ella is a "morning after pill," meaning it is only used as an emergency contraceptive to help prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. It does require a prescription and should be taken within five days after unprotected sex. If you vomit within three hours of taking this pill, contact your healthcare provider, as you may need to take a second dose.
What Is Ella?
ella® (ulipristal acetate) is a prescription emergency contraceptive (a "morning after pill"). Emergency contraceptives are used to reduce the chances of becoming pregnant after unprotected sex or after a potential birth control failure. Because ella is not as effective as many other forms of birth control, it is not intended for regular use as a contraceptive (it is intended for emergency use only).
ella contains ulipristal acetate. Ulipristal works by blocking the effects of progesterone and works primarily by inhibiting or delaying ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). It is also thought that ella may alter the lining of the uterus (endometrium), which could prevent a fertilized egg from implanting.
This product is not approved to end an existing pregnancy and should not be used if you know or suspect that you may already be pregnant. Unlike other emergency contraceptive medications (such as Plan B®), ella could potentially cause a miscarriage.
Effects of Ella
In one clinical study, 1.9 percent of women who took ella within 72 hours of unprotected sex became pregnant, compared to the predicted pregnancy rate of 5.6 percent if no emergency contraception is used.
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.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 19, 2014.
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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