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ulipristal (Oral route)

ue-li-PRIS-tal AS-e-tate

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Ella

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet

Therapeutic Class: Contraceptive

Uses For ulipristal acetate

Ulipristal is an emergency contraceptive pill that is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or after failure of another birth control method. It works by preventing or delaying the release of a woman's egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may also prevent the attachment of the woman's egg to the wall of the uterus (womb).

ulipristal acetate should not be used as a regular birth control method. Discuss your options for birth control with your doctor.

ulipristal acetate is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using ulipristal acetate

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For ulipristal acetate, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to ulipristal acetate or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ulipristal in teenage females. ulipristal acetate may be used as an emergency contraceptive in teenage females but is not recommended before the start of menstruation.


Ulipristal should not be used in postmenopausal women.


Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters X Studies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking ulipristal acetate, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using ulipristal acetate with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Colchicine

Using ulipristal acetate with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Afatinib
  • Aliskiren
  • Ambrisentan
  • Amobarbital
  • Apixaban
  • Aprobarbital
  • Barbital
  • Bosutinib
  • Butabarbital
  • Butalbital
  • Carbamazepine
  • Ceritinib
  • Cobicistat
  • Dabigatran Etexilate
  • Dabrafenib
  • Darunavir
  • Dasabuvir
  • Desogestrel
  • Dienogest
  • Digoxin
  • Drospirenone
  • Efavirenz
  • Enzalutamide
  • Ethynodiol Diacetate
  • Etonogestrel
  • Everolimus
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Gestodene
  • Hexobarbital
  • Imatinib
  • Lapatinib
  • Levomilnacipran
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Mephobarbital
  • Methohexital
  • Mitotane
  • Nilotinib
  • Norethindrone
  • Norgestimate
  • Norgestrel
  • Ombitasvir
  • Paliperidone
  • Paritaprevir
  • Pentobarbital
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Pixantrone
  • Pomalidomide
  • Posaconazole
  • Primidone
  • Propranolol
  • Quinidine
  • Ranolazine
  • Rifabutin
  • Rifampin
  • Rifapentine
  • Rifaximin
  • Riociguat
  • Rivaroxaban
  • Romidepsin
  • Saquinavir
  • Saxagliptin
  • Secobarbital
  • Silodosin
  • Sirolimus
  • Sitagliptin
  • Sofosbuvir
  • St John's Wort
  • Tacrolimus
  • Talinolol
  • Telaprevir
  • Thiopental
  • Tipranavir
  • Tolvaptan
  • Topotecan
  • Trabectedin
  • Vinblastine
  • Vincristine
  • Vincristine Sulfate Liposome

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Proper Use of ulipristal acetate

To make using emergency contraceptives as safe and reliable as possible, you should understand how and when to use them and what effects may be expected.

ulipristal acetate comes with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Use ulipristal acetate exactly as directed by your doctor. ulipristal acetate is for occasional use as an emergency birth control. It should not replace your regular birth control method. You may use ulipristal acetate at any time during your monthly period, but do not use ulipristal acetate more than one time in the same monthly period.

You may take ulipristal acetate with or without food.

If you vomit within 3 hours of taking ulipristal acetate, call your doctor right away. Your doctor may prescribe another tablet for you.


The dose of ulipristal acetate will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of ulipristal acetate. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For emergency contraception:
      • Adults—One tablet as soon as possible within 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex or after failure of another birth control method.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using ulipristal acetate

It is very important that your doctor check you closely to make sure ulipristal acetate is working properly and does not cause unwanted effects.

Although you are using ulipristal acetate to prevent pregnancy, you should know that using ulipristal acetate while you are pregnant could harm the unborn baby. Your doctor may give you a pregnancy test before you start using ulipristal acetate to make sure you are not pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

ulipristal acetate is not recommended in breastfeeding women.

Call your doctor right away if you have severe lower abdominal or stomach pain 3 to 5 weeks after taking ulipristal acetate. You may have a pregnancy outside of the uterus (womb), which is called an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy can be a serious and life-threatening condition. It can also cause problems that may make it harder for you to become pregnant in the future.

ulipristal acetate may make your next monthly period earlier or later than expected by a few days. If your next period after taking ulipristal acetate is more than 1 week late, check with your doctor right away for a pregnancy test.

Your regular birth control method such as birth control pills or patch may not work as well while you are using ulipristal acetate. You should not start taking hormonal contraceptives until at least 5 days after using ulipristal acetate and you must use a barrier method such as a condom with spermicide, diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly, until the next menstrual cycle.

ulipristal acetate may not work as well in women with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 66 pounds per square meter.

ulipristal acetate will not protect you from getting HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. If this is a concern for you, talk with your doctor.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.

ulipristal acetate Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Cramps
  • heavy bleeding
  • pain

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • headache
  • nausea
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common
  • Dizziness
Incidence not known
  • Blemishes on the skin
  • pimples

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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