Ulipristal - Oral

Pronunciation: UE-li-PRIS-tal

Common Brand Name(s): Ella

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Uses

Ulipristal is used by women to prevent pregnancy after birth control failure (such as a broken condom) or unprotected sex. This medication is an emergency contraceptive and should not be used as a regular form of birth control. It works mainly by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) during your menstrual cycle. It also makes vaginal fluid thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg (fertilization) and changes the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg.

Using this medication will not stop an existing pregnancy or protect you or your partner against sexually transmitted diseases (such as HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia).

This medication may not work well in women who are overweight (for example, body mass index greater than 30) or if you are using certain other medications. This effect can result in pregnancy. Talk to your doctor for more details and to see if this medication is right for you (see also Drug Interactions section).

How To Use

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking ulipristal. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take 1 tablet by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor as soon as possible after unprotected sex. This medication works best when it is taken within 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex.

If you vomit within 3 hours of taking this medication, contact your doctor to ask if you need to repeat the dose.

After you take this medication, the time when your period comes and how much you bleed may change. Tell your doctor right away if your period is more than 7 days late. You may need to take a pregnancy test.

After using this medication, you should use a barrier-type birth control (such as condoms, diaphragm) every time you have sex until you have your period. If you use or wish to use hormonal birth control, wait at least 5 days after using this medication before starting hormonal birth control (since these medications may interact and make both drugs work less well). Continue using a barrier-type birth control until your hormonal birth control takes effect. If needed, talk to your doctor about reliable forms of birth control.

Side Effects

Headache, nausea, abdominal pain, tiredness, dizziness, or painful menstrual periods may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • severe lower stomach pain (especially 3 to 5 weeks after taking ulipristal)

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before taking ulipristal, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to progestins (such as levonorgestrel, norethindrone); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • unexplained vaginal bleeding

This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

This medication must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.

This drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

See also How to Use section.

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some drugs may cause emergency birth control to work less well. This effect can result in pregnancy. Examples include griseofulvin, modafinil, rifamycins (such as rifampin, rifabutin), St. John's wort, drugs used to treat seizures (such as barbiturates, carbamazepine, felbamate, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate), HIV drugs (such as nelfinavir, nevirapine), among others.

Overdose

Overdose with this medication is very unlikely. However, if someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Missed Dose

Not applicable.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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