Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it would update the label for medical-abortion drug
Mifepristone, formerly known as three visits to a doc: one for each step.) Such so-called medical abortions accounted for about a quarter of all terminations in 2011, according to the Guttmacher Institute., is taken in conjunction with another drug, misoprostol, to induce a miscarriage. Women prescribed the drug would take mifepristone at their health-care provider’s office, followed by misoprostol the next day, then follow up with their doctor two weeks later. (In some places, that means
Anti-choice states like Texas, Ohio, and North Dakota have passed laws requiring medical providers to stick to the FDA-approved label dating back to 2000. The original prescribing information for mifepristone states that the drug could only be used up to 49 days after the start of a woman’s last period, had to be prescribed by an MD, and needed to be taken in a 600mg dose.
But in May, the manufacturer sent additional clinical evidence to the FDA showing that the drug is just as effective and safe when taken later and in a smaller dose. The FDA approved a revised label, effective immediately, which says women can take a 200mg dose up to 70 days after their period and states that health-care providers other than doctors can prescribe the drug in states where that’s allowed. Plus, women can now take the misoprostol “at a location appropriate for the patient,” which cuts the number of visits from three to two.