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


FDA is limiting the physicians who may prescribe Mifeprex. The agency says that doctors who prescribe the drug must be able to date pregnancies accurately. They must also be able to diagnose tubal pregnancies, since women with tubal pregnancies may not take the drug.

FDA also requires that physicians be prepared to provide women any necessary surgery, or arrange for those procedures in the case of incomplete abortion or severe bleeding. Doctors also must ensure that women who take the drug have access to emergency care.

The agency first issued an "approvable" letter for the drug in 1996, which indicated that most -- but not all -- conditions for approval had been met.

But since then, the drug has had a tough time finding its way to market. Congress has repeatedly tried to block FDA's review of the drug, even as ownership of the rights to the medication changed hands. In 1989, the Bush Administration had banned Americans from importing RU-486 for personal use, a ban that Clinton lifted in 1993.

"Today's action by the FDA assures that women across the country will be able to make informed choices about the use of this drug -- choices based on solid scientific evidence," said Richard G. Roberts, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

But anti-abortion advocates dread the potential impact of the approval. "The FDA's approval of RU-486 could result in more abortions and, therefore, more dead babies and injured women," Teresa Wagner, a legal analyst at the Family Research Council, said. "It's not only unprecedented for the FDA to approve a drug that has no therapeutic effects, but it's unethical."

The FDA has posted information about Mifeprex at

1 | 2 | 3

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