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A healthcare provider may give a woman mifepristone to terminate a pregnancy. Specifically, the medication is approved for use if it has been 49 days or less since a woman's last menstrual period began. If this drug does not completely terminate the pregnancy, a second medication may be give two days later. Headaches, cramping, and nausea are possible side effects.

What Is Mifepristone?

Mifepristone (Mifeprex®, Korlym™) is a prescription medication approved for use in combination with another medicine called misoprostol (Cytotec®) to end an early pregnancy. An early pregnancy is one in which it has been 49 days or less since your last menstrual period began. Mifepristone is also approved to treat certain people with Cushing's syndrome who have type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance due to high cortisol levels.
(Click What Is Mifepristone Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, mifepristone can cause side effects. In fact, most women who take this drug will experience some type of side effect. However, in most cases the side effects require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of mifepristone include but are not limited to:
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue 
  • Headache
  • Vomiting.
(Click Mifepristone Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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