Emergency Contraception: A Guide for Pharmacies and Retailers (2016)
What is emergency contraception(also known as “the morning-after pill”)?
- Emergency contraception (EC) prevents pregnancy; EC will not disrupt an existing pregnancy.
- EC pillsthat contain the progestin hormone, levonorgestrel(LNG), are sold under several names, including Plan B One -Step®, Take Action®, My Way®, Next Choice One -Dose®, and others. One-pill LNG EC products are available over-the-counter (OTC) without age restrictions. (See reverse side for specific product details.)
- Until April 2016, two-pillLNG EC products were available for OTC sale to women and men aged 17 and older. These products are no longer marketed
in the U.S.
- EC pills that contain ulipristal acetate are available under the brand name ella® and are prescription only.
- All EC works best when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex but may be effective up to days after.
- EC is safe for women of all ages to use.
What are the restrictions for purchasing EC over-the-counter? Do customers need to show ID?
- There are no age or point-of-sale restrictions on the purchase of LNG EC products containing one 1.5 mg LNGpill (Plan B One-Step ®and generic equivalents). Previously, OTC purchases were subject to age restrictions, but these have been removedby the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Any woman or man of any age can purchase these EC products without needing to show ID.
- There is no limit on the number of packages that a person can purchase.
- Until very recently, some of the generic LNG one-pill product labels were required to state that the product is intended for women aged 17 and older, although this was not a restriction on sale and no ID was required.As of April 2016, these generics may remove any reference to age from their labels.