Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mechanism Proposed For Link Between RU-486 And Fatal Infections

Date:
July 27, 2005
Source:
Annals of Pharmacotherapy
Summary:
The abortion drug mifepristone (Mifeprex,TM RU-486) has been linked to rare cases of fatal bacterial infections, but until now the connection has not been clearly understood. In "Pathophysiology of mifepristone-induced septic shock due to Clostridium sordellii," author and Brown University professor Ralph P. Miech, MD, PhD, proposes two models of how this devastating reaction may occur. The article appears in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy Online and in the journal's upcoming September print issue.

The abortion drug mifepristone (Mifeprex,TM RU-486) has been linked to rare cases of fatal bacterial infections, but until now the connection has not been clearly understood. In "Pathophysiology of mifepristone-induced septic shock due to Clostridium sordellii," author and Brown University professor Ralph P. Miech, MD, PhD, proposes two models of how this devastating reaction may occur. The article appears in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy Online and in the journal's upcoming September print issue.

During an abortion, mifepristone works by blocking the effects of progesterone, shutting off nutrition to the placenta and fetus. However, Miech points out, the antiprogesterone effects of mifepristone also cause changes in the cervix that allow C. sordellii, a common vaginal bacteria, to enter the cervical canal. C. sordellii thrives in this low-oxygen environment and derives nutrition from the decaying fetal tissue. Meanwhile, other hormonal effects of mifepristone, known as antiglucocorticoid actions, are taking place throughout the body. Through two models proposed by Miech, these antiglucocorticoid effects may interfere with chemical regulators known as cytokines, offsetting the delicate balance between over- and under-activation of the immune system. This disruption impairs the body's ability to fight off C. sordellii and may help spread the bacteria's toxic by-products, a combination that sometimes results in widespread septic shock.

At least 5 women in the US and Canada have died from septic shock after taking mifepristone. C. sordellii has been linked to 3 of those cases, while the bacteria remains unidentified in the others. C. sordellii infections are rare outside of mifepristone use and have proven particularly dangerous because they often lack the usual warning signs, such as fever and tenderness on examination.

In 2004, the labeling of mifepristone was amended to include a black box warning about bacterial infections, sepsis, and death that may occur after use. A citizen petition for withdrawal of mifepristone from the US market has been submitted to the FDA. It cites numerous safety concerns as well as procedural violations that occurred during the drug's approval process.

###

The Annals of Pharmacotherapy is a leading peer-reviewed, international pharmacotherapy journal for physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. Published by Harvey Whitney Books Company, for over 39 years The Annals has featured articles directly related to the safe, effective, and economical use of medications and related devices in patient care. The journal's editorial office is headquartered at 8044 Montgomery Road, Suite 415, Cincinnati, Ohio 45236-2919, USA. The journal is available in print and online in full text at www.theannals.com.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Annals of Pharmacotherapy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Annals of Pharmacotherapy. "Mechanism Proposed For Link Between RU-486 And Fatal Infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050727063105.htm>.
Annals of Pharmacotherapy. (2005, July 27). Mechanism Proposed For Link Between RU-486 And Fatal Infections. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050727063105.htm
Annals of Pharmacotherapy. "Mechanism Proposed For Link Between RU-486 And Fatal Infections." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050727063105.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins