ellaOne is a form of emergency contraception. It is sometimes referred to as a morning after pill. It is designed to be taken if you wish to prevent a pregnancy after having unprotected sexual intercourse.
- ellaOne is a form of emergency contraception
- ellaOne can be taken up to five days (120 hours) after having unprotected sex
- The sooner you take the tablet, the more effective it will be
- ellaOne is the trade name, and the tablet contains the active ingredient ulipristal acetate
- Emergency contraception helps to reduce the risk of pregnancy, but does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does ellaOne Work?
ellaOne is designed to be taken after you have had sexual intercourse that leaves you at risk of becoming pregnant.
This may occur if you forget to take your oral contraceptive pill, have a condom split during sex, or get caught up in the moment. If you don’t want to become pregnant, ellaOne can be taken to prevent a pregnancy.
It is designed to be used in case of emergency only, rather than to replace a regular form of contraception.
ellaOne contains ulipristal acetate. This medication is an effective ‘morning after pill’, and despite its nickname it can actually be taken up to five days after having unprotected sex. It is best to take it as soon as possible after sex, as this will make it more effective.
ellaOne works by delaying ovulation. Sperm can survive for around five days in the uterus. When you take ellaOne, the delay in ovulation means that the sperm will have died before your body releases an egg. The risk of a sperm fertilising the egg is therefore much reduced.
It is important to remember that there is no morning after pill that can prevent pregnancy if you have already ovulated. If an egg has already been fertilised, ellaOne will not have any effect.
How is ellaOne Taken?
ellaOne is a single pill that you should take with water. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night you take it, however you should take it as soon as you can after unprotected sexual intercourse.
If you are sick after taking ellaOne, you should speak to a healthcare professional as you may need to take another pill.
After taking ellaOne, you will need to abstain from sex or use additional contraception, such as condoms, before restarting your regular contraception. The amount of time you need to wait before restarting your regular contraception will depend on the type of Contraception you usually use. A healthcare professional will be able to advise you based on your individual circumstances and usual contraceptive method.
Dosage of ellaOne
One ellaOne tablet contains 30mg of ulipristal acetate. Unless you are sick after taking it, just one pill is required.
Are there any Side Effects?
Like most medications, ellaOne can have some side effects. The most common side effects are:
- A headache
- Feeling sick
- Abdominal (tummy) pain
- Your next period being heavier, earlier or later than usual.
You should seek medical advice if these symptoms don’t go away within a few days. You should also see a GP or nurse if:
- You are worried you might be pregnant
- Your next period is over a week later than expected
- You have a sudden, severe pain in your abdomen (this could be a sign of a pregnancy that has implanted outside the womb, known as an ectopic pregnancy)
- Your next period is very light or shorter than usual.
If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
ellaOne might not be suitable for everyone. ellaOne may not suit:
- Women with asthma
- Women who take medicine for heartburn or indigestion, such as omeprazole
- Women who take medication for HIV, epilepsy or TB (tuberculosis)
- Women who take certain antibiotics including rifampicin and rifabutin
- Women who take St John’s Wort herbal remedy
- Women who are breastfeeding.
During the Consultation with Life Meds Pharmacy, you will be asked to complete a health questionnaire to check that ellaOne is suitable for you.
A prescriber from Life Meds Pharmacy will review your current medications, including any herbal remedies or supplements, to ensure that ellaOne will not interact with them.