I had induced labour for dear daughter. My amniotic fluid levels was very low, hence they said that it's better to take her out asap.
If I remember correctly, the max. you can go is 4 insertion of pills. After and before insertion, they usually check if how much you are dilated, then decide if another pill should be inserted.
There will still be contractions when the time comes. However, I had heard that induced labour is much more painful as the contractions will just hit you more frequently, whereas normal labour, you have ample time to slowly adapt to the pain. As I had taken 4 pills, my cervix was very soft when the time comes, hence it took about 2 hours or so for dear daughter to pop out. I had no time for epidural as I had gone from 5cm to fully dilated within minutes (that's according to hubby)
Hope it helps!