Recent evidence on the use of medication abortion with misoprostol only
Ibis Reproductive Health. May 2023.
Medication abortion with misoprostol only is a safe, highly effective, World Health Organization-recommended regimen for medication abortion. While commonly used around the globe, misoprostol-only regimens have rarely been offered in clinician-managed settings in the United States. This is due to early clinical trials which suggested that misoprostol was less effective alone than the combined regimen. More recent evidence on both clinician and self-managed use of misoprostol only found higher effectiveness; these studies may provide insight into the full potential of misoprostol only when used where clinical intervention is less readily offered, as might be the case in the United States. Given the wider availability of misoprostol at lower cost, potential for shorter time to expulsion of pregnancy, and concerns about restrictions on mifepristone in the United States, there is an urgent need to revisit the misoprostol-only regimen and its potential use for people seeking clinician-supported abortion. This brief presents recent findings on safety, effectiveness, and experience with misoprostol only.