ellaOne effective in preventing pregnancy according to FDA.

Last week Vanessa wrote about a new form of morning after pill, ellaOne (that can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy) is up for review by the FDA. The FDA released a statement today that ella is in fact effective against pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex.
via Reuters.

Women’s health advocates have welcomed the potential for another emergency contraceptive option, but some critics contend the drug is more akin to the abortion pill, sold by Danco Laboratories as Mifeprex and also known as RU-486 or mifepristone.
HRA Pharma has said its drug, whose scientific name is ulipristal, works by preventing ovulation of a woman’s egg.
In their review, FDA staff scientists said the company’s studies showed no unexpected side effects in women, although reports of nausea, headache and abdominal pain were common.
It was not clear what effect the drug had, if any, when a woman still became pregnant despite taking it, they added.

They have yet to recommend it for the US market.

Join the Conversation

  • Comrade Kevin

    Though it has nothing to do with pregnancy or not-pregnancy, I have gotten used to managing side effects from the medications I take for my illness. They’re annoying, sure, but the negative consequences of not taking them far exceed the positive gain of taking them.
    There is so much we don’t understand about the body, the brain, and how they interact. I think that fact is very evident when we talk about side effects of any kind. Sometimes side effects can be dangerous and produce major problems, but even the regular birth control pill produces problems in some women.

  • Athenia

    Question. Why is it important to be able to take this up to 5 days after the fact? (Cause I’m thinking if you don’t use a condom or you notice the condom breaks, you’re going to be running to the drug store sooner rather than later)
    Is it in case you can’t get to a drug store that carries it in time?

  • pluralist

    For me, a major issue would be money. I don’t have a job and my boyfriend lives paycheck to paycheck. Being able to take an effective EC five days after could be the difference in him having $0 and having $700.
    I imagine a lot of people are in similar situations, and the extra time means less scrambling and begging for money within the three days (of decreasing effectiveness) or simply foregoing EC entirely.
    I think it could also be helpful to rape survivors because they have those extra days to recover and take precautions like EC.

  • Lily A

    There are all sorts of reasons a woman might not “run to the drug store” immediately after having unprotected sex.
    A few examples:
    –it takes her a few days to decide whether she wants to bring the pregnancy to term or not,
    –she was raped and does not fully remember the incident (due to alcohol, drugs, or trauma) until a few days after the fact, or until she is told by a third party,
    –she lives in a rural area and isn’t able to get to a drug store immediately,
    –she does not have access to a vehicle and has a hard time getting to a drug store in time,
    –she lives with her parents and has to get their permission and/or sneak around them to get to a drug store,
    –she is not aware that the morning after pill exists until it is too late to take it, and only learns about her options later,
    –if the pill is only available by prescription, it might take a few days to get a doctors’ appointment, and another day to get the prescription filled,
    –it just doesn’t occur to her that she might be pregnant until a few days after the fact (denial, ignorance, etc),
    –she has a low income or is not financially independent, and it takes her a few days to get together the money to pay for the medication…
    For a lot of women, those few extra days could be a life-saver.

  • paperispatient

    I guess it could factor in mistakes and unexpected occurrences with other contraceptive methods too, like the birth control pill. If I have intercourse on Friday, and I then forget to take my pill the next few days and realize my mistake on Monday or Tuesday, oh shit! I think it will also be extremely helpful for women in more rural areas or anywhere, really, where there are not multiple pharmacies to choose from in case one is out of or refuses to dispense the morning-after pill.