I Pill – Dosage, Price, Side Effects & Risks [+Video]

The i-pill is meant for emergency contraception. It is NOT a regular contraceptive method and is unsafe to take more than once a month. Take the tablet immediately after unprotected sex.

It works best when taken within 24 hours. You may take it up to 72 hours after unprotected sex; after that, it may not work. (1)

I Pill price: ₹110/- per strip (1 Tab). Dosage: 1 ipill tablet/once.

A dosage of more than the one I pill tablet a month amounts to emergency contraceptive abuse exposing you to serious side effects.

Everything about the i-pill
ECP

What are emergency oral contraceptive pills

Emergency contraception is a way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex. It is also called the morning-after pill.

Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) can be taken up to 120 hours (5 days) after having unprotected sex.

Some types of emergency contraception like the iPill and unwanted72 work best when taken within 72 hours (3 days) after intercourse.

The IUD can also be used as a form of emergency contraception. You may even combine emergency contraceptives with IUD if 72 hours have passed. The combination may provide you up to 99% safety from pregnancy.

I Pill and Unwanted 72 are popular emergency contraceptive brands among women.

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Types Of Contraception

That today, in India the lifestyle, attitude and sexual dynamics are much different from what they were a decade ago. About 78% of pregnancies in India are unplanned, and at least 25% are unwanted, according to the National Family Health Survey (2)

Young adults are not worried to explore their personal and sexual freedom anymore. So whether it is an unplanned night of unprotected passion or an accident in the bedroom, it may happen to anyone at some point in time.

And when that does happen, what is your Plan B?

Emergency Oral Contraceptives are an effective method that can protect millions of women from unwanted pregnancy.

Approximately 40% of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended, with higher unintended pregnancy rates in developing (57 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years of age) vs developed regions (42 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years of age). (3, 4)

In India, ECP was introduced in 2002 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and was made an over the counter (OTC) drug in 2005.

However, even today less than one-third of women are aware of ECP and less than 1% have ever used it. (5, 6)

i-Pill
Tablets to avoid pregnancy

To be pregnant or not after intercourse, should be a well-planned choice for every woman.

And with the various contraceptive options available today we recommend that all women must be aware of all their options and not leave things to chance.

UNWANTED 72 AN EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTIVE PILL
UNWANTED 72: Another anti-pregnancy pill. Image courtesy: Mankind Pharma

Birth control comes in many forms. Here is a pictorial representation of various methods used over the years.

POPULAR CONTRACEPTION METHODS TO AVOID PREGNANCY IN INDIA
FAVOURITE CONTRACEPTION METHODS TO AVOID PREGNANCY IN INDIA

You can now get pills, patches, and even insertions (like the copper T) that are commonly used to prevent pregnancy in women. They all accomplish birth control by using hormones to block the pathway to the female eggs.

Oral emergency Contraceptives are sometimes mistakenly called as abortion pills or sex pills.

They are by far the most common and popular form of birth control on the market today, mainly due to their non-intrusive nature and ease-of-use.

i pill easy availability

Image Courtesy: India Today

i Pill Dosage and Price

Manufacturer of I pill Piramal Enterprises
I pill Dosage Single tablet/once
I pill Tablet Price 110 Rs/ per strip (1 tab)

One tablet taken within the stipulated time is sufficient to stop unwanted pregnancy. Doubling the dose does not increase the effectiveness, but it may cause increased side effects.

Do not take more than one tablet without consulting a physician.

Time needed: 1 minute.

How to use the I pill tablet (Instructions)

  1. What is iPill?

    The I pill is an oral emergency contraceptive manufactured by Piramal Healthcare. The active ingredient present is Levonorgestrel. Each tablet contains 1.5 mg of Levonorgestrel (Progestin).i-Pill

  2. How many iPills can be taken?

    The I Pill Packet comes as a single oral tablet which you need to swallow with water after eating some food. You need to take only ONE tablet.

  3. When should iPill be taken?

    Pregnancy is the state when a fertilised egg attaches itself to the womb. This process can take 2 to 4 days. You need to act within this time frame to avoid the risk of pregnancy.
    You should take I-pill as soon as possible and not later than 72 hours. But the sooner you take it, the more effective it is. So you have 72 hours to prevent an unplanned pregnancy after unprotected sex. (7, 8)

  4. How to get maximum protection from pregnancy with iPill?

    Taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex offers up to 95% protection from pregnancy.
    (7, 8)

  5. Does the ipill work if taken 24 hours after the intercourse?

    Yes it does. Taken between 25-48 hours after unprotected intercourse provides 85% protection from possible pregnancy. (7, 8)

  6. Does the ipill work if taken 2 days or 48 hours after the intercourse?

    It may work. And finally taken between 49-72 hours after sex provides only 58% protection. Taking it any later than that, may or may not work. (7, 8)

  7. Can I take iPill after 72 hours?

    You can try. However, if you take it later than 72 hours, it may or may not work.

