Ulipristal Acetate (30mg)

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

There are 2 types of emergency contraception; the pill method and the insertion of a device called the copper intrauterine device (IUD). A copper IUD can prevent pregnancy because its presence is toxic to sperms. A woman might use emergency contraception if she forgot to take her birth control pills, if the condom broke or slipped off during sexual intercourse, or if no birth control methods were used. 

​​Ella® (ulipristal acetate), also known as “Morning-After Pill”, is one of the pill methods. It is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. 

How should I take/use this medication?

  • ​You may take this medication with or without food
  • You may take the medication at any time during the menstrual cycle. 
  • Take one tablet (30mg) tablet as soon as possible within 5 days of intercourse. 
  • It is not recommended to use this medication again during the same menstrual cycle as its safety and effectiveness has not been studied. 
  • If you vomit within 3 hours after taking the medicine, take another tablet as a replacement. Consult a doctor to get an additional dose of the medicine. 
You may still get pregnant if there is sexual intercourse after taking the pill. Ensure that you use a condom or any other type of birth control method if you have sexual intercourse after taking the emergency contraceptive pill.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 
  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You may already be pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies 
  • You have severe liver disease

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

You may experience some spotting or bleeding within two to three days after taking the tablet. Your next period usually starts within a week from your expected date. However, if your period is more than 7 days late, it is recommended to get a pregnancy test. If you experience heavy or extended period of bleeding, or very bad stomach pain, you should consult your doctor.​​​

Other side-effects:
  • Nausea and vomiting
    • Take the medication after food to reduce this side effect. 
  • Headache
    • You may take Paracetamol to manage the headache.
  • Breast tenderness
  • Dizziness, Fatigue
    • Avoid activities that require mental alertness and avoid using heavy machineries

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Some medications may prevent this medication from working effectively. Inform your healthcare professional if you have taken any medication since the last 4 weeks to ensure the correct type of emergency contraceptive has been prescribed for you. 

When can I start my regular hormonal contraception after taking Ella® (Ulipristal Acetate)?

You can start 5 days after taking Ella®. You also must use a barrier method (for example: condoms, diaphragm, and spermicides) until your next menstrual period, or not have sexual intercourse.

Using a hormonal birth control method and taking Ella® at the same time can reduce the effectiveness of both medications.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin. 


Disclaimers
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last reviewed on September 2019

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Ulipristal Acetate (30mg)

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