Adding more fuel to the right-to-life debate, there is now the possibility that the abortion pill RU-486, has lead to five deaths from bacterial infections since the FDA approved the drug five years ago.
RU-486 is currently used for terminating a pregnancy of 49 days or less.
The drug, also known as Mifeprex, taken by 460,000 women since 2000, has a warning label advising of the risk of serious or fatal infections.
The maker of the drug, Danco Laboratories said that it would update the label and send out a letter to doctors providing more information on the problem. However, the company maintained that “childbirth, menstruation and abortions, whether spontaneous surgical or medical all create conditions that can result in sometimes serious and fatal infection.”
The deaths that occurred from infection included one during clinical trial in Canada in 2001 and four in California between 2003 and 2005. Three resulted from a rare bacterium called Clostridium sordellii.
Anti-abortion advocates, who attempted to keep Mifeprex off the market, have restated their case asking for the FDA to repeal the drug’s approval.
Women taking the Mifeprex and its follow-up medication misoprostol should immediately report abdominal pain, discomfort, or general malaise occurring more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol to their doctor.