            If you think it’s healthy to take emergency contraception more than twice in 6 months, then you’re being foolish. It is designed for emergency use only.

The long-term side-effects of high-dose hormonal drugs are not known, but they are definitely not a blessing to any woman’s fertility.
—  Dr Rekha D, Gynaecologist

i Pill Effectiveness

How effective is the i pill

Image Courtesy:  onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com

There is no contraceptive method invented by man that comes with a 100% guarantee. All have certain failure rates.

That said, oral emergency contraceptives have a good success rate at avoiding pregnancy when taken within the stipulated time. (9, 8)

i pill effectiveness infographic
I pill effectiveness infographic

NOTE:  If i-pill tablet is consumed post establishment of pregnancy, it will NOT have any abortive action on the pregnancy.

ECP’s do NOT abort an existing pregnancy. They only prevent conception.

That means while they can prevent a pregnancy from starting, they cannot abort an already existing one.

Facts about oral emergency contraceptives

Some important things that you need to know about I pill are below:

1. It is readily available, but it is not your regular OTC

You do not require a doctor’s prescription to purchase it. The I pill is an over the counter emergency contraceptive available in any local chemist shop.

While searching for i pill online we found that none of the online pharmacies carried it.

2. It is not for regular use

I pill use is meant only for emergency contraception. It should not be taken as a regular contraceptive method.

Piramal also manufactures regular contraception pills under the same brand by the name of “I Pill Daily“.

3. Its effectiveness decreases with time

The biggest problem that many women have when it comes to emergency contraceptive pills is taking it at the earliest. The longer you delay after intercourse, the higher is your risk of conceiving.

It is to be taken soon after unprotected sex. You should consume it preferably within 24 hours and not later than 72 hours. (7, 8, 10)

4. I pill is not for everyone

The manufacturer of I pill, Piramal advises that the tablet is for women between ages 25 to 45 only.

It does not give details of the possible problems that may occur for customers younger or older than this age group.

5. No contraceptive is 100% effective

No contraceptives made by man are 100% effective. IUD comes close with 99%.

According to studies, all progestin only morning-after pills, like the I Pill and the Unwanted-72, come with a failure rate of up to 3%.

According to the manufacturer of the iPill, it has a 5% failure rate.

So you may still end up with an unwanted pregnancy. (7, 8, 10)

 I pill Side Effects

The I pill has many side effects and may impact your hormonal health if abused. It is a one-time emergency solution only.

immediate i pill side effects

Studies have shown that ECP side effects are minimal, and it is safe to use.

If you face any of the below-listed I pill side effects, they should stop within a day or two. (11, 12, 13)

Common side effects of oral contraceptives include:

  1. Nausea
  2. Headaches
  3. Spotting or breakthrough bleeding
  4. Breast tenderness
  5. Weight gain
  6. Mood Changes
  7. Menstrual changes
  8. Fatigue
  9. Abdominal Pain

Read the detailed side effects  & what you can do about them here:

Manufacturer Piramal’s I pill use Advice

Piramal cautions that there are chances of unexpected vaginal bleeding after ingestion of the I pill. However, they say that this is not dangerous and should clear up by the time you have your next period.

(Please note that this advice by the manufacturer is basis an assumption that the emergency contraceptive such as I-pill is used only for emergency contraception and not as a regular contraception method.)

Our I pill tablets use advice

While emergency contraceptive pills like I pill and unwanted-72 are very effective in the case of an unplanned pregnancy, they are not as effective when used as regular contraception.

Do NOT use the emergency I pill for regular contraception.

Our advice is to use condoms. Though expensive, there are virtually no side effects, and they also protect against diseases like STD’s/HIV.

6 Cheaper Alternative Brands

Below are some popular emergency contraceptive pill options from some reputed manufacturers:

iPill Alternative Brands

How does Ipill work?

how i pill works

Image Courtesy: India Today

I pill functions like any other contraceptive. Some different types of contraceptives are condoms, Intra-uterine devices like copper-T.

The primary ingredient in most emergency contraception pills is levonorgestrel.

Levonorgestrel is a synthetic progesterone hormone. Levonorgestrel is the hormone that forms the main part in most birth control pills. (14, 15)

Summarizing this information, we can say that the iPill, is just a higher dose of regular birth control pills. Its primary action is to stop the fertilisation of eggs by the sperms.

i Pill is NOT an abortion pill

The I pill is NOT an abortion pill, but a female hormone medication to prevent pregnancy.

It can prevent pregnancy but CANNOT terminate an existing pregnancy.

