Ulipristal Acetate

EllaOne is an emergency hormonal contraceptive treatment, marketed by HRA. Also referred to as the morning after pill, it is used in cases where a primary birth control method has failed.


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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.
Product information

EllaOne is a morning after pill, made by HRA Pharma. It contains a substance called ulipristal acetate. It works by interacting with progesterone receptors in the body, thus helping to reduce the likelihood of pregnancy.

  1. High rate of effectiveness
  2. Taken after unprotected sex
  3. Can be taken up to 5 days afterwards

Before pregnancy can begin, ovulation must take place; the ovary must produce an egg. After sex has taken place, sperm is released into the womb, and travels towards the egg in an attempt to fertilise it. Upon successful contact, the egg is penetrated by the sperm, and then makes its way to the uterus. Once there, it attaches itself to the wall of the uterus, and begins to mature into an embryo.

The hormone progesterone is a key participant in this process. It regulates the release of eggs from the ovaries, and controls the consistency of the uterine wall and vaginal mucus. The EllaOne emergency pill, by adjusting the activity of progesterone in the body, is thought to inhibit the generation of an egg, make the uterine wall less conducive to implantation, and increase the thickness of vaginal fluid so that sperm cannot move around as easily.

EllaOne can be useful in lessening the chances of pregnancy beginning when a primary contraceptive method has failed. This might be a situation where are a condom has split, or a pill has not been taken. However, EllaOne should not be relied upon as a substitute for a primary method.

It is also important after a barrier contraceptive method has failed to discuss the risks of STIs with your own GP; if you are not in a monogamous relationship, STI testing may be advised.

If you are not using a long-term contraceptive method such as the pill, then you should discuss the benefits of this with your doctor.  

The treatment is supplied with very specific instructions, which should be followed carefully. It is designed to be taken as soon as unprotected sex has occurred, and should not be taken any more than 120 hours following this.

Please note that this pill is not available through our site.

Page last reviewed:  06/12/2019


The application instructions for this medicine can be found in the patient information leaflet. These very specific and should be closely followed to ensure that the treatment has the best possible chance of being effective. Please be aware that this pill may still not prevent pregnancy even if it is correctly applied.

  1. One tablet is supplied. This should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex has occurred but no later than 120 hours (5 days) afterwards.
  2. The sooner it is taken, the more effective it will be.
  3. Refer to the instructions provided if you are sick after taking your tablet.
  4. Notify your doctor immediately if you become pregnant after taking it.

These directions are provided only as a guide. Make sure you read those provided with the medicine prior to use.

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Page last reviewed:  06/12/2019
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

EllaOne 30mg

Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

There are a number of side effects associated with this medicine, and although they will not affect everyone, it is important to remain aware of them so that you can act appropriately and seek medical help in the event that they occur.

Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Headaches, dizziness, mood swings, stomach pain, feeling or being sick, muscle or back pain, drowsiness.

Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Dry mouth, heartburn, diarrhoea, increased menstrual bleeding or pain, vaginal inflammation or discharge, flushing, influenza, fever, anxiety, agitation, sleep disorders,
change in libido, acne, migraine, visual disturbances.

Rare (1 in 1000 people or less):
Genital pain or itching, loss of concentration, vertigo, shaking, fainting, sensitivity to light.

This is only a summary of the potential side effects associated with this product. A full list can be found in the patient information leaflet supplied. Contact your doctor if you notice any side effects or anything at all unusual.

Taking it with other medicines

This pill may interact with the following medicines, or be less effective when taken at the same time: medications for epilepsy, HIV, bacterial infections, or St John’s wort. During consultation, let your prescriber know which, if any, other treatments you are currently using.

Conditions to look out for

Inform your prescribing physician if you have or have ever had liver dysfunction, galactose intolerance, or any other conditions or allergies prior to using this product.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Before taking EllaOne, if your period is late, you should make sure you are not pregnant first by taking a pregnancy test or consulting with your GP.

If you become pregnant despite taking EllaOne, you should see your doctor. There is no evidence to indicate that your pregnancy will be harmed by EllaOne, but your doctor may need to check that the pregnancy is not developing outside the womb.

If you are breastfeeding, you should avoid breastfeeding for one week after taking EllaOne. You are advised to pump and discard breast milk during this time, in order to maintain production.

More detailed information is available in the leaflet supplied.

Driving and using machinery

Some people may develop side effects from EllaOne. If you experience any which may inhibit your capacity, avoid driving or machine use.

Lactose intolerance

EllaOne contains lactose. Check with your prescriber before taking it if you having any sugar intolerances.

Page last reviewed:  06/12/2019
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

EllaOne 30mg


Can I still drink alcohol?

This treatment is not known to be affected by alcohol.

Will I still be able to drive?

If you experience no side effects, you will still be able to drive. However, the presence of any side effects which may make driving difficult or dangerous will necessitate that you avoid driving and seek medical attention immediately.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

You should not take this medicine if you are already pregnant under any circumstances. If you are unsure whether or not you are pregnant, take a test prior to using it. Those who are breastfeeding are advised to wait for at least 36 hours until after application to begin breastfeeding again. Read the instructions provided for more information.

How should I store it?

Away from sources of light and in a safe environment, out of the reach of children.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

This product contains ulipristal acetate, lactose monohydrate, povidone K30, croscarmellose sodium and magnesium stearate. Do not use it if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.

Is it available over-the-counter?

Before you can be issued this item, a healthcare professional must check that it is suitable for you to take. This may involve asking you questions about your overall health.

Is it right for me?

Check with your GP or family planning clinic if you are not sure.

Please note that we do not provide this medication through our site.


Page last reviewed:  06/12/2019
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