It is important you understand that the Abortion Pill (RU486) and the Morning After Pill (Plan B) are not the same medication and do not work in the same way.

Each is described below.

Woman With Pills in Hand

Morning After Pill (Plan B)

The “Morning After Pill” is a large dose of oral contraceptive. For use within 72 hours (3 days) after sex, but it is more effective if taken sooner. It is NOT the same as RU-486.

Plan B is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization. In addition, it may inhibit implantation. It is not effective once the process of implantation has begun.

  • Emergency contraception is not effective if a woman is already pregnant.
    Plan B does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • The most common side effects in the Plan B clinical trial were nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, and menstrual changes.
  • The manufacturer warns that Plan B is not recommended for routine use as a contraceptive.

Source: Description of the drug on planbonestep.com

Abortion Pill  (RU-486)

RU486 – “The Abortion Pill” – Mifeprex/Mifepristone with Misoprostol – less than 10 weeks after last menstrual period (LMP).

Medication Abortion during the 1st trimester.

A drug is given at your provider’s office, stopping the hormones needed for the fetus to grow. In addition, it causes the placenta to separate from the uterus, ending the pregnancy. A second drug is given, again at your provider’s office*, by mouth or placed in the vagina causing the uterus to contract and expel the fetus and placenta. A third visit to the doctor is required for follow up to make sure the abortion is completed.

*Note: In some areas, the two medical abortion drugs have been administered without in-person doctor visits during the pandemic, although this is not FDA approved. For the sake of your health, it is best to take medications under direct supervision of your doctor.

  • Side effects (according to the FDA) include cramping, bleeding, diarrhea, nausea,fever, vomiting, headache, dizziness, back pain, tiredness
  • Possible incomplete abortion; If your pregnancy is not ended, there is a chance of birth defects.

Source: MEDICATION GUIDE Mifeprex (MIF-eh-prex) (mifepristone) Rev 4/22/09, FDA approved

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