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Roussel-Uclaf's mifepristone (RU 486)

Executive Summary

Roussel-Uclaf's mifepristone (RU 486): Study by Beatrice Couzinet, MD, et al, reported in the Dec. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine finds that RU 486 caused termination of early pregnancy in 85% of 100 study participants. Investigators conclude that "the high frequency of complete abortion suggests that the efficacy of the drugt increases with shorter length of gestation." The study was limited to the first 10 days after expected onset of the missed menstrual period. Prolonged uterine bleeding occurred in 18% of the women. Couzinet, et al, note that the success rate with prostaglanding also approaches 85% but adds that prostaglandins are "associated with painful uterine contractions and gastrointestinal side effects in approximately 50% of subjects".

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