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What should I know about ella before taking it?

ella (ulipristal) is not intended to be a routine method of birth control. You should use it only after having unprotected sex or when you used another form of birth control incorrectly or it failed (such as when a condom breaks). ella is most effective when you take it within five days of unprotected sex—the sooner, the better; it should not be taken more than once in any given menstrual cycle. Be aware that this drug does not protect against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). After you take ella, you can still become pregnant in the same menstrual cycle unless you use a barrier type of contraception (such as a condom). 

Several types of medications and herbal remedies may interact with ella, making it less effective or increasing the risk of side effects. Before you take ella, tell your doctor if you take any of the following:
  • St. John’s wort
  • antifungal medications such as griseofulvin (Fulvicin U/F, Grifulvin V, Gris-PEG), itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • barbiturates such as phenobarbital or secobarbital (Seconal)
  • bosentan (Tracleer)
  • seizure medications such as carbamazepine (Equetro, Tegretol), felbamate (Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek) and topiramate (Topamax)
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
Do not use ella if you are already pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.