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RU-486 (Mifepristone)

  • Oral anti-progestin medication.
  • Taken with Misoprostol to terminate early pregnancy.
  • Stops the working of progesterone hormone.
  • Safe and effective for less than 63 days of pregnancy.


Active Ingredient Mifepristone
Type Abortion

RU-486 or Mifepristone is a safe yet effective medication taken along with Misoprostol to end an early pregnancy in women. It works by blocking the activity of a hormone known as Progesterone. For women who are no more than 63 days pregnant, this medicine comes to the rescue. RU-486 comes in the form of a tablet that needs to be taken orally by mouth. After 24-48 hours of consumption of this medicine, four tablets of misoprostol are needed to be put into the mouth (for 20-30 minutes). The remaining contents or fragments should then be swallowed. Bleeding occurs within the first 2-24 hours of consumption of this medicine. The bleeding and cramps can stay on until 4 weeks. Visit your doctor after 2 weeks and get an ultrasound (or sonogram) done to check whether the pregnancy has ended completely or not.

RU-486, also known as Mifepristone is an FDA-approved medication used in combination with Misoprostol to bring about an abortion. This is why it is also known as the ‘Abortion Pill‘. Progesterone is a hormone that is in charge of causing the lining of the uterus to build up and prepare for pregnancy. This medicine works by blocking the progesterone receptors in the body. Thus, the uterine lining is shed and the abortion occurs, as there isn’t anything for the egg to stay attached to. Furthermore, Misoprostol causes uterine contractions which allows the uterus to be emptied.
This medicine has been known to work best in women who are no more than 63 days pregnant. All you need to do is consume a single tablet of RU-486. After a period of 24 hours, put four tablets of Misoprostol in your mouth for 30 minutes and consume the remaining fragments. Upon consuming Misoprostol, bleeding will occur in the first 2-24 hours. The flow of bleeding will be heavier than normal (heavier than what is seen during menstruation). Notice the receptacle on your sanitary pad. If you’re only six weeks pregnant, the receptacle will look like a thin grain of rice. This shows that the abortion has occurred. Confirm with your doctor for the same after a period of 2 weeks.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is RU 486 the same as Plan B?

Ans. RU-486 is an abortion pill whereas Plan B (also known as the Morning-After Pill) is a contraceptive which reduces the risk of pregnancy after an unprotected sexual intercourse. Plan B does not cause an abortion but rather prevents ovulation (0r fertilization) when taken within 120 hours of unprotected sex. This is the reason why it is also known as the Birth Control Pill.


2. When can you take RU 486?

Ans. This medicine is usually taken within the first 63 days of pregnancy (after the first day of your last menstrual cycle).

3. How effective is RU 486?

Ans. This pill is 98% effective in cases where a woman is no more than 10 weeks pregnant. For abortion to occur, you do not require any surgery or medical procedure to happen. It just happens only with the consumption of this pill. If this pill is used alone to cause an abortion, it is about 70-85% effective. Therefore, it is always advised to take this medicine alongside Misoprostol.


4. Are there any side effects of this medicine?

Ans. Some common side effects that occur are cramps, nausea, stomach pain, and mild fever. These side effects are temporary and usually go away after a few hours.



1 Pill, 2 Pills


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