The effect of post-cesarean rectal misoprostol on intestinal motility

Abiodun I. Adanikin, Ernest O. Orji, Olusola B. Fasubaa, Uche Onwudiegwu, Omotade A. Ijarotimi, Oluwaseyi Olaniyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine whether rectally administered misoprostol can induce intestinal motility compared with oxytocin infusion when used to prevent primary postpartum hemorrhage after cesarean delivery. Methods: In a prospective randomized double-blind study in Nigeria, 218 parturients undergoing cesarean delivery who had risk factors for primary postpartum hemorrhage were enrolled between July 1, 2010, and March 31, 2011. Participants received 600 μg of rectal misoprostol or 20 intravenous units of oxytocin for 4 hours after surgery. The primary outcome was time until passage of flatus. Adverse effects, need for additional analgesic, and length of hospital stay were also assessed. Results: The misoprostol group had a significantly shorter mean postoperative interval to passage of flatus (20.27 ± 7.77 hours versus 38.34 ± 10.98 hours; P < 0.001) and commencement of regular diet (21.08 ± 7.69 hours versus 39.13 ± 10.94 hours; P < 0.001). Gastrointestinal adverse effects were more frequent, albeit not significantly, in the misoprostol group: nausea, 6.4% versus 1.8%; vomiting, 7.3% versus 2.8%; and abdominal distension, 3.7% versus 2.8%. The need for additional analgesic was the same in the 2 groups. Conclusion: After cesarean delivery, rectal misoprostol had the added benefit of inducing intestinal motility. Misoprostol might be considered in a clinical setting where postoperative ileus is anticipated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-162
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number2
Early online date25 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Intestinal motility
  • Misoprostol
  • Oxytocin infusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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