A study that evaluated respiratory complications with the use of misoprostol, or prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), found that no patients receiving this medicine had worsening of respiratory symptoms.
Misprostol is a drug commonly used to treat obstetric patients for procedures such as cervical ripening and labor induction, but it is unknown whether it causes dyspnea and bronchospasm. The study examined the use of this medicine in peripartum women, particularly those with a previous diagnosis of asthma.
The overall focus of the study evaluated whether misoprostol use in peripartum women was associated with asthma exacerbations. According to a 2MinuteMedicine.com news report, the outcomes of interest were moderate asthma exacerbations, defined as events necessitating a change in treatment, and severe asthma exacerbations, defined as events requiring urgent action and treatment with systemic corticosteroids.
The 2MinuteMedicine.com news report indicates that cumulative PGE1 dosages ranged from 25mcg to 4200mg and routes of administration included buccal/sublingual, rectal and vaginal.
The results of the study showed no evidence of increased incidence of asthma exacerbations, suggesting that PGE1 is relatively safe to use in asthmatic patients and has a low likelihood of inducing respiratory symptoms in this population, as noted on the 2MinuteMedicine.com news report. In addition, no patients required systemic corticosteroids or increased rescue inhaler use.
Additional prospective study in a larger population of asthmatic patients is needed to better characterize whether asthma exacerbations or other respiratory difficulties are a side effect of PGE1, according to 2MinuteMedicine.com.