What a Woman Needs to Know
This document, in its pdf form attached, is designed as a handout entitled What You Need to Know which can be given to a woman who is choosing to use Medabon®. It provides the key messages and information required by a woman and should be translated into her local language. The document contains the following information.
What You Need to Know
What is Medabon®?
Medabon® contains two kinds of pills--mifepristone
and misoprostol--in the same package. These pills
are used to end an early pregnancy safely and
effectively. The pills cause bleeding and cramping,
similar to a heavy period or miscarriage.
Can I use Medabon®?
You can use Medabon® if you are nine weeks
pregnant or less. This means that you had your
last menstrual period within the past nine weeks
(63 days). If you can’t remember the exact day of
your last period, your doctor, nurse, or midwife
can help you figure out how long you have been
Some women should not use Medabon®. Tell your
health care provider about any current or past
health problems—including blood disorders—and
any medications you are taking before you take
Medabon®. Tell your doctor, nurse, or midwife if you
have an intrauterine device (IUD).
If you are breastfeeding, you can still take Medabon®
with guidance from your health care provider.
How do I take Medabon®?
On day 1, swallow the pill called mifepristone.
On day 2 or 3 (24–48 hours later), you can take misoprostol one of two ways:
Lie down and insert the four misoprostol pills
into your vagina, one immediately after the
other. Push them far enough into the vagina
that they will not fall out. If possible, remain
lying down for 30 minutes.
— or —
Place two of the four pills under your tongue
and allow them to dissolve. After 20 minutes,
you can swallow what is left of them. The pills
will usually dissolve in less than 20 minutes.
As soon as the first two pills have dissolved, or
after 20 minutes, place the remaining two pills
under your tongue. Allow them to dissolve, or
you can swallow what’s left after 20 minutes.
You may prefer to take all four pills at once.
If so, you can place all four pills under your
tongue and wait for them to dissolve. If they
have not dissolved after 20 minutes, you can
swallow what is left of them.
What should I expect after taking the pills?
Some women will have vaginal bleeding after
taking the first pill (mifepristone). This is normal.
Vaginal bleeding and cramping usually start
soon after the second set of pills (misoprostol) is
taken. This bleeding and cramping is often more
intense than a heavy period. Blood can be thick
and contain clots. Bleeding is usually heaviest in
the four to six hours after taking misoprostol, but
some bleeding or spotting can continue for up to
two or three weeks.
Cramping is also strongest after taking
misoprostol. You can take pain medicines such as
ibuprofen, or use a hot water bottle or warm cloth
on your lower stomach.
The following symptoms are normal side effects of
Medabon® on the day of taking misoprostal:
When should I seek medical care?
If you experience the following symptoms, or
any other symptoms you are concerned about,
contact your doctor, nurse, or midwife. If you
see a new clinician for emergency care, take this
brochure with you.
- If you have excessive bleeding, such as soaking
more than two sanitary pads per hour for more
than two hours, and if you also have dizziness,
light headedness, or increasing weakness.
- If you have a fever of 38°C/100.4°F or higher,
continuing for more than one day after you
- If you have persistent vomiting or diarrhea for
more than one day after you take misoprostol.
- If you have very severe, continuous, or
increasing lower stomach pain that is not
relieved by medication, rest, or a hot water
If you vomit within 30 minutes of taking
mifepristone, you will need to take it again.
If you experience little to no bleeding 24–48 hours
after you take misoprostol, contact your doctor,
nurse, or midwife. It is not an emergency, but may
be a sign that the medication did not work.
How do I know if Medabon® worked?
Return to your doctor, nurse, or midwife within
two weeks after taking the pills to confirm that
the abortion took place.
It is rare, but possible, that the medicine may
fail and you will still be pregnant after taking
Medabon®. This happens for fewer than 1 out
of 100 women. In that case, you will need further
care to end the pregnancy.
When can I have sex again?
There is no set time to wait before having
sexual activity. However, if you want to avoid
pregnancy, start effective contraception right
away (see below).
When can I get pregnant again?
You can become pregnant again soon after
taking Medabon®. Talk to your health care
provider about your contraceptive options if
you wish to avoid pregnancy. You can start most
contraceptive methods at the same time that you
How many visits will I need to make to a health clinic?
Two or three. You will take mifepristone at your
first visit, and you will need to visit a clinic to
confirm the abortion about two weeks later. Talk
with your provider about whether you prefer to
take misoprostol at home or in the clinic.