MICHELLE DEL GUERCIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICHELLE DEL GUERCIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Abortion drug. Blisterpack containing Mifeprex abortion-inducing pills. The active ingredient in these pills is a steroid hormone called mifepristone or ru486. Mifepristone is similar to the hormone progesterone, which is essential to maintain a pregnancy. If mifepristone is taken by a pregnant woman it binds to the cells in the same manner as progesterone thereby blocking the effects of the natural hormone. Mifeprex can be taken on its own during the early stage of pregnancy (up to around 8 weeks). In later stages of pregnancy, its use must be combined with a drug to induce contraction of the uterus and expulsion of the foetus.
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