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ellaOne is effective up to 120 hours after unprotected intercourse. It has shown to be slightly more effective at reducing pregnancies than levonorgestrel, particularly around the middle of your menstrual cycle.
ellaOne contains the substance ulipristal acetate which acts by modifying the activity of the natural hormone progesterone which is necessary for ovulation to occur. As a result, this medicine works by postponing ovulation. Emergency contraception is not effective in every case. Of 100 women who take this medicine approximately 2 will become pregnant.
How to take
Take one tablet by mouth as soon as possible and no later than 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Take the tablet without delay.
You can take the tablet at any time in your cycle either before, during or after a meal. - If you are using one of the medicines that may prevent ellaOne from working properly (see section 2 here) or if you have used one of these medicines in the past 4 weeks, ellaOne may work less effectively for you. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using ellaOne. Your doctor may prescribe another type of (non-hormonal) emergency contraceptive, i.e. a Cu-IUD.
If you vomit (be sick, throw up) within 3 hours of taking the tablet, take another tablet as soon as possible.
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Some symptoms such as breast tenderness and abdominal (stomach) pain, throwing up (vomiting), feeling sick (nausea) are also possible signs of pregnancy. If you miss your period and experience such symptoms after taking ellaOne, you should do a pregnancy test.
For full list of side effects, please read the patient information leaflet found inside your medication – a link to this can be found at the bottom of this page.
WARNING – If your period is more than 5 days late, you should exclude pregnancy by taking a pregnancy test. If you experience any severe abdominal pains this may indicate an ectopic pregnancy and you should seek medical help immediately. Taking emergency contraception does not increase the chances of having an ectopic pregnancy.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
This medicine is a contraceptive used to prevent a pregnancy from starting. If you are already pregnant it will not interrupt an existing pregnancy. If you become pregnant despite taking this medicine, there is no evidence that it will affect your pregnancy. However, it is important that you see your doctor.
If you take this medicine while you are breast-feeding a baby, do not breast-feed for one week after taking this medicine. During this time, it is recommended to use a breast pump in order to maintain milk production, but throw away your breast milk. The effect of breast-feeding your baby in the week after taking this medicine is not known.
Driving and using machines
After taking this medicine, some women experience dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision and/or loss of concentration (see section 4). If you experience these symptoms, do not drive or use machines
As with any medication, please read the information leaflet found inside the medication box prior to taking. This can be found here