Ella emergency contraceptive pill gets FDA approval

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The Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) voted unanimously in favor of approving an emergency contraceptive containing Ulipristal in the month of June. Now after two months of the voting, US FDA finally approved the drug, called as ella that can prevent pregnancy within 120 hours (5days) after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure.

About ella, a newly approved contraceptive pill
The newly approved contraceptive contains 30 mg Ulipristal acetate, which is progesterone agonist/antagonist that inhibits or delays ovulation. The pill will be available in US by prescription only. However the pill has been available in Europe under the brand name ellaOne since May 2009.

The pill was originally developed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the National Institutes of Health and named after Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

ella vs Plan B
The prescription emergency contraceptives, Plan B which are already available in the market offer protection only up to 72 hours (3 days) and loses its efficacy with the time. Therefore it is recommended to be taken at most three days after sex. On the contrary, Ella works well if consumed anytime within 5 days after unprotected sex.

The study documents that women who have unprotected intercourse have about 1 chance in 20 of becoming pregnant. Those who take Plan B within three days cut that risk to about...



1 in 40; however those who take ella would cut that risk to about 1 in 50.

ella – adverse effects
In studies, the most common adverse effects associated with ella were headache, nausea, abdominal pain, dysmenorrhea, fatigue, and dizziness. FDA-approved levonorgestrel emergency contraceptives have similar adverse effects, according to FDA.

Women with known or suspected pregnancy and women who are breastfeeding should not use ella.

Studies have shown that millions of women who do not want to be pregnant, have unprotected sex every night in the US.  Half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. The drug looks promising the way it is being represented by the FDA and government. Some physicians however, objected that ella is not a morning after pill rather it works as an abortion agent because it works after conception and destroys the life of a day-old unborn child.

I always believe that drugs have always side effects to the body. The best way is to have protected sex as much possible and if you need a contraceptive pills always take advice with your doctor. I believe more studies will demonstrate further potential safety and efficacy of the drug as a contraceptive pill.

Source: medscape

15 Responses

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  2. Ulipristal certainly looks promising but should be a last resrort as unprotected sex carries with it so many other risks not just as pregnancy.

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