Carboprost (Intramuscular)

Carboprost comes in the form of an injection that's administered straight into a muscle by a healthcare provider.


Carboprost (Hemabate) is a type of prostaglandin (i.e. a hormone-like matter that the body produces naturally). Prostaglandins help to manage bodily functions, including muscle contractions and blood pressure.

Carboprost helps to treat profuse bleeding after childbirth (i.e. postpartum hemorrhage).

Carboprost is also taken to induce an abortion by bringing about uterine contractions. It's normally administered between the thirteenth and twentieth weeks of pregnancy. However, it may be administered at other intervals for medical purposes. Hemabate is usually used when another abortion method hasn't emptied the uterus completely, or when a pregnancy complication would cause a child to be born too soon to survive.

Carboprost can also be taken for other purposes not discussed here.

This medication is administered in a clinic or hospital environment to quickly treat serious effects that occur.

Carboprost can produce certain side effects, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and flushing. If you experience more serious effects such as difficulty in swallowing or breathing, chest pain, swelling of face, fainting, dryness in mouth, abnormal cardiac rhythm, sore throat, persistent dizziness, heavy vaginal bleeding and so on, you should seek medical attention urgently.

Severe cramp and pelvic pain may be felt which may be resolved if you notify your doctor in time.

If you're allergic to Carboprost, don't take it. Also don't take the medicine if you have:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Active pelvic inflammatory problem
  • A breathing problem or lung disease

To ensure that Hemabate is safe for use, tell your healthcare professional if you have these conditions:

A history of any of these conditions: asthma, kidney disease, liver disease

If you've got any of these medical problems, you shouldn't receive Hemabate, or you might need special exams during treatment or dosage adjustments.

If you're receiving Carboprost for other purposes apart from postpartum bleeding or abortion, report your pregnancy to your doctor.

It's not clear whether Hemabate gets into a breastfeeding mother's milk or if it may affect a breastfeeding infant. If you're breastfeeding, inform your doctor.

Conditions treated

  • Abortion
  • Postpartum hemorrhage

Type of medicine

  • Endocrine-metabolic agent

Side effects

Along with its useful effects, Carboprost can bring on several undesirable effects. While not all the side effects listed below may occur, they may need the attention of a medical doctor if they do.

See your doctor urgently if you notice any of these effects:

Less common/rare:

  • Fast/slow heartbeat
  • Skin rash or hives
  • Severe and continuing headache
  • Increased uterine pain
  • Cool, pale, blotchy skin on legs or arms
  • Painful or pressing feeling in chest
  • Tightness in chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of face, eyelids, and inside the nose
  • Troubled breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Absent or weak pulse in legs or arms
  • See your doctor as promptly as possible if you notice some of these side effects:
  • Constipation
  • Inflammation or pain at injection site
  • Tender or slightly bloated stomach or abdomen

Some Carboprost side effects can happen that normally don't have to be treated. These effects may disappear while you adjust to Carboprost treatment. In addition, your healthcare giver may help you ease or prevent some of these effects. See your healthcare giver right away if you need more information about any of these effects, if they persist, or if they're bothersome.

More common:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Less common/rare:

  • Dizziness
  • Chills or shivering
  • Fever (temporary)
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Redness/flushing of face

Hemabate may cause some effects even after the end of treatment. These may require medical treatment, so see your doctor promptly if you experience any of these effects:

  • Continuing fever
  • Continuing chills or shivering
  • Increased bleeding in the uterus
  • Foul-smelling discharge from the vagina
  • Pain in the lower abdomen

Some patients may experience other side effects not listed above. If you experience any other effects, see your healthcare provider immediately.


Carboprost is given through an injection into your muscle. You'll receive Carboprost in a hospital or clinic environment.

Your doctor may give you another medication to prevent diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea as you receive Hemabate.

To ensure that Hemabate has worked effectively, your uterus opening (cervix) will have to be examined after the procedure. Please don't miss any planned follow-up appointments with your doctor.

In some cases, Hemabate may not induce a full abortion and the process must be repeated.

Since Carboprost is given by a healthcare provider as needed, it's unlikely that you'll miss one dose.

