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 pregnant. 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:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Chills/shivering
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea


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 take misoprostol.
  • 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 bottle.

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 take Medabon®.

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.