WHAT TO EXPECT
plan B® is effective.* To begin, make sure you’ve read How plan B® works.
For any questions, you can call the plan B® info line at 1‑888‑867‑7426 (Canadian residents only).
Although few women experience vomiting with plan B®, if you vomit within two hours of taking plan B®, you might not have absorbed the medication contained in the pills. Call your healthcare professional, as you might need another dose.
After you’ve taken plan B®, you should get your next period at the expected time, or a few days early or late. Note that you may experience spotting a few days after taking plan B®.
While you’re waiting for your next period, abstain from having intercourse or make sure you use a contraceptive.
If you’ve taken plan B® because of missed birth control pills, ask your pharmacist or doctor about the best way for you to resume taking them. Remember to use another method of contraception, such as condoms, until your birth control is fully reliable again.
If your period is more than a week late, or you haven’t had a period within three weeks of taking plan B®, it is possible that you’re pregnant. Talk to your doctor and have a pregnancy test done.
*plan B is less effective in women weighing 165 lbs (75 kg) or more and not effective in women weighing more than 176 lbs (80 kg). If your weight is 165 lbs (75 kg) or more, ask your healthcare professional for advice on alternative methods of emergency contraception.
Good to know: Tell your doctor if you have taken plan B® within three days of a Pap test, as it may affect your results.
PLAN B® - MORNING-AFTER PILL SIDE EFFECTS
It’s very unlikely that you will have any severe reactions to plan B®. You may have some temporary side effects that will usually pass within 24 hours.
MOST COMMON PLAN B® SIDE EFFECTS
- Nausea: About 14% to 23% of women
- Abdominal pain: About 18% of women
- Fatigue: About 17% of women
- Headache: About 17% of women
- Dizziness: About 11% of women
- Breast tenderness: About 11% of women
- Vomiting: About 6% of women
- Diarrhea: About 5% of women
- Irregular menstrual bleeding: Some women may experience spotting after taking plan B®. The majority of women will have their next menstrual period at the expected time or early. When plan B® is used repeatedly (more than once in a menstrual cycle, or more than occasional once-a-month use), menstrual changes may occur, including a shorter or longer cycle and a heavier or lighter period than normal.
LESS COMMON PLAN B® SIDE EFFECTS
Migraine or severe headache, lower abdominal pain, painful menstruation and vaginal discharge. If the symptoms persist for more than 48 hours or are severe, see your healthcare professional.
UNUSUAL SIDE EFFECTS - CALL A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL IMMEDIATELY
Some medications can interact with plan B® and make it less effective. These include: anticonvulsant drugs (phenytoin, carbamazepine, primidone, phenobarbital), antibiotics (ampicillin, cotrimoxazole, tetracycline, temafloxacin, clarithromycin), rifampicin, rifabutin, griseofulvin and St. John’s wort.
There are some medical conditions that may mean plan B® is not right for you. plan B® is not recommended if:
- You have a confirmed or suspected pregnancy
- You are allergic to it, or to any of the components of its formulation
- You have abnormal vaginal bleeding
For more details, download the abbreviated product monograph (Part III).
COMMON CONTRACEPTIVE ACCIDENTS
Most sexually active women usually like to use some type of protection against pregnancy. Until recently, one of the most popular forms of contraception was the condom. But it has not been proven to be 100% effective in preventing pregnancy since the condom can be put on incorrectly, slip off during intercourse, or even tear.
The introduction of hormonal contraceptive methods changed the way we use contraception. These include oral contraceptive pills, contraceptive patches and contraceptive rings.
Contraceptive pills, which consist of synthetic female hormones, are proven to be effective in preventing unplanned pregnancy, if taken correctly. But missed birth control pills or starting a pack late can contribute to decreased birth control effectiveness and contraception failure. The same applies for the contraceptive patch and ring; incorrect use can lead to an unplanned pregnancy.
If you are using a diaphragm or cervical cap as birth control methods, you may accidently remove them too early or they might get dislodged during sexual intercourse.
These types of contraceptive accidents are common and have made way for morning-after pills such as plan B®, a simple emergency contraceptive pill.