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EllaOne - the 5-day morning after pill
EllaOne is the newest emergency contraceptive tablet available over-the-counter from pharmacies, without the need for a prescription. It can be taken up to 120 hours (five days) to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if there has been a contraceptive failure, such as a split condom. EllaOne is thought to remain up to 98% effective, even after up to five days. EllaOne can be purchased online from The Independent Pharmacy in advance to ensure you have effective emergency contraception as soon as possible when you need it.
What is EllaOne?
EllaOne is a 'morning after pill' that is taken in a single dose for emergency contraception. EllaOne is the newest form of 'morning after pill' available and be taken up to 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex or contraceptive accident and still remain effective. EllaOne is thought to be up to 98% effective at preventing pregnancy as long as it is taken within 120 hours of the incident. It is the most effective morning after pill in the UK1.
EllaOne is not a regular contraceptive method and should not be used more than once per menstrual cycle. It will not interrupt an existing pregnancy and does not affect your fertility.
How does EllaOne work?
EllaOne contains the hormone ulipristal acetate. It acts to prevent the release of eggs from the ovaries during ovulation and to reduce the chance of a fertilised egg implanting in the womb.
EllaOne should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. It can be taken up to 120 hours (5 days) after sex and still be effective. It can be taken at any point in your cycle.
After taking EllaOne
A very small minority of women feel sick after taking EllaOne, if you are sick within 3 hours of taking the tablet you must obtain a further supply as it will not be effective.
EllaOne may cause your next period to come earlier or later than normal, and it may be heavier or lighter than usual.
You should continue using your regular method of contraception after taking EllaOne, emergency contraception will not protect you for the rest of your cycle.
Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for side effects and additional information.
For further information or alternatives you will need to either contact your own GP or visit your nearest GUM clinic.
This Information can be found on the NHS Choices website.
EllaOne Tablet warnings
EllaOne can make hormonal contraceptives, such as pills or patches, less effective. After taking EllaOne you should continue to use your regular hormonal contraceptive and also use condoms until your next period.
The following medicines may make EllaOne work less well:
Phenytoin, fosphenytoine, phenobarbital, primidone, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine (used to treat epilepsy)
Ritonavir, efavirenz, nevirapine (used to treat HIV infection)
Rifampicin, rifabutin (used to treat tuberculosis)
St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) or herbal medicines that contain it (used for depression or anxiety).
If you are taking any of the above medicines you should discuss emergency contraception with your GP to ensure that it is effective.
Please read the Patient Information Leaflet enclosed with your medicines for a full list of medicines that may affect EllaOne.
Do not take EllaOne if your period is already overdue as you may already be pregnant. You should see your GP or family planning clinic.
EllaOne should not replace your regular methods of contraception, such as the pill or condoms; these are more reliable and effective.
How to take EllaOne tablet
- EllaOne should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex.
- It is only effective up to 120 hours after, if it has been longer than this you should not take EllaOne and see your GP to discuss emergency contraception.
- If you are sick or suffer from diarrhoea within 3 hours of taking EllaOne it may not have been absorbed and will not be effective. You will need to obtain another supply as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, EllaOne is not 100% effective at preventing pregnancy, however, it is up to 98% effective if it is taken within 120 hours of unprotected sex.
If your next period has not arrived 5 or more days from when it was due you should take a pregnancy test.
EllaOne tablet ingredients
Each EllaOne tablet contains the active ingredient: ulipristal acetate 30mg.
The other inactive ingredients include: lactose, povidone K30, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate.
EllaOne tablet side effects
Usually, less than 1 in 10 people experience side effects from EllaOne, however, the most common may include:
- abdominal pains
- nausea or sickness
- spotting or abnormal vaginal bleeding
- mood changes
- breast or back pain
- painful periods
If you experience any adverse effects from taking your prescribed medicine it is important to let a healthcare professional know immediately. In a medical emergency, you should contact the emergency services or go straight to your local Accident & Emergency.
EllaOne 30mg Tablet reviews
EllaOne 30mg Tablet FAQs
EllaOne is a single tablet emergency contraceptive that can be used up to 5 days after uprotected sexual intercourse. Along with other emergency contraceptives, It is also called the morning after pill. The active ingredient in EllaOne is ulipristal acetate.
