Vaginal misoprostol compared with vaginal gemeprost in termination of second trimester pregnancy. A randomized trial

Contraception. 1998 Oct;58(4):207-10. doi: 10.1016/s0010-7824(98)00099-7.


A prospective randomized trial was conducted in 140 women to compare the efficacy of vaginal gemeprost with vaginal misoprostol for termination of second trimester pregnancy. Women requesting termination of second trimester pregnancy were randomized into two groups. Group A women were given 1 mg vaginal gemeprost every 3 h for a maximum of five doses in the first 24 h, whereas group B women were given 400 micrograms vaginal misoprostol every 3 h for a maximum of five doses in 24 h. The median induction-abortion interval in the vaginal misoprostol group (14.1 h) was significantly shorter than that in the gemeprost group (19.5 h). The percentage of women who achieved successful abortion within 24 h in the misoprostol group (80.0%) was significantly higher than that in the gemeprost group (58.6%). There was no significant difference in the incidence of side effects between the two groups except for diarrhea, which was more common in the gemeprost group. The incidence of fever was more common in the misoprostol group. It is concluded that vaginal misoprostol is more effective than gemeprost in termination of second trimester pregnancy.

PIP: The efficacies of vaginal gemeprost and vaginal misoprostol for the termination of second-trimester pregnancies were compared in a prospective, randomized trial conducted in Hong Kong, China. 140 women 16-40 years of age requesting pregnancy termination at gestational ages of 14-20 weeks were allocated to receive either 1 mg of gemeprost every 3 hours up to 5 doses (n = 70) or 400 mcg of misoprostol every 3 hours up to 5 doses (n = 70). 56 women (80.0%) in the misoprostol group and 41 (58.6%) in the gemeprost group aborted within 24 hours. In primigravidas, the rate of successful abortion was significantly higher in the misoprostol group (83.3%) than the gemeprost group (55.3%). There were no significant between-group differences in this rate for multigravid women. The median induction-abortion interval was significantly shorter in the misoprostol group (14.1 hours) than the gemeprost group (19.5 hours). Blood loss during the procedure was similar in both groups. Although there was no significant difference in the incidence of side effects, diarrhea was less common in misoprostol acceptors (24.3%) than in women who received gemeprost (40.0%). In addition to being more effective at inducing abortion, misoprostol is substantially less expensive than gemeprost and does not require refrigerated transport and storage facilities. Thus, misoprostol, with or without mifepristone, should be the drug of choice for termination of mid-trimester pregnancies. Further studies are needed, however, to determine the optimal dose and frequency of administration.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal / administration & dosage*
  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal / adverse effects
  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Administration, Intravaginal
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alprostadil / administration & dosage
  • Alprostadil / adverse effects
  • Alprostadil / analogs & derivatives*
  • Diarrhea / chemically induced
  • Female
  • Fever / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Misoprostol / administration & dosage*
  • Misoprostol / adverse effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second


  • Abortifacient Agents, Nonsteroidal
  • Misoprostol
  • gemeprost
  • Alprostadil