Is RU-468 Safe?
FREQUENT QUESTION #5: Is RU-486 Safe?
RU-486 (Mifepristone)/Mifeprex combined with Misoprotol Technique
RU-486, also known as the “Abortion Pill” was approved for use in a pregnancy that is no older than 49 days old (7 weeks after the beginning of the last menstrual period).
Procedure Description: Week 1
Patient should have a pelvic examination, blood tests and a sonogram.
The sonogram will document the viability and gestational age of the pregnancy.
RU-486 is given to cause the destruction of the baby’s nutritional support, and eventually the baby itself. 60-80% of women will abort after using Mifepristone alone.
Within 48 hours after receiving RU-486, Misoprotol is given vaginally or orally to start uterine contractions.
Up to 70% of women will abort within 4 hours of receiving misoprotol.
Day 14 or 15
Patient will return for a sonogram.
Up to 98% of women will have completed the abortion after receiving both mifepristone and misoprotol.
If the abortion is not complete, she will need a surgical abortion (D&C).
Any Complications or Side Effects?
May need a surgical abortion
Incomplete abortions occur in about 2% of the women and continued pregnancy in about 1%
Sometimes, a woman may have excessive bleeding or hemorrhaging that requires surgical intervention (<1%) with rarely needed blood transfusions
Nausea, Vomiting and Diarrhea
These symptoms may require medications to stop vomiting and diarrhea.
There is a possibility of maternal death in the case of an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy.
Hatcher RA, Nelson AL, Zieman M et al. A Pocket Guide to Managing Contraception.
Tiger, Georgia: Bridging the Gap Foundation, 2001.
HHS News. Department of Health and Human Services. September 28, 2000.
New England Journal of Medicine, 338: 18. April 30, 1998.