RU 486 in Women with Normal or Anovulatory Cyles
The antiprogesterone steroid RU 486 was given orally to 32 normally cycling women for four days, starting on the fourth day after the basal body temperature shift. Uterine bleeding occurred on the third day of RU 486 administration in all 14 women treated with 100 mg per day, in seven out of the eight women treated with 50 mg, and in eight out of ten women receiving 25 mg per day. Luteal regression was observed in eight women treated with 100 mg per day, in three treated with 50 mg, and in two receiving 25 mg per day. Plasma LH was measured every 15 minutes from 0800 h to 1200 h for five days in 17 patients. Mean levels decreased, and its computerized pulsatile release disappeared in seven of the eight subjects treated with 100 mg, in two out of four receiving 50 mg, and in one out of five treated with 25 mg. RU 486 had no effect when given to five patients with anovulatory cycles for four days, starting on day 18 of their cycle.
In conclusion: 1) RU 486, given to normally cycling women at mid-luteal phase, induces uterine bleeding. 2) This effect occurs whether or not luteal regression is induced by the compound, indicating that RU 486 acts directly upon the endometrial tissue, very likely at the progesterone receptor level. 3) The drug may impair both luteal function and gonadotropin secretion in a dose-dependant manner. 4) At the dosage of 100 mg per day, the lack of antiglucocorticosteroid activity suggests that RU 486 may be promising as a new agent for fertility control.
KeywordsEstrogen Cortisol Dexamethasone Glucocorticoid Progesterone
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