Is medication abortion the same as RU486?

Mifepristone was originally developed by the French pharmaceutical Roussel Uclaf. When the company created the medication, it was called RU486. Mifepristone continues to be referred to by this name, particularly in the media. Mifepristone has different brand names in different countries. In the United States, mifepristone is often called by its brand name Mifeprex. In other countries, mifepristone is know by the brand name Mifegyne.

However, mifepristone is only one of the medications that can be used to terminate an early pregnancy. Worldwide, three different regimens are used for medication abortion: mifepristone/misoprostol, methotrexate/misoprostol, and misoprostol alone. Misoprostol is often referred to by the brand name Cytotec.


If you have questions about medication abortion, please visit our page on frequently asked questions.

Please contact us with suggestions, updates, or link requests at medicationabortion@ibisreproductivehealth.org

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Last updated: September 2009