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What is ellaOne?

The morning after pill (emergency contraception) is not to be taken as a form of birth control. Emergency contraception does NOT protect you from sexually transmitted diseases or infections.

ellaOne is a morning after pill that is taken to prevent pregnancy after sexual intercourse. However, unlike Levonelle 1500 and Levonelle One Step, ellaOne can be taken up to 5 days (120 hours) after having unprotected sex. ellaOne can be taken:

  • if you have had sex without protection
  • if you or your partner’s condom tore or came off
  • if you did not take your contraceptive pill as recommended

You should take ellaOne as soon as possible after having unprotected sex, as it becomes less effective with time.

While ellaOne is a highly effective emergency contraceptive method, cheaper and equally-effective alternative morning after pills are also available.


Please be aware that the effectiveness of the pill decreases over time 

• 95% effective the first 24 hours after having unprotective sex

• 85% effective between 24 – 48 hours

• 58% effective between 48 – 72 hours

• The EllaOne tablet is 95% effective between 48 – 120 hours

Store below 25°C
If you vomit within 3 hours of taking, another dose is required
Take as prescribed

How does ellaOne work?

ellaOne contains ulipristal acetate which modifies the activity of the natural female hormone progesterone. Progesterone is necessary for ovulation to occur. Essentially, ellaOne prevents pregnancy by postponing ovulation.  


If you’re a victim of rape, sexual exploitation/abuse, domestic violence, or emotional abuse then please visit our Victim Support Page for a list of helpful resources, who can help you.

How do you take ellaOne?

The morning after pill should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sexual intercourse. You can take this tablet at any time during your menstrual cycle and at any time of day.  If you vomit within three hours of taking this medication, you need to take another tablet immediately.

How effective is ellaOne as an emergency contraception method?

Like Levonelle 1500 and Levonelle One Step, ellaOne is a highly effective morning after pill. ellaOne does not work if you are already pregnant. If you have unprotected sex after taking ellaOne, you will not be protected against pregnancy. The morning after pill is not to be used as regular contraception. Levonelle 1500 and Levonelle One Step are also effective morning after pills and are more cost effective than ellaOne.

It is important to bear in mind that the morning after pill becomes less effective with time, so it’s important to take it as soon as possible after having unprotected sex. 

What are the common side effects of ellaOne?

Like all medications, ellaOne can have side effects, although not everyone will experience them. The most common side effects of the morning after pill ellaOne are:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain or discomfort
  • Vomiting

For additional side effects, please see the patient information leaflet.

Please be aware of the potential interactions when taken levonorgestrel with the following drugs:
• Drugs that increase gastric pH: antacids, proton pump inhibitors (such as esomeprazole), and histamine receptor antagonists (such as ranitidine), may reduce the plasma concentration of ulipristal acetate and decrease its efficacy.
• Liver enzyme-inducing drugs 
• Griseofulvin

If you are taking any of the medications listed above or need further information on potential side effects, please see the patient information leaflet.

* Disclaimer: Results and individual responses to treatments may vary from person to person. If you do need medical advice you should always speak to a doctor, pharmacist or appropriate medical professional.