Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size

Early Abortion Pill Approved by FDA


The National Right-to-Life Committee expressed outrage over a published report -- from earlier this month in the Wall Street Journal -- that the drug would be manufactured in China, where the government mandates some abortions. Danco won't say where the drug is being manufactured.

"It's a very safe, very effective medication," Vicki Breitbart, EdD, MSW, associate vice president for clinical services and director of the clinician training initiative at Planned Parenthood in New York City, tells WebMD. "Mifepristone ... has been used by millions of women around the world, so we have a lot of information with respect to safety and efficacy."

More than 600,000 women have used the pill in Europe. It has been available for more than a decade in France, and more recently in Britain, Sweden, and other countries. More than 2,000 women have taken the medication in the U.S. as part of its clinical testing.

While the pill may provide women greater privacy and eliminate the need for surgery and anesthesia through a standard abortion, taking it is a somewhat involved process. A woman must first take Mifeprex in an initial session with a doctor that includes signing a detailed patient consent form. Two days later, she must return to the office or clinic; if she is still pregnant, she must take a second pill, the FDA-approved misoprostol, which causes contractions in the uterus. That drug forces the early embryo and the lining from the womb.

Two weeks after her initial doctor visit, a woman must again return to confirm that the medications succeeded in ending the pregnancy. The combination of the two drugs is about 92-95% effective in ending an early pregnancy, Danco said.

Mifeprex is separate from the FDA-approved "morning after" pill, which women can use to prevent pregnancies up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. According to Danco, "Mifeprex can be taken between the time a woman knows she is pregnant and up to 49 days after the beginning of her last menstrual period."

The drug does have side effects -- largely bleeding and cramping. The FDA warns that bleeding may occur for 9-16 days. The agency cautions that in about 1 of 100 women, bleeding can be heavy enough to require a surgical procedure known as curettage.

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror