RU-486. Termination of a pregnancy in the privacy of one’s home

PIP: This is an outline of the therapeutic uses of RU-486, followed by clarification of the term “contragestion”, and analyses of the theological, legal, and corporate-political issues confronting acceptance of this drug. RU-486 is a computer-designed progesterone antagonist with no known side effects other than those predicted by its endocrinological action. It has been used to terminate pregnancy (with prostaglandin) up to 41 days amenorrhea, and has been shown to terminate pregnancy with fetal demise, to cause luteolysis in the late menstrual cycle, to facilitate management of ectopic pregnancy, to induce term labor (in primates), to soften the cervix prior to mechanical abortion, and to reverse symptoms of causing a syndrome.
Published in North Carolina Medical Journal, 10 1989, 50(10):531-6