If you've taken too much Hemabate, inform all your healthcare givers as soon as possible. However, a Hemabate overdose is not likely to happen in a clinic/hospital setting.

Follow your doctor's advice about any limits on food, drinks, or physical activity after you're given Carboprost.


Before you receive Hemabate, let your healthcare professional know if you've had treatment with any other medications that can cause uterine contractions, such as:

  • Oxytocin
  • Misoprostol (Cytotec)
  • Dinoprostone (Prostin E2)
  • Mifepristone (Mifeprex /RU-486)

Hemabate can interact with the above drugs and increase their effects, so these drugs shouldn't be used together with Hemabate.

This list of Carboprost interactions is not all-inclusive and there could be other medications that can interact with Carboprost. Inform your healthcare professional about all prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, herbal, and mineral products you're using. Don't start any new drug without first telling your doctor.


In deciding to take a drug, you must weigh the risks of using the drug against the positives it will bring. You and your physician will have to take this decision. Before using Carboprost, you should consider the following factors.

Allergies - let your healthcare provider know if you've ever experienced any allergic or unusual reaction to Carboprost or any other drugs. Also, let your healthcare giver know if you've ever had any other allergies; for example, allergies to foods, animals, preservatives, or dyes. For non-prescription products, check out the package or label ingredients.

Pregnancy - animal studies don't indicate that Hemabate is teratogenic (capable of interfering with the development of an embryo or fetus). However, the medication has been shown to affect the embryo in rabbits and rats and any amount which causes increased uterine tone may endanger an embryo or fetus.

Breastfeeding - there aren't enough studies in women to determine risk in infants when using Carboprost while breastfeeding. Before taking Carboprost while breastfeeding, you should weigh the possible benefits against the possible risks.

The existence of other medical conditions can affect Carboprost use. Be sure to inform your doctor about any other medical conditions you have, especially:

  • Adrenal gland disease (or a history of the condition) - Carboprost induces the production of steroids in the body
  • Anemia - abortion with Hemabate may cause loss of blood in some patients that may need a transfusion
  • Asthma (or a history of the condition)
  • Lung disease (or a history of the condition) - Hemabate may narrow the lung's blood vessels or narrow the lung passages
  • Type 2 diabetes/diabetes mellitus (or a history of the condition)
  • Epilepsy (or a history of the condition) - in rare cases, seizures have occurred with the use of Hemabate
  • Fibroid uterine tumors
  • Uterus surgery (or a history of it) - there's a higher risk of the uterus rupturing
  • com/health/coma/">Glaucoma - in rare cases, the pressure inside the eye increases during Carboprost use
  • Blood vessel or heart disease (or a history of the condition)
  • Elevated blood pressure (or a history of the condition)
  • Low blood pressure/history of the condition - Hemabate may cause blood pressure changes or change how the heart works.
  • Jaundice (or a history of the condition)
  • Kidney disease (or a history of the condition)
  • Liver disease (or a history of the condition) - your body may not get rid of Carboprost at the normal rate, which can make Carboprost cause toxic effects or work longer.


Not applicable. Carboprost isn't stored at home because it is administered in a clinic/hospital.


Carboprost is a kind of prostaglandin (hormone-like substance that's naturally produced by the body). A prostaglandin helps to manage bodily functions such as blood pressure as well as muscle contractions.

Carboprost may be taken for other reasons not discussed in this drug guide.

Carboprost usually causes diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. You might be given other drugs to control these symptoms before you're given Carboprost.

If you have allergies to Carboprost, don't use it. Also don't take Carboprost if you have certain medical conditions, including kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Serious Carboprost side effects may include vaginal bleeding, severe pelvic cramping, severe diarrhea or vomiting, and high fever.

Before you take Carboprost, let your physician know if you've been treated with other medicines that may cause uterine contractions. Carboprost can worsen the effects of similar drugs, and you shouldn't use them together.

Your cervix (uterus opening) must be examined after you're given Carboprost. Be sure to honor all scheduled follow-up appointments with your physician.

Your physician or chemist can give you more information about Hemabate.

Last Reviewed:
December 24, 2017
Last Updated:
April 26, 2018