Tamoxifen was found to cause spontaneous abortion in Guinea pigs and hamsters which led to several studies on humans. The use of Tamoxifen in combination with Cytotec (Misoprostol) was found to cause miscarriage in humans as well. It gives women the opportunity to terminate their pregnancy as early as a week prior to missing their periods (3 weeks) up to 10 weeks from the last menstrual period. Tamoxifen is FDA approved to treat breast cancer and it is used for breast cancer prevention. Tamoxifen works by competing with the hormone estrogen for attachment to the estrogen receptors on certain tissues. Doing so can lead to stopping the growth of breast cancer tissue.
Taking Tamoxifen alone leads to a 2 to 3% chance of vaginal bleeding and a 1% chance of miscarriage. Misoprostol (Cytotec) which causes the uterus to contract and allows the cervix to open is given generally 48 to 72 hours after Tamoxifen to end the pregnancy.
The combination of Tamoxifen and Misoprostol is 94% effective in causing the termination of pregnancy. It is nearly 100% effective for patients less than 6 weeks from their last menstrual period. Women who do not want surgery, who want their abortion experience to be more private and have the support of spouse, family member, or friend, find this method to be most comfortable.
Tamoxifen is extremely safe and effective. It has been used in our offices for over 12 years. Allergy to Tamoxifen is a contraindication to use. Please look under general contraindications to having the medical abortion procedure performed.
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