FDA approves morning-after pill for females 15 and older
Agency 1st approved Plan B in 1999
The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved a plan to allow the marketing of the morning-after pill without a prescription to females age 15 years of age and older.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended last year that oral contraceptives be sold over the counter in an effort to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in the United States. Opponents of prescription requirements say prescriptions can delay access to the drug.
In 2011, Teva Women's Health Inc., maker of Plan B One-Step, had asked the FDA to make the drug available without prescription to all sexually active girls and women.
The FDA approved Plan B in 1999. The key ingredient in Plan B is a synthetic hormone called levonorgestrel. This drug stops an egg from being released from the ovary, or preventing fertilization of the egg by sperm.
If there has been fertilization, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from embedding in the uterus. But if the egg has already been implanted in the uterus, the morning-after pill will not work.
Emergency contraceptives are intended for use within 72 hours after sex but are most effective if taken within 24 hours.
Copyright 2013 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.