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Can You Still Buy Plan B?


Updated May 15, 2014

Can You Still Buy Plan B?

Plan B One-Step and Plan B

Photo © Dawn Stacey 2009
  • Plan B is now Plan B One-Step - a new drug application approved by the FDA on July 13, 2009. Plan B One-Step has replaced the old Plan B. Plan B One-Step consists of just one oral pill (levonorgestrel tablet, 1.5 mg). Next Choice One Dose is now also available as the generic alternative of Plan B One-Step.

Plan B (also known as the morning after pill) is a brand of a progestin-only pills approved by the FDA specifically for emergency contraception (EC). Plan B actually consists of two EC pills - each containing the progestin hormone levonorgestrel.

In order to reduce the risk of an unplanned pregnancy, Plan B should be started up to 3 days (72 hours) after unprotected sex or contraception failure -- this pill should be taken as soon as possible as it is more effective the sooner it is taken. (In general, though, emergency contraception could be initiated up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex, so Plan B One-Step may still be useful to take for up to 5 days).

Even though Plan B is no longer in production, the FDA approved Next Choice on June 24, 2009 as a generic alternative to Plan B. This two pill emergency contraceptive has over-the-counter, behind the pharmacy status for those 17 years of age or older. To buy Next Choice, you must go to the pharmacy counter and show valid, government-issued identification to verify your age. This generic Plan B is priced around 10-20% lower than the branded Plan B One-Step. If you are younger than 17, you will need a doctor's prescription to buy Next Choice. You may also need a prescription if you do not have a valid ID or for insurance to cover the price.

Interested in learning about obtaining Plan B One-Step?

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