Morning After Pill

Before taking any kind of morning after pill, you should get information from a trusted source about what it is, how it could affect your health, and how it works. Comprehensive information is available when you visit Birthline.

What Is It?

The morning after pill is an intense dose of oral contraceptive, commonly trademarked under the names Plan B One-Step® or ellaOne®. The morning after pill has been approved by the FDA for use in the United States. The normal dosage for Plan B One-Step® is usually one tablet taken up to 72 hours (3 days) after sexual intercourse (usually after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure) to prevent pregnancy. The normal dosage for ellaOne® is one tablet within 5 days (120 hours) after sexual intercourse (usually after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure) to prevent pregnancy.

The morning after pill is chemically related but NOT the same as RU486 (also known as mifepristone), the abortion pill.

How Does It Work?

The morning after pill works as an emergency contraceptive, principally by possibly preventing ovulation and fertilization. Additionally, it may inhibit implantation. It is ineffective once implantation has occurred.

Possible Side Effects

Side effects of Plan B One-Step® and ellaOne® may include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Stomach (abdominal) pain
  • Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea)
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Breast tenderness
  • A period that is lighter, heavier, early, or late

How Do You Know It Works?

You will know it works when you get your next period.

“If you experience severe abdominal pain, you may have an ectopic (outside the uterus) pregnancy and should get immediate medical attention.” – Plan B One-Step®
*Plan B One-Step® and ellaOne® cannot guarantee you will not get pregnant and it will not protect you against HIV/AIDS or any other sexually transmitted infections or diseases.

Sources:

Plan B One-Step®. (2015). How to take it. Retrieved from http://planbonestep.com/taking_planb.aspx
ellaOne®. (2016). Types of emergency contraception. Retrieved from http://www.ellaone.com/types-emergency-contraception
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2012). Highlights of prescribing information. WATSON Medical Communications. Retrieved from http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/022474s002lbl.pdf

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