Answers to frequently asked questions
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT Plan B One-Step®
What is emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception is a backup option to help prevent pregnancy after birth control failure or unprotected sex.

What is Plan B One-Step®?

Plan B One-Step® is the first FDA-approved emergency contraceptive to be available over the counter for anyone who needs it. It is a single tablet of levonorgestrel, a hormone that has been commonly used in many birth control pills for decades. When taken as directed, within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, it helped prevent about 7 out of 8 pregnancies. Plan B One-Step® should not be used as routine birth control, because it is not as effective. Advise patients to use as directed.

How effective is Plan B One-Step®?

If Plan B One-Step® is taken as directed, it can significantly decrease the chance that a woman will get pregnant. About 7 out of every 8 women who would have gotten pregnant will not become pregnant.

Who is Plan B One-Step® for?

Plan B One-Step® is for use by a woman who has had unprotected sex or contraceptive failure in the last 72 hours (3 days) and does not want to become pregnant.

Plan B One-Step® is available over the counter for anyone who needs it. It is usually found in the feminine care aisle at many retail stores. It is available without a prescription or ID, and with no age restriction.

How does Plan B One-Step® work?

Plan B One-Step® works in a similar way to birth control pills, primarily by:

  • Preventing ovulation
  • It may also work by:
    • — Possibly preventing fertilization by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or egg
    • — Altering the endometrium, which may inhibit implantation

It will not harm an existing pregnancy.

SIDE EFFECTS OF Plan B One-Step®
What are the Side Effects of Plan B One-Step®?

When taken as directed, Plan B One-Step® is generally safe and effective. Some women will experience side effects, which may include:

  • Menstrual changes
  • Nausea
  • Lower stomach (abdominal) pain
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Vomiting

Some women taking Plan B One-Step® will have menstrual changes such as spotting or bleeding before their next period. For some women, their next period may be heavier or lighter, or they may have a period that is early or late.

A pregnancy test should be given if a period is more than one week late.

Severe abdominal pain may be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, for which immediate medical attention is required.

TAKING Plan B One-Step®
What is the dosing regimen for Plan B One-Step®?

Plan B One-Step® is a single tablet that helps prevent pregnancy when taken within
72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure. It must be taken as soon as possible after intercourse. The sooner it is taken, the better it works. Advise patients to use as directed.

When should Plan B One-Step® be taken?

Plan B One-Step® should be taken as soon as possible within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure. The sooner it is taken, the better it works. Advise patients to use as directed.

Who should not take Plan B One-Step®?

Women who are pregnant, suspect they are pregnant, or are allergic to any component of the product should not take Plan B One-Step®.

How will women know Plan B One-Step® worked?

Women will know if Plan B One-Step® has worked when they get their next period, which should come at the expected time or within a week of that time. If their period is more than a week late, it is possible they may be pregnant and should be given a pregnancy test.

How often can Plan B One-Step® be taken?

Plan B One-Step® should only be used in emergencies, but there is no medical reason why it can't be used more than once. Plan B One-Step® doesn't provide long-term protection against future pregnancy—it only works to help prevent the one incident for which it is taken and should not be used as regular birth control.

Are there any Drug Interactions?

Drugs or herbal products that induce progestin-metabolizing enzymes, including CYP3A4, may decrease the plasma concentrations of progestins and the effectiveness of
progestin-only pills. Some drugs or herbal products that may decrease the effectiveness of progestin-only pills include:

  • barbiturates
  • bosentan
  • carbamazepine
  • felbamate
  • griseofulvin
  • oxcarbazepine
  • phenytoin
  • rifampin
  • St John’s wort
  • topiramate

Significant changes (increase or decrease) in the plasma levels of the progestin have been noted in some cases of co-administration with HIV protease inhibitors or with
non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs).

Consult the labeling of all concurrently used drugs to obtain further information about interactions with progestin-only pills or the potential for enzyme alterations.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT Plan B One-Step®
Where can women find Plan B One-Step®?

Plan B One-Step® is easy to find. It is available over the counter for anyone who needs it. It is usually found in the feminine care aisle at many retail stores. It is available without a prescription or ID, and with no age restriction.

Is Plan B One-Step® an abortion pill?

No. Plan B One-Step® is not an abortion pill. It is an emergency contraceptive that helps prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or birth control failure. Plan B One-Step® contains levonorgestrel, a hormone that has been commonly used in many birth control pills for decades—just at a higher dose. It works similarly to help prevent pregnancy. It will not affect an existing pregnancy. It is a backup method of preventing pregnancy and should not be used as regular birth control, because it is not as effective.

What if a woman is already pregnant when she takes Plan B One-Step®?

Plan B One-Step® will not harm an existing pregnancy.