If you have an accident, are raped or just had sex without pregnancy protection, you can easily use the oral contraceptive pill the same way you would use the morning-after emergency contraceptive pills from the doctor or pharmacy.

You may not have any pills to spare, but a friend might. Princeton University (at the bottom of this chart) says:

‘All of the brands listed here may be effective when used within 120 hours after unprotected sex, but should be taken as soon as possible.’

Source: Princeton University. 

Table 1. Oral contraceptives that can be used for emergency contraception in the United Statesa [and many other countries – check the doses and match them up]

Brand Company First Doseb Second Doseb
(12 hours later)
Ulipristal Acetate per Dose (mg) Ethinyl Estradiol
per Dose (µg)
Levonorgestrel
per Dose (mg)c
Ulipristal acetate (Dedicated EC pills)
ella Afaxys 1 white pill Noneb 30
Progestin-only (Dedicated EC pills)
Plan B One-Step Teva 1 white pill None 1.5
Take Action Teva 1 white pill None 1.5
Next Choice One Dose Actavis 1 peach pill None 1.5
AfterPill Syzygy 1 white pill None 1.5
My Way Gavis 1 white pill None 1.5
Levonorgestrel Tablets Perrigo 2 white pills Noneb 1.5
Combined progestin and estrogen pills (Regular oral contraceptive pills)
Altavera Sandoz 4 peach pills 4 peach pills 120 0.60
Amethia Watson 4 white pills 4 white pills 120 0.60
Amethia Lo Watson 5 white pills 5 white pills 100 0.50
Amethyst Watson 6 white pills 6 white pills 120 0.54
Aviane Teva 5 orange pills 5 orange pills 100 0.50
Camrese Teva 4 light blue-green pills 4 light blue-green pills 120 0.60
CamreseLo Teva 5 orange pills 5 orange pills 100 0.50
Cryselle Teva 4 white pills 4 white pills 120 0.60
Enpresse Teva 4 orange pills 4 orange pills 120 0.50
Introvale Sandoz 4 peach pills 4 peach pills 120 0.60
Jolessa Teva 4 pink pills 4 pink pills 120 0.60
Lessina Teva 5 pink pills 5 pink pills 100 0.50
Levora Watson 4 white pills 4 white pills 120 0.60
Lo/Ovral Akrimax 4 white pills 4 white pills 120 0.60
LoSeasonique Teva 5 orange pills 5 orange pills 100 0.50
Low-Ogestrel Watson 4 white pills 4 white pills 120 0.60
Lutera Watson 5 white pills 5 white pills 100 0.50
Lybrel Wyeth 6 yellow pills 6 yellow pills 120 0.54
Nordette Teva 4 light-orange pills 4 light-orange pills 120 0.60
Ogestrel Watson 2 white pills 2 white pills 100 0.50
Portia Teva 4 pink pills 4 pink pills 120 0.60
Quasense Watson 4 white pills 4 white pills 120 0.60
Seasonale Teva 4 pink pills 4 pink pills 120 0.60
Seasonique Teva 4 light-blue-green pills 4 light-blue-green pills 120 0.60
Sronyx Watson 5 white pills 5 while pills 100 0.50
Trivora Watson 4 pink pills 4 pink pills 120 0.50

Notes:
a ella, Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One Dose, My Way and Take Action are dedicated products specifically marketed for emergency contraception. The regular oral contraceptives listed above have been declared safe and effective for use as ECPs by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Outside the United States, about 100 emergency contraceptive products are specifically packaged, labeled, and marketed. Levonorgestrel-only ECPs are available either over-the-counter or from a pharmacist without having to see a clinician in 60 countries. In the U.S., progestin-only EC, like Plan B One-Step, is available on the shelf with no restrictions. ella is available by prescription only.

b The label for Levonorgestrel Tablets says to take one pill within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse, and another pill 12 hours later. However, research has found that both pills can be taken at the same time. All of the brands listed here may be effective when used within 120 hours after unprotected sex, but should be taken as soon as possible.

c The progestin in Cryselle, Lo/Ovral, Low-Ogestrel and Ogestrel is norgestrel, which contains two isomers, only one of which (levonorgestrel) is bioactive; the amount of norgestrel in each tablet is twice the amount of levonorgestrel.

 

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