This drug is used in combination with misoprostol to cause an abortion in the early days of pregnancy (70 days or less after the first day of your last menstrual period).
It is also used to control hyperglycemia in people with Cushing’s syndrome (when the body makes a high amount of the hormone cortisol).
IUPAC name: 11β-(4-(dimethylamino)phenyl)-17α-(1-propynyl)estra-4,9-dien-17β-ol-3-one
Drug class: Anti Progestogen; Antiglucocorticoid
Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES
Is it an OTC drug? YES
Mechanism of action
It works by inhibiting the activity of progesterone which is required to continue the pregnancy.
It also works by inhibiting the activity of cortisol to control high blood sugar in people with Cushing’s syndrome.
Common side effects may include:
- pelvic pain
- joint/muscle pain
Serious side effects may include:
- vaginal bleeding/itching/burning
- swelling of hands/feet/ankles
- blurred vision
Before taking this drug, tell your doctor:
- If you are allergic to it or other progestins (including medroxyprogesterone, norethindrone) or if you have other allergies.
- If you have a medical history of chronic adrenal failure, increased risk of bleeding due to clotting disorder, ectopic pregnancy, decreased functioning of the cortex of adrenal gland, variegate porphyria, hepatic porphyria, low level of potassium in the blood, anemia.
- Limit alcohol consumption as it makes you more drowsy, loss of alertness may occur.
- If you are using an IUD (IntraUterine device), it should be removed before taking mifepristone.