Vaginal vs. Oral Misoprostol
Interesting report on misoprostol regimens. I don't have access to the study on the computer I'm on, but according to the article:
In this study, Dr. Helena von Hertzen, of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization, and her colleagues studied 2,046 women who were divided into four groups that received misoprostol either vaginally at three- and 12-hour intervals, or under the tongue at three or 12-hour intervals.
Among women who took misoprostol at 12-hour intervals, pregnancy continued in 9 percent of those who took the drug orally and in 4 percent of those who took it vaginally. Among those who took the drug at three-hour intervals, pregnancy continued in 6 percent of those who took it orally and in 4 percent of those who took it vaginally.
Side effects such as nausea and vomiting were more common among women who took misoprostol under the tongue and vaginally at three-hour intervals than among those who took the drug at 12-hour intervals. Side effects such as pain, diarrhea, chills and shivering were slightly higher among women who took the drug orally.
"Administration interval can be chosen between three hours and 12 hours when misoprostol is given vaginally. If administration is [oral], the intervals between misoprostol doses need to be short, but side effects are then increased. With 12-hour intervals, vaginal route should be used, whereas with three-hour intervals either route could be chosen," the study authors concluded.
A couple of points.
1. You could use misoprostol (Cytotec) alone, but you shouldn't (for now, anyway. Once abortion is outlawed, we'll revisit the recommendation.). Adding mifepristone (RU-486, Mifeprex) to the regimen improves efficacy and reduces side effects.
Note: I'll have more on the misoprostol/mifepristone (RU-486) drug regimen in Part II of my post exposing Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) lies in support of his amendment to regulate mifepristone (RU-486). [Part I, here.]
In the interim, and without looking it up, try to answer this question: Why do the two drugs work better together? What's more likely: A) the drugs have different actions, or B) the drugs have similar actions, and one potentiates the other?
2. Vaginal misoprostol is not part of the FDA-approved regimen. FDA approved 600 mg mifepristone (RU-486) and 400 mcg misoprostol, both administered orally.