If i-pill tablet is consumed late, post establishment of pregnancy, it will NOT have any abortive action on the pregnancy.  That means while they can prevent a pregnancy from starting, they cannot abort an already existing one.

So if one misses their periods after taking the I-pill, it is possible that it didn’t work for them. In that case, consult a doctor ASAP for other options.

i Pill is NOT a Sex Pill

When you say sex pill, you need to be clear about what you need.

Usually a sex pill is used to enhance sexual drive or performance.

The I pill does not enhance sexual drive or sexual performance in any way. It is not a sex pill.

The I pill also does not protect against any sexually transmitted diseases. When in relation with multiple partners, condoms are the better choice of contraceptives.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I pill delays period for how many Days?

    According to the manufacturer, the I pill has no long-term effect on your menstrual cycle. Some women will get their periods as expected. Their menstrual cycle will also continue as usual.
    However, some women have reported that they have their period earlier or later than expected. Variation in intensity (lighter or heavier) has been seen as well.
    After consumption of I pill, if your period is delayed more than a week, or if you have any other health concern, contact your healthcare professional.
    You need to apply your best judgment while using I pill; it is only for emergency.
    If you use I pill more than once within a menstrual cycle or more than once a month, it may impact your menstrual cycle. You may also experience spotting for a few days.

  2. Can I pill delay periods?

    What I Pill is not intended to is to alter your menstrual cycle. However, after consumption, most women get their periods as expected, but some women may have their period up to a week earlier or a week later than expected.

    If it’s more than a week late, take a pregnancy test.

  3. Please explain I pill side effects on future pregnancy in Hindi

    आपातकालीन गर्भ निरोधकों (progestin only) ने अनगिनत अध्ययनों और कई दशकों के उपयोग के माध्यम से स्पष्ट रूप से सुरक्षा का प्रदर्शन किया गया है। iPill भविष्य की गर्भधारण के लिए भी सुरक्षित मानी जाती है और फर्टिलिटी को प्रभावित नहीं करती है। (10)

  4. What is Morning after pill failure rate?

    All morning-after pills, like the I Pill and the Unwanted-72, come with a 10% failure rate. So 1 in 10 women WILL end up with an unwanted pregnancy.

  5. What is Morning after pill medical name?

    It is progesterone based. The chemical name for this medication is Levonorgestrel.

  6. How long can you take the morning after pill?

    The most pressing question for most women looking to avoid unwanted pregnancy is when to take iPill.
    It must be taken within 72 hours. However to ensure 95% effectiveness in stopping an unwanted pregnancy take it within 24 hrs of intercourse.

  7. Does the morning after pill works after 3 days?

    Its chances of working are small, but it may. Delaying taking the I pill after 72 hours (3 days) is seeking a chance with the pregnancy.
    In such a case monitor your periods and if they are unusually delayed, check for pregnancy with a urine pregnancy test and blood hCG level (human chorionic gonadotropin).
    Consult a physician for help.

  8. Do you need a prescription for the morning after pill?

    No prescription is required. It is an over the counter medication.

  9. How effective is Morning after pill after 24 hours?

    Below is the effectiveness of Morning After pill:
    – Taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex offers up to 95% protection from pregnancy.
    – Taken between 25-48 hours after unprotected intercourse provides 85% protection from possible pregnancy.
    – And finally taken between 49-72 hours after sex provides only 58% protection. Taking it any later than that, may or may not work.

  10. How much does a morning after pill costs?

    Multiple brands of the morning-after pills are available over the counter. Price ranges from 10 rupees/ per tablet to 110 rupees/ per tablet. The i Pill brand by Piramal is priced at 110 Rupees/per strip.

  11. How often can you take the morning after pill?

    Very rarely. Only for unplanned emergencies. Do not use as a regular contraceptive.
    One tablet is sufficient to stop unwanted pregnancy. Doubling the dose does not increase the effectiveness, but it does cause increased side effects.
    Do not take more than one tablet without consulting a physician.

  12. How to take Morning after pill?

    Take it within 24 hours of intercourse for 95% effectiveness. It can cause stomach upset in some women, so always take it along with a meal.

  13. When will I get my next periods after morning after pills?

    However, studies indicate that periods can present a week earlier or later than the scheduled time. If your periods are delayed by more than a week, get a pregnancy test done.

  14. Can I get pregnant after Morning after pill?

    Yes. The chances of getting pregnant after taking iPill are real. There is a 5% probability of pregnancy even if taken immediately after intercourse.
    Also if unprotected sex occurs again more than 12 hours after taking the one emergency contraceptive tablet, another dose will be required.
    Do not take a second dose without consulting the doctor.

  15. How effective is Morning after pill within 12 hours?

    They are 95% effective within 12 hours.

