How It Works
RU-486 falls under the class of drugs known as anti progestational steroids. It works by blocking the effects of the female hormone progesterone and causing uterine contractions. Progesterone is an essential female sex hormone that plays a crucial role in the menstrual cycle and maintenance of pregnancy. It helps thicken the lining of the uterus to prepare for a fertilized egg. RU-486 or Mifepristone terminates early pregnancy by blocking the activity of progesterone at the progesterone receptors.
For people suffering from Cushing’s syndrome, it reduces blood glucose levels by blocking the activity of Cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone and a major natural glucocorticoid in the human body. It affects many bodily functions such as controlling blood sugar levels, regulating metabolism, reducing inflammation, and assisting with memory formulation.
RU-486 is prescribed for the treatment of the following conditions:
- Abortion – used in combination with Misoprostol to terminate an early pregnancy (not more than 9 weeks) in women.
- Cushing’s Syndrome – a condition that occurs when the body makes too much of Cortisol resulting in elevated blood sugar levels.
RU-486 (Mifepristone) tablet is used in combination with Misoprostol to bring about an early abortion in women. A single pill is intended to be taken orally given by the doctor at the time of your clinical visit. 4 tablets of Misoprostol are recommended to be taken within the next 24-48 hours to cause an abortion.
Mifepristone comes in the form of a 200 mg tablet. For the treatment of Cushing’s syndrome, a starting dose of 300 mg per day is recommended. The dosage may be increased within 2-4 weeks of the treatment after a proper examination by the doctor. Follow your doctor’s prescription carefully and avoid consuming an overdose of the drug.
Missed Dosage: If you are taking this medication for the termination of pregnancy, missing a dose is not possible. On the other hand, if you take this medication to treat Cushing’s syndrome, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it’s time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take an overdose to make up for the missed dose.
Overdose: An overdose of the drug can lead to serious side-effects. If an overdose is suspected, contact your doctor immediately.
Before you take RU-486, tell your doctor:
- If it has been more than 10 weeks since your last menstrual period.
- If you have an IUD in place.
- If you have a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia.
- If you have a condition for which you take blood thinners.
- If you have an ectopic pregnancy.
- If you have kidney or liver diseases.
- If you have a history of stroke, heart attack, or congestive heart failure.
- If you suffer from problems such as diabetes, hypertension, angina, etc.
- If you are allergic to prostaglandins.
- If you have endometrial hyperplasia.
- If you have endometrial cancer.
- If you have unusual vaginal bleeding.
Common side-effects of RU-486 (Mifepristone) include:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Difficult or painful urination
- Fever, chills, or weakness
- Uterine cramping
- Abdominal pain
- Pain in arms and legs
- Pelvic pain
If any of these side-effects persist for long, contact your doctor immediately.
Certain drugs are known to interact with RU-486 (Mifepristone) and affect the way it works. If you take any herbal, OTC, recreational, or any other form of drugs, let your doctor know about them.
- Blood thinners such as warfarin
- Antibiotics such as erythromycin
- Oral antifungals such as ketoconazole
- Calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine
- HIV Protease inhibitors such as indinavir and ritonavir
- St. John’s Wort
Interaction with alcohol
Consumption of alcohol should be avoided at all costs. Alcohol can deteriorate your health and lead to serious side-effects.
Interaction with grapefruit juice
Grapefruit juice can interact with this medication and lead to various side-effects. It can also alter the levels of this medicine in the blood. Avoid consuming grapefruit juice along with this medicine.
RU-486 tablets should be stored properly and safely in their original packaging.
- Keep the tablets away from direct heat, moisture, and sunlight.
- Keep the tablets out of reach of children.
- Once the pack is opened, store the remaining pills in an airtight container.
- Do not consume the medicine past its expiration date.