Surgical termination of pregnancy is of high risk for the woman's health and safe medical ways are required. The use of prostaglandins may substantially reduce this risk. The efficacy and safety of misoprostol as a medication for the termination of the second trimester pregnancies were studied. During a 15-month period ninety-eight healthy pregnant women (13-24 weeks) wishing to terminate their pregnancy due to medical reasons participated voluntarily in this study. Misoprostol was administered 400 microg per os and 400 microg vaginally. Dose was repeated every 6 hours until adequate contractions and cervical ripening were achieved. Outcome measures included successful termination rates, mean expulsion time and side effects of the medication. The efficacy of the method was as high as 91.8% (90/98 cases 95%, CI 86-97%). Mean expulsion time was 10.2 h (range 3-23.4 h) for primigravida and 9.2 h (range 2.5-22.2 h) for multigravida. In 9 cases (9.2%) placenta remnants and in 8 (8.2%) placenta retention were found. Most common side effect was shivering in 17.3% of cases, vomiting and nausea (10.2%), headache and dizziness (7.1%), abdominal pain (79.6%), while diarrhea was noticed in 4.1%. The high efficacy and low incidence of side effects make misoprostol a useful alternative method for medical termination of second trimester pregnancies.
Taiwanese Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 50(3):275-82.