Ella® (ulipristal acetate)



ella® (ulipristal acetate) is a second-generation progesterone receptor modulator used for emergency contraception. It has been approved and available by prescription in Europe since 2009 and in the United States since 2010. It is not currently approved in Japan, but is imported by Primary Care Tokyo with permission from the appropriate authorities for use in individual patients. Although use under physician direction is completely legal, in the event of any serious adverse effects, the patient may not be eligible for government programs that support care in such instances.

Whereas the effectiveness of other emergency contraceptive pills declines with time over the first 72 hours, ella® maintains consistent effectiveness for up to 120 hours after unprotected intercourse. It may therefore be the best option when more than 72 hours have elapsed.

The predominant mechanism of ulipristal appears to be its ability to inhibit or delay ovulation. Although there is a possibility that it also may affect the uterine lining and prevent implantation of a fertilized egg, this has not been proven. There is inadequate human data regarding its effect on an established (implanted) pregnancy. Animal studies using repeated doses or high doses have shown embryofetal loss. Because of this lack of data, ulipristal should not be taken if there is an established pregnancy. 

ella® is taken in a single dose (30mg) as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse. There are no reports of serious adverse effects from use of emergency contraception, but headache, nausea, dizziness, abdominal pain may occur temporarily. It may also delay the next menses by up to 5 days.

Our fee for dispensing ella® is 3,000 yen for the consultation and 6,500 yen for the medication (tax additional). As this medication must be imported, please call ahead to confirm availability (03-5432-7177).




Download our handouts

See the manufacturer's website