Drug update

Ulipristal acetate: a new oral emergency contraceptive option

Deborah Bateson, Kathleen McNamee



Ulipristal acetate is a selective progesterone receptor modulator that is indicated as an emergency contraceptive when administered within 120 hours of unprotected intercourse. It is more efficacious than the levonorgestrel emergency contraception pill but less efficacious than insertion of an emergency copper IUD.

Article Extract

Approximately 200,000 unintended pregnancies occur in Australia annually, with one-third occurring among women using a method of contraception.1 Emergency contraception is used after an episode of unprotected intercourse, contraceptive failure or sexual assault to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy. Ulipristal acetate (UPA) as a single 30 mg dose is a safe and effective oral option for emergency contraception. Other emergency contraception methods include the 1.5 mg single-dose levonorgestrel emergency contraception pill (LNG-EC) and insertion of a copper-bearing intrauterine device (Cu-IUD) within five days of unprotected intercourse.

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