A comparative study on sublingual versus oral and vaginal administration of misoprostol for late first and early second trimester abortion

Rajendra Prasad Ganguly, Shyama Prasad Saha, Sima Mukhopadhyay, Nabendu Bhattacharjee, Subir Kumar Bhattacharyya, Kajal Kumar Patra
Journal of the Indian Medical Association 2010, 108 (5): 283-4, 286
To compare the effectiveness, side-effects and outcome of sublingual with oral and vaginal administrations of misoprostol for induction of abortion in late first and early second trimester of gestation (9 to 16 weeks), a comparative observational study was carried out among 258 women with a period of gestation between 9 and 16 weeks, scheduled to have medical abortion, and randomly allocated into three groups and offered sublingual, oral and vaginal routes of misoprostol administration (400 mcg of misoprostol 6 hourly, maximum up to four dosages) respectively. Primary outcome measure was complete abortion rate and the secondary outcome measures were incidence of cases where surgical evacuation required, failure rate and induction-abortion interval. Development of side-effects and subjective assessment of patient's comfort with the different routes of administration were also recorded. Rate of complete abortion was higher in sublingual group in comparison to oral (p = 0.0338) and vaginal route (p = 0.5627). Surgical evacuation was required in less number of cases in sublingual group. Induction-abortion interval was also least with the sublingual route le, p < or = 0.0001 (versus oral) and 0.0011 (versus vaginal). Failure rate was highest with the oral route and least with the sublingual route. The patients were least comfortable with the vaginal route. Gastro-intestinal side-effects were least with the vaginal route, but significant vaginal bleeding (> 250 ml) was little bit higher with this route. Though misoprostol is effective in inducing medical abortion irrespective of the route of administration, sublingual route gives better results as compared to oral (statistically significant) and vaginal routes (in some respects, not of much statistical significance).

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