Next Choice

Generic Plan B

Next Choice (Generic Plan B)
Next Choice (Generic Plan B). Photo © 2016 Dawn Stacey

Definition of Next Choice:

Next Choice is a type of emergency contraception. It is also known as generic Plan B. Next Choice was FDA approved to be available by prescription on June 24, 2009. Currently, you may get the Next Choice (generic Plan B) morning-after without a prescription if you are 17 years old or older. It is located behind the pharmacy counter so the pharmacist can verify your age. You will still need a prescription to get Next Choice if you are under 17.

Tell Me More About Next Choice:

Next Choice consists of two 0.75mg levonorgestrel pills.

  • To avoid confusion, it may be helpful to note that, in addition to Next Choice, the emergency contraceptive, Next Choice One Dose is also available -- this is the single pill, generic version of Plan B One-Step.

When Should I Use Generic Plan B?

According to the manufacturer of generic Plan B, to reduce the risk of an unplanned pregnancy, Next Choice should be started up to 3 days (72 hours) after unprotected sex or contraception failure (like if a condom breaks or falls off during sex). To be most effective, you should use generic Plan B as soon as possible. There are two ways you can use Next Choice (both are equally effective).

  1. Take the first pill as soon as you can. Then take the second pill 12 hours later.
  2. Take both pills at the same time.

If you vomit within 1 hour of taking either Next Choice pill, call your doctor to see if a repeat dose is needed.

The sooner generic Plan B is used, the better the chances of preventing pregnancy.

Note: In general, emergency contraception could be started up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex, so Next Choice may still be useful to take (hopefully to decrease your chances of pregnancy) for up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

The dose of the levonorgestrel in the generic Plan B is higher than in a single birth control pill, but it prevents a pregnancy in some of the same ways that birth control pills do. It is thought that Next Choice (generic Plan B) prevents the egg from being:

  • Released from the ovary (prevents ovulation)
  • Fertilized by the sperm

There is some confusion about whether or not generic Plan B prevents a fertilized egg from implanting. Research shows that this emergency contraceptive has no impact on implantation.

It is important to point out that Next Choice will NOT terminate or harm an existing pregnancy.

As a precaution, if you are under 17 years old, it may be helpful to consider asking your doctor about getting a prescription for generic Plan B ahead of time -- just in case an emergency occurs. This way, you can fill the prescription immediately and won't need to wait for a medical appointment.

Pronunciation of Generic Plan B:

Generic [jə-ˈner-ik] Plan [ˈplan] B

Next Choice is Also Known As:

Plan B, Emergency Contraception, EC, Morning After Pill

-->The name morning after pill is confusing since Next Choice doesn't have to be used the morning after unprotected sex. There are also 2 pills, not just 1 (as the name morning after pill implies).

Next Choice Side Effects:

When used as directed, side effects of the generic Plan b morning-after pill could include:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Menstrual changes (such as spotting or bleeding prior to a period)

Your next period could be heavier or lighter, or earlier or later. If your period is more than a week late, you should get a pregnancy test and follow up with your doctor.

Keep in mind: Generic Plan B will not continue to prevent pregnancy during the rest of your cycle, so you need to use another birth control method if you are having sex and do not want to get pregnant.

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