Abortion pills for the sensitive stomach
Tips for preventing and coping with nausea
Roughly 8 out of 10 people experience nausea during pregnancy, so knowing what to do about the urge to throw up is an important part of self-managing an abortion with pills. Here are some ways to cope with it:
Before taking abortion pills
A person can improve their chances of keeping abortion pills down by taking anti-nausea medication first. A person with bad nausea can ask a doctor for a prescription for metaclopramide (Reglan) or ondansetron (Zofran), but for most people, the most convenient, affordable choice is available over the counter: the antihistamine called diphenhydramine, which is sold as Benadryl, Sominex, Unisom, Nytol, and other brand names. Either way, the person should take the anti-nausea medication and wait for it to begin working before proceeding.
A person who is using mifepristone and misoprostol can take the anti-nausea medication before swallowing the mifepristone, then take it again the following day before using the misoprostol in their mouth to dissolve.
A person who is using misoprostol alone can take the anti-nausea medication before each of the three doses of misprostol, if necessary.
While taking abortion pills
Mifepristone is swallowed with a glass of water. If a person vomits it up right away, they can rinse off the tablet and swallow it again. If a person vomits after taking it but the pill itself stays down, they can continue the protocol by taking misoprostol 24 hours later.
Misoprostol, which has no taste, is placed between the cheek and gum (or under the tongue if used without mifepristone) and allowed to dissolve for 30 minutes without eating or drinking. If a person vomits during those 30 minutes, it’s best to take another dose of misoprostol if they have it. Otherwise, the person should not swallow anything except their own saliva while the pills dissolve. After the 30 minutes are up, they should swallow whatever remains of the pills.
After taking abortion pills
Like diarrhea, headache, and chills, nausea is a common side effect of misoprostol. These side effects usually start within an hour of taking the misoprostol, but last only a few hours, and end before the person starts bleeding and cramping. Taking anti-nausea medication before taking the misoprostol can also provide relief for several hours afterwards. Sipping on a clear liquid like ginger ale, tea, or apple juice also helps settle down a jumpy stomach.