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Contraception. 2006 Jul;74(1):45-7. Epub 2006 May 6.

Treatment of pain during medical abortion.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.


A structured literature review was undertaken to determine, in the context of early medical abortion, the proportion of women who require analgesia, the predictors of analgesia requirement and the most appropriate analgesia regimen. Studies from different centers show wide variations in analgesia use, but, overall, around 75% of women use narcotic analgesics on the day of prostaglandin administration. Differences are likely to be due to differences in policies for offering analgesia rather than differences in patient characteristics. The following characteristics are consistently associated with increased requirement for analgesia: increasing gestation, younger patient age, nulliparity and White race. A regimen comprising 325-500 mg of paracetamol (acetaminophen) with 10 mg of dihydrocodeine or 30 mg of codeine has been used by thousands of women without apparent problems.

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