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What is ellaOne

ellaOne is a method of emergency contraception whose purpose is to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex has taken place or regular birth control has failed. Also known as the ‘morning after pill’, ellaOne is effective for up to five days following an episode of unsafe sex and can stop pregnancy even if you are due to ovulate. As such ellaOne has been shown to prevent more pregnancies than any other form of emergency contraceptive in the UK.

EllaOne should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex to maximise its effectiveness. However, ellaOne has a longer window of use than Levonelle. EllaOne has to be taken within five days (120 hours) of unprotected sex – allowing 48 hours extra than Levonelle.

EllaOne is taken as a single tablet. Whereas the effectiveness of Levonelle starts to decrease after 12 hours, EllaOne is thought to remain up to 95% effective throughout the five day window.

How effective is ellaOne?

ellaOne is the only morning after pill which has been seen to remain 95% effective at stopping an unwanted pregnancy for up to five days after unprotected sex, however as with any medication of this type, it is recommended that it is taken as soon as possible.

Why choose ellaOne?

Unlike the emergency contraception tablet Levonelle which loses its effectiveness after 72 hours following unprotected sexual intercourse, ellaOne remains effective for up to five days or 120 hours.

Not only does taking this single dose tablet right away provide less time for the sperm to fertilise the egg and cause an unwanted pregnancy it also stops you worrying because, once taken, you know the chances of pregnancy are extremely low.

Can I buy ellaOne online

Yes, you can buy ellaOne 30mg tablets in either a single dose or else two doses from Click Pharmacy which is a registered online pharmacy and doctor service.

Our service is quick, easy and discreet and your medication will be with you the next working day. You can have a consultation with one of our doctors the same day and from the comfort of your own home and have your prescription sent out to you right away meaning you can take your morning after pill well within the five day time frame.

What shall I do if I vomit after taking ellaOne?

Vomiting or diarrhoea within three hours of taking ellaOne can stop the tablet working. In this case, it is recommended that you take a follow-up tablet to ensure you get the complete dose and stop any unwanted pregnancy from occurring.

ellaIOne can be bought in a pack of two and this may be the best buying choice if taking it for the first time so as to ensure peace of mind that you have a back up if needed.

What dose should I choose?

The dosage is usually one single tablet of 30 milligrams of ulipristal acetate. It can be taken by any woman of reproductive age and at any time during your monthly cycle however, it’s important to check that this medication is suitable for you.

Speak to your GP or one of the pharmacists or doctors at Click Pharmacy for guidance and medical advice before buying and taking ellaOne.

Some of the main restrictions to taking this medication include:

  • Pregnancy - It should not be used by women who may already be pregnant
  • Allergies - it should not be prescribed to anyone who may be allergic to any ingredients within the drug
  • Asthma - if you have asthma or have any problems related to lactose metabolism you should not take ellaOne.

Overall though, it is safe for the majority of women to use and is usually well tolerated.

How should I take ellaOne?

Treatment is a single tablet to be ingested orally. It should be taken as soon as possible after intercourse with a glass of water before, during or after a meal.

If you think there may be a chance you will have unprotected sex in the future, or your contraception may fail again, then you can buy more than one tablet to keep at home for peace of mind.

How does ellaOne work?

In a regular menstrual cycle, an egg is released ready to be fertilised by awaiting sperm. Progesterone produced at this time naturally stops any further eggs from being released. By delaying the release of the egg the sperm are no longer alive and able to cause a pregnancy by fertilising the egg.

The two most commonly used pills are Levonelle and ellaOne and they both work in slightly different ways. ellaOne works for five days after intercourse and its active ingredient ulipristal acetate stops the progesterone in your body from working as it usually would and in turn delays the eggs’ release from the ovary.

What are the side effects of ellaOne?

Taking ellaOne has not been known to cause any serious or long-term health concerns or fertility issues however, as with any medication there can be potential side effects. The most common symptoms found in patients after taking ellaOne is gastrointestinal disturbances for example nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Other side effects include:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • mood changes
  • swelling of the breasts

Depending on how your body reacts to the medication, the period following taking ellaOne may be delayed or early and either lighter or heavier than usual. If there is no subsequent period and /or it is noticeably different to your regular periods then there is a potential that pregnancy has still occurred and as such you should consult your GP for advice.

If there is any chance that you may already be pregnant then it is recommended not to take ellaOne as there could be harmful effects on the development of the foetus.

If you experience any severe symptoms after taking this medication, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

What are ellaOne Morning After Pills used for?

ellaOne Morning After Pills are used as an emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy from unprotected sex.

When should I take ellaOne Morning After Pills?

To prevent pregnancy, ellaOne Morning After Pills should be taken immediately after unprotected sex. However they can be taken up to five days after.

How effective is ellaOne Morning After Pill?

ellaOne Morning After Pill is up to 95% effective if taken within 5 days of having unprotected sexual intercourse.

Do I need a prescription to purchase ellaOne Morning After Pill?

No, you do not require a prescription to purchase ellaOne Morning After Pill.

What if I vomit ellaOne Morning After Pill?

If you vomit after taking ellaOne Morning After Pill, it is advised to take a follow up tablet to prevent any unwanted pregnancy.

Can pregnant women use ellaOne Morning After Pill?

Women that are already pregnant should not take ellaOne Morning After Pill.

How should I take ellaOne Morning After Pill?

You should swallow one whole tablet with a drink of water.

Who should not take ellaOne Morning After Pill?

You should not take ellaOne Morning After Pill if you suffer from asthma. You should consult a GP or pharmacist who may be able to recommend an alternative product for you to use.

What is the difference between ellaOne Morning After Pill and Levonelle?

While both ellaOne and Levonelle are used as a method of emergency contraception, the main difference is when to take them. Levonelle should be taken within 3 days of having unprotected sex, whereas ellaOne should be taken within 5 days of having unprotected sex.

How many times do I need to take ellaOne Morning After Pill?

After unprotected sex, you are only required to take one dose of ellaOne Morning After PIll. however if you vomit after taking the tablet, it is advised to take the follow up tablet to ensure you do not conceive.

Can men take ellaOne Morning After Pill?

ellaOne Morning After Pill should only be used by women, it is not suitable for men to use.

How does ellaOne Morning After Pill prevent pregnancy?

ellaOne contains a substance known as ulipristal acetate. This substance stops progesterone from working normally, delaying the release of an egg.

Can I use ellaOne Morning After Pill as a regular contraception method?

ellaOne Morning After Pill should only be used as an emergency contraception method, not regular.

Can I take ellaOne Morning After Pill with other medication?

You should not use ellaOne Morning After Pill as an emergency contraception method if you are taking the following medicines:

  • Medicines used to treat HIV, TB or epilepsy
  • Stomach acid medicines such as omeprazole
  • Less commonly used antibiotics such as rifampicin and rifabutin.

Can I take ellaOne Morning After Pill while breastfeeding?

If you are breastfeeding, it is advised to not use ellaOne Morning After Pill as an emergency contraception method.

Using ellaOne Morning After Pill does not cause any serious long term side effects. However you may experience a number of short term side effects including:

  • Changes to your next period
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Feeling sick
  • Stomach pains


Always read the patient information leaflet before starting your treatment. The patient information can be found here.

Authored by Jana Abelovska

Last reviewed 20 April 2021

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