New contraceptive option launches

woman leans on brick wall

A new five-mornings after pill is now available in Australia

The EllaOne pill, available on prescription from this week, is being distributed in Australia by MS Health, a non-profit arm of the Marie Stopes women’s reproductive health group.

According to MS Health, EllaOne is “an oral emergency contraceptive intended to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if your contraceptive method has failed”.

They advise it be taken as soon as possible after sex, and within a maximum of 5 days (120 hours).

It is suitable for all women of childbearing age, including adolescents.

Speaking to AJP Daily, Dr Lisa Nissen, Professor (Head), School of Clinical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, said Ella One was “another option” for women, although it was only available on prescription, as opposed to over-the-counter options.

“It is similar to the OTC levonorgesterol that we already have (which for pharmacists is indicated up to 72 hours but has been shown to clinically be effective for 5 to 7 days),” she said.

“This is similar, most effective when used early, but can be used up to 5 days”.

MS Health estimates that two of every 100 women that took the pill would still become pregnant, according to Fairfax media reports.

Reproductive Choice Australia president Jenny Ejlak said it would offer most benefit to women in rural or remote areas who had greater difficulty accessing the morning-after pill, and would offer privacy benefits.

“They may request it [from a city pharmacy] the day after, but not receive it for some days or the pharmacy may not stock it,” she said.

Each Ella One tablet contains 30 mg of ulipristal acetate, a white to yellowish crystalline powder that is freely soluble in dichloromethane, soluble in methanol, acetone and ethanol and insoluble in water.

The tablet also contains the following inactive ingredients: Lactose, Povidone, Croscarmellose sodium and Magnesium stearate.

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1 Comment

  1. David Haworth

    Pharmacists that follow the AJP forum will know that the existing EC pills are also recommended up to 5 days.

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