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Plan B One-Step is emergency contraception that helps prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure. The sooner it's taken, the better it works.
Plan B One-Step is a backup method of preventing pregnancy and should not be used as regular birth control because it's not as effective. Use as directed.
If Plan B One-Step is taken as directed, it can significantly decrease the chance that you will get pregnant. About 7 out of every 8 women who would have gotten pregnant will not become pregnant after taking Plan B One-Step.
No. Plan B One-Step is available over the counter. It can usually be found in the family planning aisle of many retail stores. No prescription or ID is required, and there is no age restriction.
Plan B One-Step is one tablet that contains levonorgestrel, a hormone that has been used in many birth control pills for several decades. Plan B One-Step contains a higher dose of levonorgestrel than birth control pills, but works in a similar way to help prevent pregnancy.
It works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It is possible that Plan B One-Step may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb). Remember, Plan B One-Step should not be used as a regular birth control method, because it's not as effective.
When used as directed, Plan B One-Step is generally safe and effective. Plan B One-Step contains levonorgestrel, the same hormone used in many birth control pills, just at a higher dose. But it shouldn't be used as regular birth control, because it's not as effective.
Some women may experience side effects, which may include:
Some women taking Plan B One-Step may have changes in their period such as spotting or bleeding before their next period. If your period is more than a week late, you should get a pregnancy test and follow up with your healthcare professional.
If you should experience severe abdominal pain, you may have an ectopic pregnancy (outside the uterus) and should get immediate medical attention.
If you vomit within 2 hours of taking the medication, call a healthcare professional to find out if you should repeat the dose.
Examples of drugs or herbal products that could decrease the effectiveness of Plan B One-Step include barbituates, bosentan, carbamazepine, felbamate, griseofulvin, oxacarbazepine, phenytoin, rifampin, St John's wort, topiramate, and certain HIV/AIDS medications.
Contact your healthcare professional before taking Plan B One-Step if you have any concerns or are taking any of these medications.
A rapid return of fertility is likely after taking Plan B One-Step; therefore, you should resume your regular method of birth control right away—or start one, if you don’t have a regular method—since Plan B One-Step does not protect against additional incidents of unprotected sex.
Plan B One-Step is not an abortion pill and it will not affect an existing pregnancy. If you have any questions, please be sure to talk to your healthcare professional.
Plan B One-Step is a single pill you take by mouth. It must be taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure to help prevent pregnancy. The sooner you take it, the better it works.
Plan B One-Step is for a woman who has had unprotected sex or birth control failure within the last 72 hours (3 days) and wants help preventing pregnancy. The sooner it's taken, the better it works.
It’s available without a prescription or ID, and with no age restriction. If you have any questions about whether you should take Plan B One-Step, please talk to your healthcare professional.
You’ll know if Plan B One-Step worked when you get your next period, which should come at the expected time or within a week of that time. If your period is more than a week late, it is possible you may be pregnant. You should get a pregnancy test and follow up with your healthcare professional.
Keep in mind, Plan B One-Step is less likely to work if:
Take Plan B One-Step within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure. The sooner you take it, the better it works.
Plan B One-Step emergency contraception is used as a backup method for birth control if, for example:
Do not take Plan B One-Step:
You should resume your regular method of contraception right away—or start one, if you don't have a regular method—since Plan B One-Step does not protect against additional acts of unprotected sex.
Plan B One-Step should not be taken as regular birth control. Plan B One-Step is not as effective as using a regular birth control method correctly and consistently. It is a backup method to be taken if your regular birth control fails, or if you have sex without birth control.
If you have unprotected sex after taking Plan B One-Step, it will not prevent you from getting pregnant.
Plan B One-Step should only be taken when emergency contraception is needed (when your primary birth control method fails or you forget to use birth control). You can take Plan B One-Step when you need it, but remember that it should never replace regular methods of birth control, as it isn't as effective.
Plan B One-Step doesn't provide long-term protection against future pregnancy—it works to prevent pregnancy after only one incident of unprotected sex or birth control failure. If you are sexually active, even occasionally, see your healthcare professional or visit a clinic to find a method of birth control that suits you.
Plan B One-Step is easy to find.
To find a store near you that may carry Plan B One-Step, use our Store Locator.
If you have questions or need more information about Plan B One-Step, call our toll-free number,
If you're not sure how to bring up the topic of taking Plan B One-Step and emergency contraception, the following tips may help to make "the talk" as relaxed and productive as possible:
Check out the websites below to stay informed on what's happening in women's healthcare, and to learn more about birth control options and emergency contraception.
Foundation Consumer Healthcare is not responsible for the content on the websites listed above, and disclaims any liability for the content of any page or site listed above.
Although the information above may be useful, it shouldn't replace the advice of your healthcare professional. For questions about birth control and other women's health issues, please talk to your healthcare professional.
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