Plan B One-Step (LEVONORGESTREL) Plan B One-Step (LEVONORGESTREL)

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs About Emergency Contraception

What is emergency contraception?

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

What is Plan B One-Step®?

Plan B One-Step® is the first FDA-approved emergency contraceptive available over the counter for anyone who needs it. It is a single tablet of levonorgestrel, an ingredient 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, nearly 7 out of 8 pregnancies were prevented. Plan B One-Step® should not be used as routine birth control as it is not as effective. Advise patients to use as directed.

Who is Plan B One-Step® for?

Plan B One-Step® is for 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. No prescription or ID required.

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

Plan B One-Step® is a single tablet that should be taken as soon as possible within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. 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 contraceptive failure — the sooner it's 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 have a hypersensitivity 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 Plan B One-Step® has worked when they get their next period, which should come at the expected time, or within a week of the expected time. If their period is more than one week late, they may be pregnant.

Where can women get Plan B One-Step®?

Plan B One-Step® is available over the counter for anyone who needs it. Women can find it in the aisle at a local store and just take it off the shelf. No prescription or ID required.

How does Plan B One-Step® work?

Emergency contraception 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

Emergency contraception is not effective once the process of implantation has begun. It will not harm an existing pregnancy.

Is Plan B One-Step® the abortion pill (RU-486)?

No. Plan B One-Step® is not the abortion pill (RU-486). It is an emergency contraceptive that helps prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. It will not harm an existing pregnancy.

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 prevent the one incident for which it is taken and should not be used as routine birth control.

What are the side effects of Plan B One-Step®?

When taken as directed, Plan B One-Step® is generally safe for women. Some women will have temporary side effects that include:

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

These are similar to the side effects that some women have when taking regular birth control pills. Some women taking Plan B One-Step® will have menstrual changes such as spotting or bleeding before their next period. Some women may have a heavier or lighter next period, or a period that is early or late. A pregnancy test should be given if a period is more than one week late. Having severe abdominal pain may be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, for which immediate medical attention is required.

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

It will not harm an existing pregnancy.

Did You Know...?

Each day, there are nearly 1 million acts of unprotected sex in the United States.7
Each day, there are nearly 1 million acts of unprotected sex in the United States.<sup><a style='color:#fff;' href='/hcp/references.aspx'>7</a></sup>