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Abortion drug has low infection risk: study
www.chinaview.cn 2005-12-02 08:27:12

    BEIJING, Dec. 2 (Xinhuanet)-- The risk of toxic shock syndrome related to deadly infection for women taking abortion drug Mifeprex, also known as RU 486, is still very low, according to a report in the Dec. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Doctors at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating the deaths of four California women who died after taking RU-486.

    The deaths all occurred within one week of the abortions following the development of infection in the uterus and profound shock. Further testing confirmed that the cause of the infection was C. sordelli. The deaths occurred between Sept. 17, 2003, and May 24, 2005.

    Experts have yet to find a causative link between the use of Mifeprex that is usually taken with a second drug, misprostol and C. sordellii infection.

    "As tragic as the deaths of these young, healthy women are, they remain a small number of rare events ... " without a clear link to RU-486, according to Greene, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Medical School and an associate editor of the Journal.

    Surgical abortions performed at seven weeks of gestation or less carry an estimated risk of maternal mortality of about one in 1,000,000, Greene said. Risks for death by using Mifeprex-misoprostol are higher -- about one in 100,000 -- but still very low, he said.

    He warned regulators against overreacting to "scant data" by stopping prematurely "the only approved medical option for pregnancy termination".

    In the fall of 2000, FDA officials first approved the use of Mifeprex for use in the early (less than seven weeks gestation) termination of pregnancy, after 54 months of deliberation and review.


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