Drug Helps Expel Remains After Failed Pregnancy

The G.D. Searle and Pfizer Inc. drug Cytotec is almost as effective as surgery for removing tissue that can remain in the uterus after a failed pregnancy, a test released on Wednesday has shown. The drug, also known by its generic name misoprostol, had a success rate of around 85 percent, said Jun Zhang of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the chief author of the study. The treatment, which can be done on an outpatient basis, is less risky than surgery and the pills costing up to 50 cents can be inserted into the vagina at home, he told Reuters. The results "show that this treatment may be an option that is preferable to surgery for some women," said Beverly Winikoff in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, where the study appears.

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