The Abortion Pill

Before taking RU486, or Abortion Pill, you should understand what it is, what it could mean to your health and how it works. Call for an appointment and one of our staff will be happy to discuss it with you, confirm if you’re pregnant and advise you on your options.

What is it?

RU486, also known as “the abortion pill,” is actually a combination of two drugs — mifepristone and misoprostol — that cause an early abortion. This drug is approved for use in women up to 49 days (7 week) from their last menstrual period; however it is commonly used “off label” for up to 63 days (9 weeks).

How does it work?

The first pill, mifepristone, is taken orally and blocks the hormone progesterone needed to maintain the pregnancy. The second pill, misoprostol, is taken up to 3 days after taking the first abortion pill.  This second pill will cause you to have cramps and to bleed.

Things to Consider

An RU486 abortion requires 3 visits to a health care provider.

  • Most medical abortions using mifepristone are completed within 2 weeks, but some can take up to 3 or even 4 weeks.
  • Side effects include heavy bleeding, headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and cramping.
  • If this method fails, a surgical abortion will be required.

Kaiser Family Foundation, “Issue Update: Mifepristone: An Early Abortion Option,” July 2001.
Mifeprex® Medication Guide, 

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