ELLA (Ulipristal) Factsheet
- ella is intended to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or a known or suspected contraceptive failure (condom broke, late for a Depo shot, missed birth control pills).
- ella is NOT the “abortion pill” RU-486.
- ella does not offer protection against infection with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.
- ella is a type of emergency contraception or “EC.” Some people call it “the morning-after pill,” but you can take emergency contraception as late as five days after sex.
- ella contains an ingredient called ulipristal acetate, which binds to the receptors in your body for the hormone progesterone.
- Unlike other types of emergency contraceptive pills, ella does not decrease in effectiveness over the five days after an unprotected encounter. That means ella is just as effective one hour after unprotected sex as it is five days after unprotected sex.(1, 2)
- ella prevents the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation) for up to five days after unprotected sex. ella does not work after an egg is fertilized.
- ella can be taken at any time in the five days after unprotected sex or birth control failure.
- ella can be taken with food, or on an empty stomach.
- If you vomit within three hours of taking ella, you should take another dose.
- You should not use ella if you are currently pregnant.
- You should not use ella if you are currently breastfeeding because the medication can get into breast milk.
- ella is the most effective emergency contraceptive pill available. (Paragard IUD is more effective but it is not a pill.)
- About 2% of people who take ella will still get pregnant, but this isn’t quite the same as saying ella is 98% effective. It also depends on when in your cycle you took it and how likely a pregnancy was at that time.
- ella is slightly more effective than Plan B, especially if it has been 72 hours or more since unprotected sex.(3, 4)
- If you are on a hormonal contraceptive (pills, patch, ring, injection, implant, or hormonal IUD), ella can reduce the effectiveness of your regular birth control! You should use a back-up form of birth control (such as condoms) until your next period.
- If you need to take emergency contraception again after a dose of ella, but before your next period, you should take ella again— it can interfere with the effectiveness of Plan B.
- ella may be less effective if you are taking certain other medications or herbal supplements. Make sure you let your healthcare provider know if you are taking any other medication or herbs.
- Ideally, you should only take emergency contraception once in a cycle, then use condoms as a backup until you have your next period.
- If you need to take it again in the same cycle, you should try to take the same emergency contraceptive that you took the first time.
- If you can't take the same pill again, any emergency contraception is better than none, so take whatever you have available.
- The most common side effects are: headache (18%), abdominal pain (12%), nausea (12%), cramps (9%), fatigue (6%), and dizziness (5%). (5)
- Your next period may be a few days early or late after taking ella. You should take a pregnancy test if your period is seven days late or more.
- There is not enough information about what dangers ella can have on an existing pregnancy. If you take ella while you’re pregnant, or if you get pregnant despite taking ella, you are encouraged to register at https://ellanow.com/
- There should be no change to your fertility. You can still get pregnant at a later date after using ella or any other type of emergency contraception.
- ella requires a prescription. (Other kinds of emergency contraceptive pills are available without a prescription.)
- You can visit one of the following clinics for a prescription, or they may have ella in stock to pick up:
- You can also buy ella online. Order now
- If you already have a prescription written for ella, the following pharmacies should have the medication in stock:
|Pharmacy Name||Address||Phone Number|
|Daniel's Pharmacy;||943 Geneva Ave.||415-584-2210|
|Safeway-Webster||1335 Webster St.||415-921-5502|
|Target-Masonic & Geary||2675 Geary St.||415-796-5280|
|Walgreens-16th St. & Mission||1979 Mission St.||415-558-8749|
|Walgreens-23rd St. & Mission||2690 Mission St||415-285-1576|
|Walgreens-24th St. & Potrero||1189 Potrero Ave||415-647-1397|
|Walgreens-30th St & Mission||3398 Mission St.||415-824-6886|
|Walgreens-Castro||498 Castro St.||415-861-3136|
|Walgreens-Cesar Chavez||3400 Cesar Chavez||415-285-0802|
|Walgreens-Evans St||3801 3rd St.||415-285-8773|
|Walgreens-San Bruno||2494 San Bruno Ave.||415-468-4274|
|Walgreens-Van Ness||1496 Market St.||415-626-9972|
|Walgreens-Williams||5300 3rd St.||415-671-0841|
|ZSFG Pharmacy||1001 Potrero Ave.||415-206-8107|
- Afaxys, Inc. (2016, August). FAQ. From http://www.ellanow.com/
- Ella-KwikMed. (2017). https://www.ella-kwikmed.com/
- Glasier, A.F. et al. (2010, February 13). Ulipristal acetate versus levonorgesterel for emergency contraception: a randomized non-inferiority trial and meta-analysis. Lancet 375(9714), pp. 555-62. Abstract at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20116841/
- Office of Population Research & Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. (2016). Answers to frequently asked questions about effectiveness. From http://ec.princeton.edu/questions/eceffect.html
- ella important safety information. (2015, March). https://www.ellanow.com/hcp/pdf/_ella-ISI-professional.pdf