Medication Abortion, RU486, also known as the abortion pill, is a safe and effective non-surgical abortion for patients up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

How it works

Medication abortions, RU486, or abortion pill, combine two medications, Mifeprex and Misoprostol. You will take the first pill, Mifeprex, in the medical office.  It blocks progesterone, a hormone needed to continue the pregnancy. 24-48 hours after taking Mifeprex, you will take the second set of pills, Misoprostol, at home. Misoprostol gently softens and opens the cervix so that the discontinued pregnancy can pass through.


Medication abortions are 95-98% effective in completely ending a pregnancy. Effectiveness can depend on the treatment regimen and length of pregnancy. Most uses of RU 486 are successful.  However, incomplete abortions are safely treated with additional medication or a surgical D&C procedure. This is the same as the surgical abortion

Benefits to choosing medication abortion

Most patients choose abortion by pill to avoid having an in-office procedure. These patients often say that a medication abortion seems less invasive.  They also feel more in control.  Some patients prefer to have their abortion experience at home. Many patients also state that the RU 486 abortion seems to be more “natural” because it is similar to a miscarriage.

What to expect during a medication abortion

Every patient who chooses a medication abortion will talk with a health educator in the clinic.  This way, she is clear about instructions and what to expect during her abortion. Though not every abortion pill experience is the same, most patients report that bleeding and cramping begin within 2-7 hours of taking Misoprostol (the 2nd set pills).  Usually, the heaviest bleeding/cramping decreases within 24 hours.

We advise all patients how to manage bleeding.  We will also give pain medication to help with cramping. 10-15% of patients may experience other normal side effects.  These include nausea, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or chills. We highly recommend that patients choosing RU 486 have at least 1-2 days off (beginning with the Misoprostol/home portion of the abortion). We also recommend having a partner, family member, or friend with you during this process.

Detroit Patients: Medication abortions are done on Tuesdays by appointment. The wait time is very minimal (usually 1 1/2 to 2 hours).

Cost for medication abortions

The cost of a medication abortion differs by medical facility and state. Contact your local office for more information on cost. If your state insurance orhealth insurance covers surgical abortions, abortions by pill are also likely to be covered.