Misoprostol: what’s in a good tablet?

Misoprostol: what’s in a good tablet?
A woman in labour watches as a health worker listens to the foetus at the Samfya Stage 2 Clinic in the rural town of Samfya, Zambia, 2009. © UNICEF/Nesbitt


An article on the quality of misoprostol products has just been published in the WHO Bulletin. The article summarizes findings from testing of misoprostol samples, and makes recommendations for national regulatory authorities and for procurement organizations.

In the past decade there has been a dramatic increase in availability and use of generic misoprostol products worldwide. In addition to its use in early abortion,
 the international community has been promoting its use to prevent post-partum hemorrhage. Unfortunately, this increased availability has not been accompanied by adequate control of the quality of generic products.

A series of studies and analyses have been conducted on misoprostol samples to assess percent of labeled content, packaging and degradation over time. These were supported by Gynuity Health Projects, and by  UNFPA Nigeria, IPPF, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Jhpiego and the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children.

Download the WHO Bulletin article here.

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