|Common Name:||Morning After Pill/Plan B||Abortion Pill/RU486|
|Medical Term:||Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECP’s)||Medical Abortion|
|What chemicals are used?||Plan B contains only progestin and levonorgestrel, a synthetic hormone used in birth control pills.||Mifepristone (Mifeprex, RU486) and Misoprostol|
|When is the medication used?||Used after sexual intercourse, over a period of 72 hours, to achieve the goal of preventing (or ending) pregnancy.||Used in a medical abortion procedure within the first seven to nine weeks of pregnancy.|
|How does it work?||Plan B works like other birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation). If a fertilized egg is implanted prior to taking Plan B, Plan B will not work.||A physical exam is given to determine if you are eligible for a medical abortion procedure. You are not eligible if you have any of the following: ectopic pregnancy, ovarian mass, IUD, corticosteroid use, adrenal failure, anemia, bleeding disorders or use of blood thinners, asthma, liver or kidney problems, heart disease, or high blood pressure. Mifepristone is given orally during your first office visit. Mifepristone blocks progesterone from the uterine lining, causing the fetus to die. This alone, may cause contractions to expel the fetus. Misoprostol tablets are given orally or inserted vaginally during the second office visit which occurs 36 to 48 hours later. You will return home where the misoprostol will start contractions and expel the fetus. This may occur within a few hours or in some cases up to two weeks after taking the misoprostol. A physical exam is given two weeks later to ensure the abortion was complete and that there are no immediate complications.|
|How effective is it?||Can decrease the chance that you will get pregnant by up to 89% if taken within 72 hours. That means 7 out of every 8 women who would have gotten pregnant will not get pregnant.||The procedure is unsuccessful approximately 8-10% of the time, thus requiring an additional surgical abortion procedure to complete the termination.|
|What are the health risks and side effects?||Nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, menstrual changes, dizziness, breast tenderness, vomiting, and diarrhea. Menstrual bleeding may be heavier or lighter.||Cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heavy bleeding and/or infection may occur.
RU-486 is not advised for women who have anemia, bleeding disorders, liver or kidney disease, seizure disorder, acute inflammatory bowel disease, or use an intrauterine device (IUD).
WPC does not dispense Emergency Contraception or RU486
Compiled using information from the following sources:
Plan B Consumer Home Page. (2007). Plan B. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
US Food and Drug Administration. (2005). Mifeprex (mifepristone) Questions and Answers. Retrieved June 12, 2007.