The abortion pill (RU486) is commonly confused with the morning after pill. It is important to realize that these two medications work in different ways and serve different purposes:
The Morning After Pill
The morning after pill is a high-dosed progesterone pill intended to be taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. However, it may or may not prevent pregnancy depending on where you are in your cycle. There are three ways it can work. It may:
- prevent ovulation subsequently preventing fertilization
- affect the lining of your Fallopian tubes to prevent sperm from reaching the egg, therefore, preventing fertilization
- irritate the lining of your uterus making it difficult/harder for the fertilized embryo to implant in your uterus 
What it is
- The abortion pill (RU-486) is an artificial steroid that blocks progesterone, a hormone needed to continue a pregnancy, before it is released. Mifepristone is the generic name. The brand names are Mifeprex or Early Option.
- Generally, it is used in combination with Misoprostol (brand name Cytotec) a type of prostaglandin.
When it is Used
- In March 2016, the FDA approved RU486 for usage within 10 weeks (70 days) after the first day of last menstrual period.
How it works
- Mifepristone(Mifeprex/Early Option) blocks the hormone, progesterone, causing the lining of the uterus to break down, making it unable to sustain the fetus.
- Misoprostol(Cytotec), given two days after Mifepristone(Mifeprex/Early Option), causes cramping and significant bleeding. So then, the uterine lining and the fetus to expel itself.
To learn more about how it works schedule an appointment.
Important things to consider before choosing a medical abortion:
- Beware: There is much misinformation about the Abortion Pill on the Internet. Therefore, you should never order this medication on the internet. There is no regulation so you don’t know what you are getting.
- The FDA has an approved regimen for this medication. The FDA is aware that many medical practitioners use modified regimens, which may include prescribing different doses of mifepristone and misoprostol, dosing misoprostol on a different day, and/or advising patients to insert misoprostol tablets into the vagina. While medical literature describes some of the modified regimens, the safety and effectiveness of mifepristone and misoprostol dosing regimens other than the one in currently approved labeling have not been evaluated by FDA.
Do not take RU486/Mifepristone if you have:
- not had a menstrual cycle begin within 70 days (10 weeks).
- an IUD. You must take it out before you take RU 486.
- a provider that has previously told you that you have a pregnancy outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy).
- problems with your adrenal glands (chronic adrenal failure).
- been taking a medicine to thin your blood.
- a bleeding problem.
- been taking certain steroid medicines.
- a prior engagement keeping you from returning for the follow-up visits.
- restricted access to emergency medical help in the 2 weeks after you take Mifeprex.
- an allergy in relation to mifepristone, misoprostol, or medicines that contain misoprostol, such as Cytotec or Arthrotec.
 Dihle, Vicki L., “The morning-after pill” Focus on the Family, 2014.
 I. Spitz et al., “Early pregnancy termination with mifepristone and misoprostol in the United States,” New England Journal of Medicine 1998, 338:1241-47.
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