Abortion Pill Side Effects: Mifepristone & Misoprostol facts

by | Dec 28, 2023 | Medications

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Most people think that the abortion pill is an easy way to get rid of a pregnancy without any consequences. But is it true? Let’s find out.

There are some harmful abortion pill side effects that can cause serious personal injuries or even lead to death if the pill is consumed without proper medical advice from a medical professional.

Along the way, we will explore the ongoing abortion pill lawsuits filed against mifepristone & misoprostol pills.

What is an Abortion pill?

Abortion pills are considered to be a simple procedure used to end a pregnancy. Usually, this method involves using the medications mifepristone and misoprostol to cause miscarriage or pregnancy loss.

Mifepristone works by stopping the hormone that maintains pregnancy, and misoprostol makes the womb squeeze and push out the pregnancy.

This method starts working in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and is considered safe. However, so many personal injuries are still happening because of chemical reactions or because doctors are not providing proper information to the individual about the medicine.

Now that you know how the abortion pill works, let’s see the history of abortion pills.

History of abortion pills

The history of abortion pills first began in 1980, when researchers began to develop drugs for abortions.

Roussel-Uclaf, a French pharmaceutical company, synthesized mifepristone to block the hormone progesterone, which is necessary for pregnancy.

The French government approved mifepristone’s use for medical abortions after clinical trials in the late 1980s. Since then, mifepristone has rapidly gained global attention as a safe and effective method of terminating a pregnancy.

Mifepristone faced a political challenge that delayed its approval. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) didn’t approve mifepristone for medical abortions until 1980. It was only after the FDA approved mifepristone that it was used with another medication called misoprostol to induce medical abortions.

Abortion pills have become a popular option for ending early pregnancy by offering an alternative solution to surgical procedures. The availability and legality of abortion pills vary by country, with different regulations and restrictions in place.

Overall, the history of abortion pills reflects a significant development in reproductive healthcare, providing individuals with a less invasive option for ending pregnancies in the early stages.

Abortion pill side effects

In today’s complex environment of reproductive choices, individuals who are facing abortion experiences get trapped in both physical and emotional trauma due to abortion pill side effects.

Now let’s discuss abortion pill side effects and how to avoid such medical complications.

Abortion pill side effects can cause the most painful and uncomfortable physical reactions that occur after taking medication to end a pregnancy.

Abortion pill side effects should be advised by doctors before prescribing them to an individual, and they are

  • Bleeding
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

Sometimes, more serious complications like heavy bleeding, infection, incomplete abortion, or allergic reactions can occur due to poor instructions provided by the medical adviser.

For those considering abortion pills as an option, talking to a doctor and understanding the possible risks are necessary. It is the doctor’s responsibility to give proper instructions to his patients. If the person experiences the abortion pill side effects, seeking medical help immediately is vital.

Morning after pills

Before getting into the topic, let me give a short answer to the question.

What is a morning-after pill?

Morning after pills are usually in the morning for emergency contraceptives after unprotected intercourse and to reduce the risk of pregnancy.

There are a few types of morning-after pills that are available on the market. Each contains different hormones, and they are

  • Levonorgestral based pills
  • Ulipristal acetate pills

Levonorgestral pills

Levonorgestral pills contain levonogestral, a synthetic progestin that is similar to the progesterone hormone, which is used in various hormonal contraceptives and emergency contraception.

I-pills

Many people get confused when it comes to abortion pills, so let me explain the difference between i pills and morning after pills.

Both I-pill and morning after pill work on the same process.

I-Pill is just a brand name for an emergency contraceptive pill that is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. Here, the main active ingredient is levonorgestral.

In case you want to know about I-pill side effects,

I-pills also possess the same side effects as other pills that are used in abortion.

These pills are often known by brand names called

  • Plan B One-step
  • Take action
  • Next choice

What is an ulipristal acetate pill?

Ulipristal acetate is a medicine that is used as an active ingredient in some emergency contraceptive pills. It is a selective progesterone receptor modulator. Ulipristal acetate functions by delaying ovulation.

Now, let’s discuss a few questions that come to your mind about these pills.

How does the morning-after pill work?

The morning after pill is completely different from the abortion pill. It helps to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse, while abortion pills are used to terminate an existing pregnancy.

The morning-after pill works in three ways:

  1. Delaying Ovulation:

The release of an egg from the ovary is delayed. This delay gives less opportunity for the sperm to fertilize the egg, reducing the chance of pregnancy.

  1. Thickening Cervical Mucus:

Some morning-after pills contain hormones that make the cervical mucus thicker. This thicker mucus makes it more challenging for sperm to reach and fertilize an egg.

  1. Preventing Implantation:

In rare cases, emergency contraception may also alter the lining of the uterus, making it less receptive to a fertilized egg. This could potentially prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

What are the potential harms of taking morning after pills?

Morning after pills are considered the safest way for women to use as an occasional contraception.

However, there are potential abortion pill side effects, which can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, and changes in menstrual bleeding patterns.

It’s very important to consult a healthcare professional before using it.

How long does the morning after pill last in your body?

Morning-after pills are eliminated from your body within a few days. However, the hormones in the pill can have long-lasting effects on the menstrual cycle, potentially causing irregularities for up to a month or two.

If you have concerns about its effects on your body or need more information, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized guidance

As we saw earlier, there are two different pills a person must take to abort the pregnancy: mifepristone and misoprostol. Now, let’s discuss these abortion pill side effects briefly.

