Medication abortion

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Jun;52(2):140-50. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3181a2b026.


Medical methods for pregnancy termination in early gestation offer women an alternative to surgical evacuation and have the potential to improve access globally to safe abortion. Several drug regimens are used with varying efficacy including mifepristone plus misoprostol, misoprostol alone, and methotrexate plus misoprostol. Where available, a mifepristone plus misoprostol regimen is most frequently used and is highly effective for early abortion. We review these drug regimens along with clinical practice recommendations including patient counseling and selection, regimen administration location, expected side effects, and follow-up procedures. Overall, women who choose medical abortion report high levels of satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal / adverse effects
  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal / pharmacology
  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Abortion, Induced
  • Counseling
  • Dilatation and Curettage
  • Drug Approval / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Mifepristone / pharmacology
  • Mifepristone / therapeutic use*
  • Misoprostol / pharmacology
  • Misoprostol / therapeutic use*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Selection
  • Pregnancy


  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal
  • Misoprostol
  • Mifepristone