Journal Article

Mifepristone-misoprostol medical abortion: Home administration of misoprostol in Guadeloupe

Mifepristone-misoprostol medical abortion promises to revolutionize reproductive health-care. Several simplifications of the standard three clinic visit regimen may be possible, however. Particularly in developing countries, access to the method can be greatly increased by eliminating the longest clinic visit. Indeed, shortly after mifepristone’s introduction in Guadeloupe, a semi-developed Caribbean territory administered by France, in 1991, two of the authors conducted a small prospective study of a one treatment-visit regimen. The study regimen was subsequently adopted as the standard of care for medical abortion on the island. Women (n = 92) with amenorrhea of =49 days received 600 mg mifepristone under clinical supervision and were given 400 µg oral misoprostol for home administration 2 days later, returning 2 weeks later for follow-up. The success rate (95.4%) is comparable to rates found when both drugs are administered in the clinic and to rates from a similar study conducted recently in the United States. Adverse events were also comparable to protocols requiring in-clinic administration of misoprostol. Protocol adherence appeared to be excellent and loss to follow-up was rare. We suggest that home administration of misoprostol can be safe and effective in most nonindustrialized settings.