Tuesday, October 17, 2017
 

 

          

 

 

RU486 or "abortion pill" is known as a medical abortion - as opposed to a surgical abortion.

Medical abortions are available during the early weeks of the first trimester. This drug is only approved for use in women up to the 49th day after their last menstrual period.

Before seeking a medical abortion procedure, it is recommended that you obtain a sonogram to determine if the pregnancy is viable (uterine, non-ectopic pregnancy) and for accurate pregnancy dating.

MTX: Methotrexate & Misoprostol:

MTX is a medical abortion procedure used up to the first seven weeks of pregnancy.

  • Methotrexate is given orally or by injection during the first office visit.
  • Misoprostol tablets are given orally or inserted vaginally during the second office visit which occurs 5 to 7 days later.
  • You will return home where the misoprostol will start contractions and expel the fetus. This may occur within a few hours or up to a few days.
  • A physical exam is given 7 days later to ensure that the abortion procedure is complete and that no complications are apparent.
  • Methotrexate is primarily used in the treatment of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis because it attacks the most rapidly growing cells in the body. In the case of an abortion, it causes the fetus and placenta to separate from the lining of the uterus. The use of this drug for this purpose is not approved by the FDA.

The side effects and risks of Methotrexate & Misoprostol include the following:

  • The procedure is unsuccessful approximately 10% of the time, thus requiring an additional surgical abortion procedure to complete the termination.
  • Cramping, nausea, diarrhea, heavy bleeding, fever
  • Not advised for women who have anemia, bleeding disorders, liver or kidney disease, seizure disorder, acute inflammatory bowel disease, or use an intrauterine device (IUD).

RU-486: Mifepristone (Mifeprex) and Misoprostol:

Mifepristone (Mifeprex) and Misoprostol is a medical abortion procedure used up to the first seven to nine weeks of pregnancy. It is also referred to as RU-486 or the abortion pill.

  • A physical exam is given to determine if you are eligible for this medical abortion procedure. You are not eligible if you have any of the following: ectopic pregnancy, ovarian mass, IUD, corticosteroid use, adrenal failure, anemia, bleeding disorders or use of blood thinners, asthma, liver or kidney problems, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
  • Mifepristone is given orally during your first office visit. Mifepristone blocks progesterone from the uterine lining, causing the fetus to die. This alone, may cause contractions to expel the fetus.
  • Misoprostol tablets are given orally or inserted vaginally during the second office visit which occurs 36 to 48 hours later.
  • You will return home where the misoprostol will start contractions and expel the fetus. This may occur within a few hours or in some cases up to two weeks after taking the misoprostol.
  • A physical exam is given two weeks later to ensure the abortion was complete and that there are no immediate complications.

The side effects and risks of Mifepristone & Misoprostol include the following:

  • The procedure is unsuccessful approximately 8-10% of the time, thus requiring an additional surgical abortion procedure to complete the termination.
  • Cramping, nausea, vomiting diarrhea, heavy bleeding, infection
  • Not advised for women who have anemia, bleeding disorders, liver or kidney disease, seizure disorder, acute inflammatory bowel disease, or use an intrauterine device (IUD).

Rather than going to sleep and spending 10-15 minutes “on the table,” the chemical RU486 abortion takes days, sometimes as long as a week. Sometimes, it doesn't even work. So, in addition to the nausea and pain, women may experience days of anxiety, wondering when “it” will happen.  Many women witness the aborted embryo itself. That emotional impact may leave scars on their hearts for a very long time.


"Induced Abortion." The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 2001.

Pymar HC, Creinin MD (2000). Alternatives to mifepristone regimens for medical abortion. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 183 (2): s54-s64.

Paul M, et al. (1999). A Clinician's Guide to Medical and Surgical Abortion. New York: Churchill Livingstone.

Creinin MD, et al. (2001). Medical management of abortion. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Practice Bulletin, no. 26, pg.1-13.

Goldberg ab, et al. (2001). Misoprostol and pregnancy. New England Journal of Medicine, 344 (1): 3845.

Spitz IM, et al. (1998). Early pregnancy termination with mifepristone and misoprostol in the U.S. New England Journal of Medicine, 338 (18): 1241-1247.

key points to consider

RU486, like all drugs, has potentially serious side effects and complications.

The FDA has released reports of complications including death resulting from:

  • hemorrhage (excessive bleeding)
  • serious and sometimes fatal infections
  • missed diagnoses of ectopic pregnancy (outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube)

What we need to know about RU486 deaths:

  • There have been deaths that resulted directly from severe infection in the blood stream of women who took RU486 orally and then were given Cytotec® intra-vaginally.
  • In each case the infection was caused by a unique bacterium called Clostridium sordellii that rarely causes genital infection in women.
  • Each of these women became ill very quickly and died from the consequences of massive infection before anything could be done to save them.

Women who experience the following are even more at risk:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • bleeding problem
  • anemia
  • uncontrolled diabetes

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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