Plan B One-Step vs. Generic Next Choice

Alright, it’s about that time…back to covering some info on Plan B One-Step and its close friend, Next Choice.  Com’on, you know I couldn’t stay away from the topic for too long!

Just gotta cover my bases when it comes to the “morning after pill.”  :)

Here’s a quick comparison, in video form, of the two emergency contraceptive products available to you without the need for a prescription:

Good, glad we got that outta the way!  Now go check out a few of my other posts discussing the “morning after pill” by clicking on the following links: “What to Expect When You Take Plan B,” “Plan B Works How?” and “When All Else Fails…There’s Plan B!”

Any experience with Plan B One-Step and/or Next Choice?  Any advice for others when it comes to the “morning after pill?”  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  You can also get to me by sending me a message at Cate@getpharmacyadvice.com!

Thanks for checking in, and be sure to grab some ideas on how to save money on your medications by viewing our FREE video course on your way out!

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Comments

Thanks! Your video was quite helpful!

Thank you Ela for your comment! :)

Thanks so much for your video! It helped reassure me about the two types of pills :-)

Hi Jen, I am glad we can help! Thank you for leaving such a great comment.

Why do they instruct you to take the pills 12 hours apart? Is there any benefit for the split dosage?

Hey Michelle, there is no benefit for the split dosage. Taking both tablets at once will work equally well as compared to the 12 hours apart regimen. The initial studies on Plan B were only done using the split dosage so that’s all they could go on when presenting the efficacy of the emergency contraceptive. There have now been studies done showing evidence of taking the one tablet which is double the strength (Plan B One-Step) of the two individual tablets contained in Plan B (or the generic Next Choice)….both equally effective. Great question!

Hi Cate, thanks so much. You we’re a big help. I didn’t know they discontinued Plan B, but I had heard about Plan B One Step. I thought that on the Next Choice it was only for people younger than 17 years old, but thanks for clearing that up too. You were a great help!

Hey Cate, so does taking the Next Choice pills separately mean it’s not as effective as if I had taken them together like the Plan B One Step, or will it work out to the same degree of effectiveness? Thanks!

Thank you so much! I was really nervous about not being able to find the Plan B at my local pharmacies and the effectiveness of Next Choice in comparison. Interestingly taking the medication also had a positive impact by reducing my endometriosis symptoms, after some research I have found that some studies have been done supporting this outcome. So not only was I able to have peace of mind about a contraceptive issue but ended up having some additional hope in regards to a medical battle that has induced a great amount of despair and discomfort.

I am currently taking a Hair Skin and Nails Supplement from GNC. Does it counteract/interfere with the Next Choice in any way? Thanks for your help!

Hi Mina,

Thanks for leaving a comment! There are few studies involving herbal medications and drug interactions. But there are no known interactions between Hair, Skin and Nails and Next Choice. Hope this helps!

Take care,
Nova

Does drinking alcohol counteract/interfere with the next choice?

Today I purchased Next Choice total it was $42.39 at Rite Aid. My need to purchase the pill came after having sex with my boyfriend Monday, so I took the pill roughly one day and six hours after. Our condom broke right at the end. I’m really hoping it’ll work and he’s really praying. 17 and both have plans for likely separate futures. I must ask though, I know she said that they work equally but I also believe she said thag Plan B One Step had a higher amount of Levonorgestrel than Next Choice is how is it they are equally effective? My box says Nest Choice tablets are 0.75mg each, how come they split the doses? Him and I both really need this to work. All I have to say is thank you to the advancements in the medical division!

Hi Isis,
Thanks for leaving a comment question! Simple answer -no alcohol will not interact with Next Choice efficacy. However, it can increase the risk of side effects like headache and nausea and vomiting.

Take care,
Nova

Hi Victoria,

Thanks for leaving a comment-question with us! So, the history of plan B -it was first plan B in two different doses (levonorgestrel 0.75mg per each tablet) -given 12 hours apart. Then they did more studies and realized that one large dose given all at once was just effective. So, out came plan B One Step (levonorgestrel 1.5mg in 1 tablet). Now only Plan B One Step is available.

In the midst of all this Plan B change up, Next Choice was released -which is pretty much the generic version of the original plan B.

They are both equally effective and should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex-so it is more a price/availability/convenience issue.

A bit confusing -but I hope this helps clear it up a bit.

Take care,
Nova

How long does next choice stay in your system? Like how long does it protect you since sperm can live in you for 7 days will it still protect you for those 7 days? Since I m in my high fertility days I don’t know when I will ovulate and if the pill will still be in effect or if I can become pregnant since sperm will still be there. I’m stressing please write back

Hi Michelle,
Your situation definitely sounds stressful. Hopefully this information
will be helpful! Sperm is thought to remain alive for about 5 days once
it reaches the fallopian tube(s) and only about a few hours if it doesn’t
makeit past the vagina. There’s a good chance Next Choice will not remain in
your system for that long, but that’s not to say you should stress even
more with that news.