EllaOne postpones ovulation by modifying the naturally occurring female hormone progesterone. It is 98% effective regardless of when it is taken, up to 5 days after unprotected sex. You can take EllaOne at anytime in your cycle and it is suitable for women of child-bearing age and for adolescents.
EllaOne can only be used in a menstrual cycle and should not be used as a regular form of contraception. Other options such as contraceptive pills, Inter-Uterine Devices (IUDs), contraceptive injections, or contraceptive patches should be discussed with a healthcare professional.
The treatment course for EllaOne is one tablet taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Unlike other emergency contraception treatments it is effective for up to five days after unprotected sexual intercourse.
EllaOne can be taken at any time of day on an empty stomach, or with or after food. Taking EllaOne with or after food may help to prevent nausea that is sometimes experienced for a few hours afterwards.
At The Independent Pharmacy we can supply two different single-dose emergency contraception tablets; EllaOne and Levonelle.
Mechanism of action
Levonelle is a synthetic substitute of the female hormone progesterone. It can be taken up to 3 days after unprotected sexualintercourse and the exact mechanism of how it works is not known. Depending on where you are in your cycle it is thought to prevent ovulation, fertilisation or implantation.
EllaOne also works on the progesterone hormone but it modifies it to prevent ovulation from taking place.
With Levonelle the longer treatment is delayed after unprotected sex the less effective it becomes. If taken 24 hours after sex it is 98% effective, this drops to 85% after 48 hours and drops further to 58% up to 72 hours.
EllaOne can be taken up to 5 days after a sexual episode and is 98% effective up to 120 hours after unprotected sex.
Levonelle is not as effective in preventing pregnancy in larger women (ones who have a high Body Mass Index). EllaOne is more effective and is recommended in these cases.
Side effects (sickness)
If you are physically sick up to 2 hours after of taking Levonelle you need a replacement tablet.
A replacement is needed if you vomit up to 3 hours after taking EllaOne.
If needed Levonelle can be used more than once in a single menstrual cycle.
EllaOne can only be used once per cycle.
Nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps are common side effects with both Levonelle and EllaOne emergency contraception tablets.
Nausea is not a nice feeling and can be prevented by taking the medication with or after food, having regular snacks or taking an anti-sickness tablet before taking EllaOne. Nausea does not make the tablet any less effective.
Vomiting is not as common as simple nausea but it can still affect up to 10% of women taking EllaOne. If you are sick within 3 hours of taking the tablet, it will not be effective and you will need a replacement. If you are sick after more than 3 hours the effectiveness of EllaOne will not change and there is no need to take any action.
EllaOne can only be taken once per cycle. If you need to take more than one emergency contraceptive in a single cycle, Levonelle is a more appropriate option.
The majority of women will not be affected by any side effects. EllaOne is generally well tolerated, especially if it is taken with or after food.
The most common side effects are
- Stomach cramps
Your next period may also be earlier or later than expected by a couple of days. If it is later than 7 days, or you experience any morning sickness or breast tenderness, you should perform a pregnancy test. Please see a doctor if the test results indicate that you are pregnant.
EllaOne can be used up to 5 days after unprotected sex as an emergency form of contraception. It will not stop you becoming pregnant if you have unprotected sex again after using it. It is recommended you use condoms every time you have sex until you have your next period.
EllaOne does not work if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant after using it, it will not harm your baby.
Breast milk should be removed using a breast pump and discarded for 7 days after taking EllaOne.
EllaOne doesn’t affect your fertility and in fact, after taking a tablet, you need to use condoms every time you have sex until you have your next period.
There are four different classes of medication that make EllaOne less effective. These are:
- St Johns Wort (used to treat depression or anxiety)
- Rifampicin and Rifambutin (antibiotics which are rarely used other than to treat tuberculoisis)
- Phenytoin, fosphenytoine, phenobarbital, primidone, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine (Used for the treatment of epilepsy. Carbamazepine can also be used for other ailments other than epilepsy.)
- Ritonavir, efavirenz, nevirapine (used to treat HIV infection)