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What Is Carboprost?

By Jillian O Keeffe
Updated May 17, 2024
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Carboprost is a drug that acts like a specific natural molecular signal in the body. Treatment with this medicine has effects on muscles and on the rate at which blood is pumped around the body. Its uses range from stopping abnormal uterine bleeding after childbirth to terminating a pregnancy. Possible side effects for women who receive carboprost include vomiting, pain in the uterine area or dizziness.

The specific area of medicine in which carboprost is used is women's reproductive health. Terminations of pregnancies are one example of a use of carboprost, because the drug acts directly on the muscular walls of the uterus, making them contract to the point where the pregnancy ends. Commonly, the drug is used after the second month of pregnancy and before the end of the fifth month, but it may also be used at other times. A doctor may also administer the medicine if a woman has already had an abortion, but the uterus is not fully empty. The mode of action of the drug is due to the fact that it is a prostaglandin, which is a group of molecules that act as chemical signals in the body.

Women who have just given birth to children are another segment of the patient population who may receive carboprost. Due to the drug's ability to alter blood pressure and contract muscles, it is potentially useful for women whose wombs have not contracted normally after the birth, and who as a result, lose abnormally high amounts of blood. As well as these two major uses, individual doctors may administer the drug for other medical reasons, if its effects are appropriate.

Commonly, patients who receive carboprost experience a feeling of sickness and vomiting. They also may suffer from diarrhea, although additional medication can help prevent these side effects. Existing illnesses such as organ disease or pelvic inflammatory disease may make a patient unsuitable for treatment with carboprost, as can conditions that produce issues with breathing. The extra danger from these conditions is because of the potential for severe side effects such as cramps and excessive vaginal bleeding.

After treatment with carboprost, a patient typically has to visit her doctor for a physical examination. This is to ensure that the cervix, which is the entrance point to the uterus, has reacted as expected to the medication. Further checks are also commonly necessary to make sure that the treatment worked appropriately, and that no further treatment is warranted.

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