Medical abortion: what does the research tell us?
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Dr. Ellen R. Wiebe's study of the use of methotrexate and misoprostol in combination for early termination of intrauterine pregnancy (see pages 165 to 170 of this issue) is the first Canadian study of the use of this drug combination for medical abortion. The authors compare Wiebe's findings with those of earlier studies on methotrexate and misoprostol, as well as with European findings on the use of mifepristone with prostaglandins. The authors argue that although the methotrexate-misoprostol combination appears to be reasonably safe for the woman, the failure rate and the teratogenicity of methotrexate and misoprosol give cause for concern. The authors conclude that medical abortions ought to be offered only where there is adequate access to laboratory and surgical facilities and where losses to follow-up are systematically minimized to reduce the potential for continued pregnancy resulting in congenital abnormality.
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