EllaOne - For emergency contraception
This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on August 12, 2018. To read more about an author, click here.
EllaOne is a medicine that contains an active substance called ulipristal. It belongs to the group of sex hormones and modulators of the genital system. It is used for emergency contraception within 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected intercourse. It is very effective for preventing unintended pregnancies. In one study, only 1.8% of women who took this medicine within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse became pregnant while no women who took this medicine between 72 - 120 hours after unprotected intercourse became pregnant.1
This medicine is also effective for the treatment of uterine fibroids (reduce the size of the fibroids).2
The following patients should not take EllaOne (ulipristil acetate):
- Patients who are allergic to the active substance ulipristal acetate or other similar medications.
- Pregnant woman.
- Patients younger than 18 years.
This medicine should be used only with extra precautions in patients with asthma or in patients with renal impairment or liver impairment because there is insufficient data on safety of this medicine in these patients.
This medicine should not be used as regular birth control and should not replace a regular method of contraception.
Keep in mind that using EllaOne (ulipristil acetate) with regular contraception method (birth control pills) can reduce the effectiveness of both medications to prevent unintended pregnancy. It is therefore recommended to use additional contraception for at least two weeks.
EllaOne use during pregnancy and breastfeeding
EllaOne (ulipristil acetate) should not be used during pregnancy! You should do a pregnancy test before you start taking this medicine. If you are pregnant, you should not take this medicine!
This medicine probably passes into breast milk. Avoid breastfeeding while using this medication. Wait at least two days after you take this medication before you breastfeed again.
For emergency contraception: You should take one pill within 120 hours after unprotected intercourse. EllaOne (ulipristil acetate) can be taken with or without food, because the food does not affect its effectiveness.
It can be used at any point during your menstrual cycle.
Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. Do not crush or chew the tablet.
If you vomit within 3 hours of taking this medication, take another pill as soon as possible.
EllaOne and its interactions with medications and food
EllaOne should be avoided in combination with the following medicines:
- Medications used in the treatment of epilepsy, such as:
- phenytoin, and others. Concomitant use of Ellone with these medicines can decrease the concentration of EllaOne in the blood and reduce its effectiveness. Tell your doctor if you are taking or have taken any of these medications in the past three weeks.
- Medications used in the treatment of AIDS (HIV infection). If these medicine are being used concurrently that may lead to a decrease in the concentration of EllaOne in the blood which reduce its effectiveness. Tell your doctor if you are taking or if you have taken any of these medications in the past 3 weeks.
- Medications used to treat heartburn and gastric ulcers, such as:
- antacids (the preparation of aluminum, magnesium, sodium, and others),
- rabeprazole, and others. If these medicine are being used concurrently that may lead to a decrease in the concentration of EllaOne in the blood which reduce its effectiveness.
- Regular contraception method (birth control pills). Keep in mind that using EllaOne with regular contraception method (birth control pills) can reduce effectiveness of both medications to prevent unintended pregnancy. It is therefore recommended to use additional contraception for at least two weeks.
- St. John's Wort. If these medicine are being used concurrently that may cause decrease in the concentration of EllaOne in the blood which reduce its effectiveness. Tell your doctor if you are taking or have taken this herb in the past 3 weeks.
Tell your doctor about all over the counter medicines and herbal remedies you are taking.
EllaOne may cause the following adverse effects:
- mood swings,
- emotional disorders,
- inflammation of the vagina (vaginitis),
- inflammation of the nose and pharynx (nasopharyngitis),
- inflammation of the eyelash follicles,
- abdominal pain,
- genital itching,
- muscle pain,
- joint pain,
- increased breast sensitivity,
- allergy and others.
The most common adverse effects reported in the studies is headache.1
This medicine is well tolerated and rarely causes adverse effects.3 Adverse effects, if they occur, are mild and short-lived.4
- Glasier AF, Cameron ST, Fine Pm, and others. Ulipristal acetate versus levonorgestrel for emergency contraception: a randomized non-inferiority trial and meta-analysis. Lancet. 2010: 375(9714): 555-62.
- Donnez J, Tatarchuk TF, Bouchard P, and others. Ulipristal acetate versus placebo for fibroid treatment before surgery. N Engl J Med. 2012: 366(5): 409-20.
- Donnez J, Hudecek R, Donnez O, and others. Efficacy and safety of repeated use of ulipristal acetate in uterine fibroids. Fertil Steril. 2015: 103(2): 519-27.
- Shilpa PJ, Dinesh MP. Ulipristal acetate, a progesterone receptor modulator for emergency contraception. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2012: 3(2): 109-11.
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If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.