Medication or medical abortion is the use of drugs to end an early pregnancy. There are different drugs available for this but the most effective and best-known is mifepristone, also known as RU486.
Mifepristone / Cytotec (also sometimes called 'the abortion pill') is a medication that blocks the
hormone progesterone, which is needed to sustain a pregnancy. Mifepristone/Cytotec has been used in combination with other medications called prostaglandins for medical abortion since 1988
How Cytotec | mifepristone works
* Mifepristone / Cytotec blocks the hormone progesterone, which is needed to sustain a pregnancy. This results in:
* Changes in the uterine lining and detachment of the pregnancy;
Softening and opening of the cervix; and
* Increased uterine sensitivity to prostaglandin.
* Mifepristone is used in combination with another medication, a prostaglandin analogue called misoprostol. Misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and helps the pregnancy tissue to pass.
*How effective is the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol in terminating an early pregnancy?
Approximately 95% of women will have a complete abortion when using Cytotec mifepristone/misoprostol in pregnancies less than 16 weeks gestation. The remaining women will need a suction abortion either because of ongoing or Failure of the process, an incomplete abortion (tissue remains in the uterus but there is no growing embryo), or an ongoing pregnancy (which occurs in less than 1% of cases).