Mifepristone 

Mifepristone, also known as RU 486, is a medication that is used alongside misoprostol. It helps to induce abortion during pregnancy and manage miscarriages. This combination has a success rate of 97% within the 63 days of pregnancy.

Some of the more common mifepristone side effects include abdominal pain, fatigue, and vaginal bleeding. This abortion pill’s side effects can include heavy vaginal bleeding, bacterial infections, and birth defects if the pregnancy is not terminated.

Mifepristone is an antiprogestogen. It works by blocking the action of progesterone, causing both the cervix and uterine vessels to dilate and causing uterine contraction.

Intrauterine death due to mifepristone

Before consuming misoprostol, doctors often prescribe mifepristone. This medication helps the uterus become more responsive to prostaglandin and prepares the cervix, allowing lower amounts of misoprostol to be used for expelling the fetus.

In a study, it was found that mifepristone induced labor in 63% of patients, while 17.4% of those in the placebo group experienced the outcome.

However, it is worth noting that mifepristone’s effectiveness in cases of death is lower compared to its efficacy in terminating pregnancy during the initial stage.

Misoprostol

Misoprostol is a synthetic prostaglandin E1 analog used not only in abortions but also in the prevention and treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers, induction of labor, and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage due to poor contraction of the uterus.

To prevent stomach ulcers in individuals taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), this medication is administered orally. In abortions, it is used alone or in conjunction with mifepristone or methotrexate.

While using this method, abortion success rates range from 67% to 90%.

Side effects of misoprostol before hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy is a method involved in endoscopy to examine the interior part of the uterus through the cervix. This procedure helps to diagnose the issues within the uterine cavity. It is also used in surgical treatments.

Before doing the hysteroscopy method, Misoprostol is given to a person to make the cervix softer. Therefore, the procedure becomes easier.

Let’s see the common Misoprostol abortion pill side effects.

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Nausea and vomiting
  3.  Diarrhea
  4. Headache
  5. Vaginal bleeding or spotting

Research conducted in the 1990s states that cervical tears during hysteroscopy occurred in two patients, 4.4% in the control group and none in the misoprostol group. The two most frequent side effects of vaginal misoprostol were mild lower abdominal pain in 15 women 31.6% and slight vaginal bleeding in 12 25.81%.

Misoprostol side effects are usually temporary. However, if you have concerns about taking misoprostol before your hysteroscopy or experience severe side effects, it’s essential to discuss it with your healthcare provider. They provide guidance and address any specific concerns you have.

What side effects does misoprostol cause on babies?

Misoprostol is a drug used to perform a medical abortion. While it is usually safe for the pregnant person, it can sometimes affect the baby.

Misoprostol can make the uterus contract, which might change the baby’s heart rate and oxygen supply by affecting the blood flow through the uterus. The chance of birth defects increases due to poor blood flow to the fetus. This issue is called vascular disruption.

It’s important to talk to a doctor before using any medicine during pregnancy to learn about the possible risks.

Abortion pill lawsuit

An abortion pill lawsuit was filed by the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) in November 2022, arguing that the FDA exceeded its regulatory authority and ignored safety concerns while approving mifepristone, a drug that blocks progesterone, a hormone that was needed for further development of a pregnancy, more than two decades ago. The FDA vigorously rejected these arguments, citing repeated and rigorous reviews of the heavily regulated drug.

Anti-abortion activists have rallied against the mifepristone drug. They insist that this particular abortion pill side effect is very harmful and should be heavily regulated or banned entirely. The activists said the drug could pose a major health risk to people who consume it, causing excessive bleeding and infection. A Texas judge ruled that the state’s abortion ban has proven harmful to women with serious pregnancy complications and that exceptions must be allowed without doctors having to fear the threat of criminal charges.

The ruling was the first to take effect in 2022 by handing a major victory to abortion rights advocates who see the case as a potential blueprint for easing restrictions. Republican states are rushing to implement it. The attorney general’s office said the order was immediately blocked by an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.

This mifepristone lawsuit is the most notable abortion rights case to come to court since Roe v. Wade was canceled in 2022. Fourteen states have banned abortions. However, new restrictions on the pill were permitted in some states where the procedure is still legal.

Eligibility for abortion pill lawsuit

Eligibility for filing an abortion pill side effects lawsuit can vary depending on a number of factors, including the specific circumstances and the laws of the jurisdiction. Generally, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit if you believe you have suffered harm, disability, or complications due to the side effects of abortion pills and can establish negligence, product liability, or other legal grounds.

It is important to seek the assistance of an attorney who specializes in these types of cases. They will be able to evaluate your circumstances and offer guidance on the validity of your claim. It is crucial to understand that legal regulations may evolve over time, so it is essential to obtain counsel for the current and accurate information available.

To summarize, only few people file a lawsuit due to abortion pill side effects, but it is important to note that in certain cases, medical malpractice occurs when doctors fail to provide proper information about the drug, potentially leading to severe injuries or birth-related complications for a second child.

To safeguard your interests, it’s advisable to maintain secure medical records. If you need expert medical record review services for your legal case, LezDo TechMed specializes in providing comprehensive medical record review services to support attorneys in their cases.

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MedLegal360 is a specialized author in medical-legal matters, providing clear, authoritative insights on healthcare legislation and personal injury litigation for professionals and the curious.

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