September 2, 2021
Misoprostol is a medication typically used in combination with Mifepristone to bring about an abortion during pregnancy. Learn more about how this drug is used, the side effects, and more.
Misoprostol is the second medicine taken for a medication abortion. When used in combination with mifepristone, it’s 98% effective in ending a pregnancy in the first trimester.
Misoprostol, also called Cytotec, has been used as an abortion medication since the late 1980’s and early 1990's. At that time, misoprostol was approved only to treat peptic ulcers, but women in areas with restrictions to abortion access discovered the side effect of uterine cramping and vaginal bleeding. In the United States, misoprostol was FDA-approved for medication abortion treatment in 1996.
Misoprostol causes the uterus (or womb) to contract, causing cramping and bleeding to empty the contents of the uterus, thus ending a pregnancy. When taken with the other medication often used for medication abortion treatment, mifepristone, it’s 98% effective in ending pregnancy in the first trimester.
To use misoprostol, we recommend meeting with an abortion provider who can prescribe the medications and ensure the process is completed safely. In 24-48 hours after taking 200mg mifepristone, the medication which ends the pregnancy, you’ll take four 200mcg tablets of misoprostol. Misoprostol causes uterine cramping and bleeding. Generally, you’ll experience vaginal bleeding within about 6-24 hours after taking the misoprostol, and heavy bleeding can last for a few hours.
Vaginal bleeding and cramping are expected. They mean the treatment is working.
Misoprostol can also cause other side effects for about 24 hours after taking it. None of these side effects are dangerous, but they can be uncomfortable.
Misoprostol side effects include:
Over-the-counter pain medication, heating pads, and other comfort measures can help with these side effects, if you experience them.
If any of these symptoms persist after about a week or increase in intensity, contact your healthcare provider or seek emergency care.
Studies show that people are able to safely manage medication abortion treatment at home without a clinic visit, but your provider may request you follow up in-person based on their clinic policies and your health history.
Misoprostol should only be taken when prescribed by a medical provider. To buy misoprostol online, use a professional telehealth abortion provider. This will ensure your process is safe and effectively ends your pregnancy. You can also meet with an abortion provider in a clinic where they can administer the medications during the visit or give them to you to take at home.
Laws around abortion telehealth services change frequently and differ state to state. To find options available to you, check here.
Hey Jane provides telehealth medication abortion sevices online for adults that are less than 10 weeks along in their pregnancy. Check that you are eligible for services here and speak with one of our licensed medical providers. If approved, we’ll send your medications to the address of your choice (as long it’s in one of the states where we’re operating) to you in an unmarked box to protect your privacy. They should arrive on your doorstep in about 1 to 3 days.
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