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Aftera

(AF-ter-a)

To significantly lower the chance of pregnancy after unprotected sex or birth control failure

Disclaimer

The content on this page is not medical advice and should be used for informational purposes only. Always consult your health care provider or pharmacist to determine what medication and dosage are right for you.

Last updatedJuly 27, 2021

Aftera

Aftera is emergency contraception used to significantly lower the chance of pregnancy.

It is taken immediately after unprotected sex or if usual contraception failed. It is a backup method and not meant to be used as regular birth control.

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Generic name

Levonorgestrel
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Rx or OTC

Aftera is available over-the-counter for females 17 years old and older.

Aftera is available by prescription only for those under 17 years old.

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When & How

  • Take by mouth as soon as possible after unprotected sex or contraception failure. The sooner you take it, the more effective it is.
  • Take within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex or contraception failure.
  • If necessary, it can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex or contraception failure and still be moderately effective.
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Do’s

  • Call your doctor if you’re having severe lower abdominal pain after taking Aftera. It is a symptom of a pregnancy outside of the uterus, known as an ectopic pregnancy, which needs immediate attention.
  • Take a pregnancy test if your period is delayed more than a week after taking Aftera. You may be pregnant.
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Don’ts

  • Don’t stop usual forms of protection during sex. Aftera does not protect against HIV infection or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Do not use Aftera if you are pregnant or suspect a pregnancy. It will not terminate an active pregnancy.
  • Do not use Aftera routinely as contraception. It is for emergency use only after unprotected sex or contraception failure.
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Discuss with your doctor

  • If you vomit within 2 hours of taking Aftera, call your doctor to discuss whether you should repeat the dose.
  • You should have your period within a week of the expected time after taking Aftera. If your period is delayed by more than a week, call your doctor as you may be pregnant.
  • If you have severe lower abdominal pain 3 to 5 weeks after taking Aftera, you may be having an ectopic pregnancy, which needs immediate medical attention.
  • If you are breastfeeding
  • If you are experiencing any allergic symptoms after taking Aftera
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What is Aftera?

Aftera is a 1-dose oral pill used to prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex or if a birth control method has failed.

It is a backup method to prevent pregnancy.

Aftera is a progestin, which works by preventing ovulation (release of an egg). It may also prevent fertilization of a released egg or attachment of a fertilized egg to the uterus (implantation).

It is available as a prescription for females under 17 years old and over-the-counter for those 17 years old and older.

Aftera dosages
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Tablets

  • 1.5 mg Tablet, to be taken by mouth.

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Side effects

Disclaimer

Medications may affect individuals differently. Usage of any medication may include side effects and other interactions. Here is a list of known common side effects and interactions. This list is not exhaustive -- there may be other side effects or interactions for this medication that are not listed here. In some cases, the likelihood of side effects or interactions may increase depending on dosage. It’s important to keep in mind that in extreme cases, other serious side effects, even death, may occur. Always consult your health care provider or pharmacist to determine what medication and dosage is right for you.

Heavy or prolonged periods

31% of people experience heavy or prolonged periods

Nausea

14% of people experience nausea

Fatigue

13% of people experience fatigue

Abdominal pain

13% of people experience abdominal pain

Dizziness

10% of people experience dizziness

Headache

10% of people experience headaches

Breast tenderness

8% of people experience breast tenderness

Delayed menstruation

5% of people experience delayed menstruation

Full list of side effects

  • Heavy or prolonged periods
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Delay of menstruation
  • Breast tenderness
  • Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps)
  • Irregular menses
  • Missed or infrequent periods
  • Pelvic pain
  • Vomiting

Safety notes

  • Continue using your regular method of contraception after taking Aftera to prevent pregnancy.
  • Allergic response, such as hives, itching, rash, wheezing, tightness in the chest, closing of the throat.
  • Ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside of the uterus). Aftera does not cause an ectopic pregnancy, but it cannot prevent it.
  • Aftera does not protect against HIV infection or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

What else you should know

Some women may have spotting a few days after taking Aftera.

Aftera interactions

Disclaimer

Medications may affect individuals differently. Usage of any medication may include side effects and other interactions. Here is a list of known common side effects and interactions. This list is not exhaustive -- there may be other side effects or interactions for this medication that are not listed here. In some cases, the likelihood of side effects or interactions may increase depending on dosage. It’s important to keep in mind that in extreme cases, other serious side effects, even death, may occur. Always consult your health care provider or pharmacist to determine what medication and dosage is right for you.

Tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medications or supplements

Aftera may be less effective if you’re also taking the following medications:

  • Barbiturates
  • Carbamazepine
  • Felbamate
  • Bosentan
  • Phenytoin
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • St. John's wort
  • Topiramate
  • Rifampin
  • Griseofulvin
  • Certain HIV medications

Tell your doctor if you have any of these pre-existing conditions

  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding

Aftera pricing

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