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1)What is the ‘Morning after Pill’?


The Morning After Pill is a form of Emergency Contraception taken in tablet form that you can use to prevent pregnancy occurring if you feel that your normal method of contraception has let you down or if no contraception was used. The Morning After Pill can be obtained from your local McCauley pharmacy, without the need for a prescription, for persons over the age of 17 years.


2) Who can purchase the Morning after Pill?

The service is available for free for medical card holders and persons aged 17-31. If you are aged 17-31 you will be required to have your PPS number and proof of date of birth. A fee applies to anyone who does not have a medical card. To find out more, speak to your local McCauley pharmacist.

The Morning After Pill can be purchased by persons aged over 17 years who have had unprotected sex within the last 120 hours or 5 days. For persons who hold a valid Medical Card, the service is available free of charge. Our Pharmacist will need to go through a quick questionnaire with you to ensure that the medication is safe for you and will be effective. Our fully trained Pharmacists will then provide you with advice on how to take the medication safely as well as offer additional information on contraceptive use.


3) When is the Morning after Pill unsuitable?


There are however some situations when the Morning After Pill cannot be provided by our Pharmacists:

  • Too much time has passed for the medicine to be effective (over 5 days)
  • You are taking other medicines that interact with emergency contraception
  • You have an existing medical condition that means it is not safe to take emergency contraception
  • Your last period was irregular in some way
  • You are under the age of 17
  • You are purchasing for future use


These situations will be covered in your consultation with one of our Pharmacists. In the event that the Morning After Pill is not suitable for you, our Pharmacist will provide you with information on how you can receive the emergency contraception you require via another method such as discussing this with your own GP.


4) When should you use the Morning After Pill?

The Morning after Pill can be clinically effective at preventing pregnancy for up to five days after unprotected sex. It is important to take the Morning After Pill as soon as possible after unprotected sex, as the sooner it is taken, the more effective it can be. The emergency contraceptive pill has been found to be up to:

  • 95% effective if taken within 24 hours of having sex
  • 85% effective if taken within 24-48 hours of having sex
  • 58% effective if taken within 48-72 hours of having sex


5) What Morning After Pill brand do we offer you in McCauley?

Your McCauley pharmacy provides the Ella One or Norlevo brands of Morning After Pill.