Prostaglandins and therapeutic abortion.

  • Piers Gillett
  • Published 1972 in The Journal of reproductive medicine


Clinical findings indicate that prostaglandins are potent oxytoics agents and that they may play a physiological role in labor and abortion. A number of clinical trials have demonstrated the successful induction of abortion in the 1st and 2nd trimesters of pregnancy using intravenous PGF2 alpha. A recent clinical trial by the authors using intravenous PGF2 alpha on 10 women 10-15 weeks pregnant resulted in 9 complete abortions and 1 incomplete abortion requiring surgical intervention. Induction-abortion interval ranged from 7 hours 55 minutes to 31 hours 39 minutes with a mean of 24 hours 41 minutes. Total amount of PGF2 alpha in the 9 successful cases had a mean value of 93.53 mg. There were side effects in all patients but no serious complications. A high incidence of side effects was observed at the 50 mcg/minute level; all regressed rapidly upon termination of infusion. The study suggests that PGF2 alpha is an effective abortifacient in both the 1st and 2nd trimesters. When compared with suction termination in the first trimester, prostaglandin use was more time consuming, more demanding of supervisory personnel, less successful, and thus more expensive. Further research must be done to determine how prostaglandins work, their efficacy, and optimum methods of administration and safety.

Cite this paper

@article{Gillett1972ProstaglandinsAT, title={Prostaglandins and therapeutic abortion.}, author={Piers Gillett}, journal={The Journal of reproductive medicine}, year={1972}, volume={8 6}, pages={329-34} }