FDA Approves 5-Day-After Birth Control Pill

Monday, August 16, 2010

Women will now have up to five days to keep from getting pregnant after having unprotected sex, with the approval of the pill ella (ulipristal acetate) by the Food and Drug Administration. Manufactured by the French firm HRA-Pharma and soon to be sold by Watson Pharmaceuticals, ella is said to be as effective in preventing conception five days after sex as the first day.

Available only by prescription, ella may become a competitor to Plan B (levonorgestrel), the morning-after pill available over the counter to women 17 and older. Plan B is only effective three days after sex.
Women who take ella will have only a 1 in 50 chance of getting pregnant, while Plan B users have a 1 in 40 chance. Those who don’t use any contraception have about 1 chance in 20 of becoming pregnant.
-David Wallechinsky
F.D.A. Approves 5-Day Emergency Contraceptive (by Gardiner Harris, New York Times)
Days-After Pill Wins FDA Approval (by John Gever, MedPage Today)
New Morning-After Pill Safe, Effective Panel Says (by Emily P. Walker, MedPage Today)


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