  16. How long after sex does the morning after pill work?

    Up to 72 hours.

  17. Is I pill safe during breastfeeding?

    Doctors consider it safe to take them during breastfeeding. Progestin-based morning-after pills such as the I pill and unwanted-72 are considered to be safer than estrogen-based contraception.
    You see high estrogen has been linked to low milk supply in nursing moms. So some oral emergency contraceptives may impact your milk supply.
    Read the literature that comes with the tablet and if possible discuss with your doctor as well.
    Finally, do remember that morning after pills should be a last resort. Plan for other means of contraception in advance.

  18. Is I pill safe for breastfeeding mothers?

    Yes. Unless you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy. If you did, talk to your doctor about the safety of using the i-pill while breastfeeding.
    A 1998 study of Latina women (with 900 subjects) found that women who had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and then took the pill while breastfeeding had an almost threefold risk of developing type II diabetes within a year.

  19. Which are the best contraceptive pill in India without side effects?

    There is no such pill. All oral contraceptives will have some side effects. If you are looking for something without side effects, go for condoms or practice abstinence.

  20. How to prevent pregnancy after sex without pills?

    Condoms are recommended. They have the considerable advantage of preventing STD’s.

  21. How does the emergency pill works?

    Please refer to the explanatory image of the uterus below:
    HOW MORNING AFTER PILL WORKS

  22. Is there any 5 day emergency contraceptive pill?

    Levonorgestrel pills, including the brands i-pill and unwanted-72, are up to 58 % effective when taken within 72 hours (three days) after unprotected sex.
    They continue to reduce the risk of pregnancy up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex, but they are less effective as time passes. One study has even shown them to be even after 72 hours or 3 days.
    If the usual time limit (<72 hours) has expired, the morning-after pill should be recommended only if an intrauterine contraceptive device is not available.
    Emergency contraceptives have a favourable success rate after 72 hours, with a pregnancy rate that is significantly lower than would be expected if no contraceptive were administered. (9, 16)
    For surety ECP’s may be combined with IUD for 99% success at preventing pregnancy even after 72 hours.

    There no emergency contraceptive pills created explicitly for 5 days in India.

  23. Where can I get emergency contraceptive pills?

    Progestin-based emergency contraceptives are freely available over the counter (OTC) in any medical shop.

  24. I am taking two emergency contraceptive pills, is it advisable?

    No. One dose is sufficient to stop unwanted pregnancy. Doubling the dose does not increase the effectiveness, but it may cause increased side effects. Do not take more than 1 tablet without consulting a physician.

  25. Is I pill an abortion pill?

    No. It is an oral emergency contraceptive designed to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. It only works if you are not pregnant by preventing fertilisation of the egg.

    You can not terminate an existing pregnancy with I pill.

  26. How safe is I pill use on a regular basis for contraception?

    It is not advisable at all. Also compared to other regular methods of contraception it has a higher failure rate.
    Doctors in India have also reported finding an increasingly high level of hormonal changes in young women who are using the emergency contraceptives three or four times a month. (4)

  27. What is the better single dosage of 1.5mg Levonorgestrel or two dosage of 0.75mg Levonorgestrel?

    Studies suggest that the emergency contraceptive regimen of single-dose levonorgestrel is not inferior in efficacy to the two-dose regimen.
    One can take single levonorgestrel dose (1.5 mg) to substitute two 0.75 mg doses 12 or 24 h apart. With either regimen, the earlier the treatment is given, the more effective it seems to be. (7)

  28. Who can use Emergency contraception.

    Adolescent girls who have attained menarche and have had unprotected sexual intercourse can be given emergency contraception. (8)
    Unless they are known to be already pregnant, adolescent girls can take levonorgestrel . It must also be avoided if they have any undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding.
    Adolescent girls can take estrogen-containing emergency contraception if they are not known to be pregnant, and have no history of stroke, estrogen-sensitive tumour or thrombophlebitis, active liver disease or untreated hypertension.

  29. Situations where emergency contraceptive pills should be considered

    The following conditions are considered as emergency situations, ideal for the use of emergency contraceptives- (8)
    – Totally unprotected intercourse
    – Ejaculation onto genitals
    – Coitus interruptus
    – Condom breakage or slippage
    – Intrauterine contraceptive device expulsion or midcycle removal
    – Spermicide alone at midcycle
    – More than two missed oral contraceptive pills or if pills started more than two days late
    – Missed mini pill (progesterone only) within 48 hrs
    – Delay in getting scheduled contraceptive injection
    – Sexual assault (while not on an oral contraceptive pill)
    – Condom alone or spermicide alone plus recent teratogen exposure (eg, Accutane)

References:

  1. ECP Faqs, Preventing pregnancy after you have had sex. NCBI

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