveness
- Tablet discoloration, cracking, or dissolution
- Growth of harmful bacteria or mold
- Unpredictable side effects
- Contamination creating safety issues
- Use temperature regulating cases
- Avoid leaving in hot vehicles
- Don’t freeze room temperature meds
- Inspect closely for damage after transport
- Check the expiration date
- Inspect tablets closely before use
- Discard if expired, discolored, cracked, moldy
- Do not use if any sign of compromise
- When in doubt, obtain a new sealed dose