Pregnancy termination

Steroids. 2000 Oct-Nov;65(10-11):801-5. doi: 10.1016/s0039-128x(00)00182-3.


During pregnancy, the antiprogestin mifepristone will induce uterine contractions, increase the sensitivity of the myometrium to prostaglandin, and ripen the cervix. These effects indicate that mifepristone can be used for termination of pregnancy. The clinical experience has shown that mifepristone is sufficiently effective for this purpose only if combined with a suitable prostaglandin, e.g. gemeprost or misoprostol. The combined treatment has been used for termination of early pregnancy (up to 63 days of amenorrhea) and for termination of second trimester pregnancy. During early pregnancy, the recommended dose of mifepristone is 600 mg (although 200 mg seems sufficient), followed 36-48 h later by 0.4-0.8 mg misoprostol administered either orally or vaginally, or vaginal administration of 1.0 mg gemeprost. For termination of second trimester pregnancy, the treatment with mifepristone is most commonly combined with 1.0 mg gemeprost repeated at 3-6-h intervals. The combined treatment is as effective and safe during early pregnancy as is the alternative vacuum aspiration and is also equally acceptable if the woman is allowed to choose the method she prefers. During the second trimester, the pretreatment will significantly reduce the duration of labor, dose of prostaglandin, and the frequency of side effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal / administration & dosage
  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal / adverse effects
  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal / pharmacology
  • Abortifacient Agents, Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Abortifacient Agents, Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Abortifacient Agents, Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Abortion, Induced / methods*
  • Alprostadil / administration & dosage
  • Alprostadil / adverse effects
  • Alprostadil / analogs & derivatives*
  • Alprostadil / pharmacology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mifepristone / administration & dosage
  • Mifepristone / adverse effects
  • Mifepristone / pharmacology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal
  • Abortifacient Agents, Steroidal
  • Mifepristone
  • gemeprost
  • Alprostadil