Women wanting to terminate an early pregnancy may be prescribed Mifeprex. This prescription medicine works by blocking the action of progesterone, causing the lining of the uterus to soften and break down. It comes as a tablet and is taken in a healthcare setting. Side effects may include vomiting, headaches, and cramping.
What Is Mifeprex?
Mifeprex® (mifepristone) is a prescription medication approved to end an early pregnancy. An early pregnancy is one in which it has been 49 days or less since your last menstrual period began. Mifeprex is used in combination with another medicine called misoprostol (Cytotec®).
Mifeprex works by blocking the action of progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone that prepares the lining of the uterus for a fertilized egg and is necessary for pregnancy to continue. When the medication blocks progesterone, the lining of the uterus softens and breaks down, ending the pregnancy.
If Mifeprex does not cause a complete abortion, misoprostol (Cytotec) is given two days later. Misoprostol is a type of prostaglandin, a hormone-like substance found naturally in the body. It causes the uterus to contract and push out the products of conception.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Mifeprex [package insert]. New York, NY: Danco Laboratories, LLC.;2009 April.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 14, 2012.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed February 15, 2012.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed February 4, 2012.
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