Although it is not known if ella (ulipristal) passes through human breast milk, it is known that this medication does pass through breast milk in rats. Due to the potential risks to a breastfed infant, the manufacturer of the drug advises that women avoid ella while breastfeeding. However, because every woman's situation is different, your healthcare provider can help you explore your options.
Is Ella Safe to Take While Breastfeeding?
ella® (ulipristal acetate) is a prescription emergency contraceptive (a "morning after pill"). It is approved to prevent pregnancy when used within 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure. It is not known if ella passes into human breast milk. The manufacturer of ella recommends that women not take this medication while nursing a child.
What Does the Research Say?
No studies have been done to see if ella passes through breast milk in humans. However, studies have shown that ella passes through breast milk in rats. The manufacturer of the drug recommends that breastfeeding women avoid taking ella, as there is a theoretical risk to the nursing infant.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should discuss breastfeeding and ella with your healthcare provider. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
ella [package insert]. Morristown, NJ: Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;2010 August.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed September 3, 2010.
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