A new type of morning-after pill is more effective than the most widely used drug at preventing pregnancies in women who had unprotected sex and also works longer, for up to five days, a new study says.
-- From "New morning-after pill ellaOne works up to 5 days" Associated Press 1/30/10
The report was published Friday in the British medical journal, Lancet.
Levonorgestrel, the most widely used emergency contraceptive pill, is only effective if women take it within three days of having sex. It is sold under various brand names including Levonelle and Plan B, and is available in more than 140 countries, including the United States, Canada and many countries in western Europe. In nearly 50 of those countries women can get it without a prescription.
International researchers compared Plan B to the new drug ulipristal acetate, sold as ellaOne in Europe only with a doctor's prescription. The drug is not legally on the market elsewhere.
Women who took ellaOne had a 1.8% chance of becoming pregnant, while women who took Plan B had a 2.6% chance.
Compared with Plan B, which becomes less effective over time, ellaOne appears to work consistently well over five days in women who have unprotected sex.
Glasier said more safety data is needed before ellaOne could be recommended for over-the-counter use.
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