Reading Time: < 1 minute

Wisconsin Watch, a nonprofit newsroom, is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Sign up for our newsletter for more stories straight to your inbox.


While mifepristone’s most common use is medically induced abortions, it can also be used as a treatment for Cushing syndrome. 

Mifepristone, which blocks a key pregnancy hormone, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to help induce a medication abortion in conjunction with misoprostol up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. 

The only other FDA-approved use of the medication is to treat hyperglycemia — high blood glucose — in patients showing signs of Cushing syndrome, a condition caused by sustained high cortisol, or stress hormone, levels. Failure to treat Cushing syndrome can lead to high blood pressure, bone loss and diabetes.

Mifepristone also has off-label uses, which is the common practice of prescribing medications for a condition outside of FDA-approved uses. It has been effectively used as a medication for emergency contraception, to induce labor and treat leiomyomas, sometimes painful benign tumors in the uterus.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


JAMA Pediatrics Mifepristone

Mayo Clinic Cushing syndrome: Symptoms and causes

Mayo Clinic Proceedings Ten Common Questions (and Their Answers) About Off-label Drug Use

Popular stories from Wisconsin Watch

Avatar photo

Erin Gretzinger / Wisconsin WatchReporting Intern

Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.