Background: A combination of mifepristone and misoprostol provides an effective method of medical abortion for early pregnancy. A new route of administration of misoprostol, the sublingual route, was investigated in this study.
Methods: One hundred women who requested legal termination of pregnancy up to 63 days were given 200 mg of oral mifepristone followed 48 h later by 800 microg (4 x 200 microg tablets) of sublingual misoprostol.
Results: Ninety-four women (94%) had a complete abortion with this regimen. There was one ongoing pregnancy. The median duration of vaginal bleeding was 15 days. There were no serious complications. However, lower abdominal pain, diarrhoea, chills and fever were the commonest side-effects with incidences of 89, 42, 38 and 79% respectively.
Conclusions: The combination of mifepristone and sublingual misoprostol is effective for medical abortion up to 63 days gestation. Randomized trials are required to compare its efficacy and side-effect profile with vaginal misoprostol.