Are two doses of misoprostol after mifepristone for early abortion better than one?


H Bracken, Gynuity Health Projects, 15 East 26th Street, Suite 1617, New York, NY 10010, USA. Email


Objective  The objective of this study was to determine if a repeat dose of misoprostol following mifepristone or a single dose of misoprostol increases the efficacy of medical termination of pregnancy.

Design  Randomised, placebo controlled trial.

Setting  K.E.M. Hospital, Pune, India, and the Health Centre, Larsen and Toubro Limited, Mumbai, India.

Sample  A total of 300 women seeking an abortion with amenorrhoea of 8 weeks or less.

Methods  Women were randomised to receive one or two doses of 400 microgram oral misoprostol at the clinic 48 hours after administration of 200 mg mifepristone.

Main outcome measure  Complete abortion without surgical intervention.

Results  The repeat administration of misoprostol 400 microgram improved the complete abortion rate from 86 to 92% and significantly reduced the rate of continuing pregnancy from 7 to 1%. Almost all the women who were administered the additional dose of misoprostol were either very satisfied (58%) or satisfied (37%) with the method.

Conclusion  While an additional oral dose of 400 microgram misoprostol did not significantly increase the rate of complete abortion without surgical intervention, the additional dose did significantly reduce the rate of continuing pregnancies without compromising the acceptability and ease of use of the method.