EllaOne is a type of emergency hormonal contraception, which we frequently call the morning after pill. If taken correctly it can be used to prevent unplanned pregnancy after unprotected sex or condom failure.
This medicine works by delaying or preventing ovulation for at least 5 days until sperm from intercourse are no longer considered viable. Ovulation is when the ovary releases an egg for a sperm to fertilise. It is hard to predict when ovulation will occur as it is different for every woman but it generally occurs around 14 days before your next period is due.
EllaOne offers an advantage over Levonelle in that it can postpone ovulation even after the onset of the luteinising hormone surge, which typically begins around 2 days prior to ovulation. This makes EllaOne a more dependable option during the mid-cycle period.
This morning pill is perhaps the most effective method of oral emergency hormonal contraception but it isn't 100% effective. If taken within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex reported pregnancy rates are around 1-2%, this figure is someone what incorrect though as the risk of failure is much higher if you are ovulating midcycle.
Important: EllaOne will likely delay ovulation, you may become fertile again later in your cycle. Always ensure you are using effective contraception. Please speak with your GP or Pharmacist for more information.
This medicine will only be effective for unprotected sexual intercourse in the previous 5 days, and it does not cover you for any future unprotected intercourse. You should use condoms or an alternative protective method.
Directions for use: Take One tablet within 120 hours of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.
The sooner the tablet is taken, the more effective it is likely to be. It can be taken with or without food but take another tablet if vomiting occurs within 3 hours.
Unlike Levonelle there is no requirement to increase the dose according to body weight or BMI
EllaOne contains the following ingredients:
Active: Ulipristal Acetate 30mg
Inactive: Lactose monohydrate, Povidone, Croscarmellose sodium, Magnesium stearate
This list is not exhaustive so please refer to the product leaflet for further information and advise our team of any allergies or intolerances before purchase.
Like all medicines, EllaOne can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Some symptoms such as breast tenderness and abdominal (stomach) pain, throwing up (vomiting), and feeling sick (nausea) are also possible signs of pregnancy. If you miss your period and experience such symptoms after taking ellaOne, you should do a pregnancy test.
Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)
- headache, dizziness, mood swings
- nausea, abdominal (stomach) pain or discomfort, vomiting
- painful periods, pelvic pain, breast tenderness
- muscle pain, back pain, tiredness
Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)
- acne, skin lesions, itching
- appetite changes, emotional disorders, anxiety, agitation, trouble sleeping, sleepiness, migraine visual disturbances
- unusual or irregular vaginal bleeding, heavy/prolonged periods of premenstrual syndrome, vaginal irritation or discharge, lesser or greater sex drive
- diarrhoea, heartburn, wind, dry mouth
- hot flushes
- fever, chills, malaise
Rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)
- allergic reactions such as rash, hives, or swelling of the face
- unusual sensation in the eye, red eye, sensitivity to light
- genital pain or itching, pain during sex, rupture of an ovarian cyst, unusually light period
- loss of concentration, vertigo, shaking, disorientation, fainting
- dry throat, disturbance in taste
- feeling thirsty
Talk to your pharmacist, doctor or other healthcare professional before taking this medicine
- if you suffer from severe asthma
- if your period is late or you have symptoms of pregnancy (heavy breasts, morning sickness), as you may already be pregnant
- if you suffer from severe liver disease.
In all women, emergency contraception should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse.
If you become pregnant despite taking the tablet, you must see your doctor.
Other contraceptives and ellaOne
This medicine may make regular hormonal contraceptives, like pills and patches, temporarily less effective. If you are currently taking hormonal contraception, continue to use it as usual after taking this medicine, but be sure to use condoms every time you have sex until your next period.
Do not take this medicine together with another emergency contraceptive pill that contains levonorgestrel. By taking them both together, you might make this medicine less effective.
Other medicines and ellaOne
Tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other healthcare professional if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription or herbal medicines. Some medicines may prevent ellaOne from working effectively. If you have used any of the medicines listed below during the last 4 weeks, ellaOne may be less suitable for you. Your doctor may prescribe another type of (non-hormonal) emergency contraceptive, i.e. a copper intrauterine device (Cu-IUD):
- Griseofulvin, a medicine used to treat fungal infections
- Medicines used to treat tuberculosis (for example, rifampicin, and rifabutin)
- Medicines used to treat epilepsy (for example, primidone, phenobarbital, phenytoin, fosphenytoin, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, and barbiturates)
- Treatment for HIV containg ritonavir, efavirenz or nevirapine
- Herbal remedies containing St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) often used for mild depression.
Before taking this medicine, if your period is late, tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other healthcare professional, or do a pregnancy test to make sure you are not already pregnant.
This medicine is a contraceptive used to prevent a pregnancy from starting. If you are already pregnant it will not interrupt an existing pregnancy.
If you become pregnant despite taking this medicine, there is no evidence that it will affect your pregnancy. However, you must see your doctor.
If you take this medicine while you are breastfeeding a baby, do not breastfeed for one week after taking this medicine. During this time, it is recommended to use a breast pump to maintain milk production but throw away your breast milk. Due to a lack of safety data the effect of breastfeeding your baby in the week after taking this medicine is not known.
This medicine will not affect your future fertility. If you have unprotected sex after taking the tablet, it will not stop you from becoming pregnant. Therefore you must use condoms or abstain from intercourse until your next period. If you wish to start or continue with a regular method of contraception after using this medicine, you can do so but you should also use condoms until your next period.
Driving and using machines
After taking this medicine, some women experience dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, and/or loss of concentration. If you experience these symptoms, do not drive or use machines
Patient Information Leaflet
The product information leaflet can be found here
Frequently Asked Questions
How often can you use Ella One?
You should only use Ella One in emergencies and not as a regular method of contraception. If this medicine is used more than once in a menstrual cycle, it is less reliable and it is more likely to disrupt your periods. Ella One does not work as well as regular methods of contraception. Please ask your doctor or pharmacist about long-term methods of contraception which are more effective for preventing pregnancy.
What if I vomit after taking Ella One?
If you are sick within three hours of taking the tablet, you should immediately take another tablet. These can be purchased both online or at your local pharmacy if they are needed more urgently.
How do I know if my Ella One has worked?
Ella One will affect your menstrual cycle and might trigger unusual bleeding. If your regular period is more than 5 days late or is unusually light or heavy please do a pregnancy test. A pregnancy test is usually reliable about 2-3 weeks after intercourse.
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