If you took the Next Choice as soon as possible (the sooner the better),
it is up to 85% effective. Add that to the fact that the expected rate of
pregnancy after one session of intercourse is expected to be 8%, and with
Plan B on board, the pregnancy rate is thought to be about 1%! Also, just
in case you wanted to know, the lifespan of an unfertilized egg is
believed to be about 24 hours!

I hope this helps at least a little bit, but definitely let me know if you
have any further questions.

Thank you soooo much for this video! I’m familiar with BlanB and plan b one step so when I saw that I had been given next choice I was stressed out! I feel less side effects from the next choice so I was worried it would not be working as effectively as the plan-b.

One last question, does it only work if its exactly 72 hours or less, what have you learned about what happens if its 73 hours or 71 hours…. does the hours start from the exact moment of sex? so if it were Friday at midnight, the pill must be taken by when to work? Thank you. Hope you post soon… my clock is already ticking.

Thank you for the video it gave me lots of information I thought that by taking plan b it would work better than the next choice but i never found it so I took the next choice 18 hours after having unprotected sex and twelve hours later I took the second pill do you think I have a pretty good chance of not getting pregnant? is my first time taking the pill so I have no experience with this stuff, I also have another question is it bad to take the pill more than once a year?
thank you i hope you answer my questions!!

Hi Adriana and Georgia,

Thanks for stopping by! So, with Plan B, NextChoice, etc. it is not an exact science. Studies have shown the sooner after the incident (unprotected sex, broken condom and such) the pills are taken the more effective they will be. It is much more effective if taken within 24 hours. The reason they say 72 hours is because of the lifespan of the ovum (egg). However, it is possible that if you take it at say 80 hours that it will still prevent pregnancy. Plan B is NOT as effective as daily birth control pills.

I hope this info helps clear it up a bit! :)

First of all thanks for the video, because I’ve been dying to know if they were the same! I’ve had experience with both and thought maybe telling them could help others so here we go! First year of college I thought I had an “uh-oh” moment with my boyfriend so we rushed off and got plan b one-step. I didn’t have any side effects whatsoever and I liked that it was only one pill as well as the fact that it worked. Skip to a little over a year later and I had gotten myself into one of those typical college drunken nights when you hookup with your best friend, waking up in the morning to realize I was on my no pill week of my birth control and we hadn’t used any form of protection, not to mention the embarrassment of realizing who’s bedroom I was in. So I went to the pharmacy and bought next choice due to the fact that it was $10 cheaper and I’m a broke college student. I didn’t have a hangover but I took the first pill and a few hours later was extremely nauseous. When it came time for the second pill I was so nauseous my friends were commenting on how pale I looked and I felt very sick. Needless to say, the extra $10 in my pocket was worth a day of extreme nauseousness because in the end of a situation that seemed like it would be impossible to not be pregnant, I happily report that now 9 months later there is no baby! I have heard that you shouldn’t take plan b(or any of it’s other forms) more than 6 times in your lifetime, so if it is true, use it wisely!

Hi, I’d first like to say thank you so much for all your info regarding these two pills. my bf and i just had sex when the condom broke at the end, and i am freaking out!
i am on the pill, but unfortunately i am kinda bad at taking the pill at the same time every day- but at least in the last month i never did miss a pill entirely. i just took the Next Choice pill about 45 minutes after the condom broke.
do you have any idea of what my chances are for getting pregnant now? i’m only 18 and about to go to college, i am not ready for a baby. thank god though that my bf is supportive in any way haha
also, i’m supposed to get my period in like 2 weeks. so if i am pregnant, would i still get my period then? or would i still miss it.

freaking out;/
thanks in advance for your help!

Hi Olivia, Next Choice and the birth control pill are very effective but not 100%. From what you have said, it sounds like you will be fine. A point of interest (not to freak you out!) many women who are pregnant will continue to have their period for the first few months of pregnancy.

Take care and good luck with college!
Nova

So glad to have this up here!! first time ever taking theses pill so I was freaking out!!

When I first took Plan B, I got my period within days of taking it and it was a heavier than usual but the following months went back to normal. I took it again 3 months after the first time but ever since my periods have been abnormally heavy. So heavy in fact that they go straight through my pants. It’s been 2 years since I last took Plan B and just recently took it 2 days ago. I was wondering if those side effects will eventually wear off or if I should see a doctor and perhaps get on birth control until my period goes back to normal?

Hi, last night I had an uh oh moment with my partner and as soon as it happened we ran out and got the Next Choice from the pharmacy. I took the first pill as soon as I got it. I ended up having unprotected sex again during the night. I took the 2nd pill this morning at the directed time on the box. What are my chances of getting pregnant? Also, I am NOT experiencing any side effects so I wonder if it’s working.

Just wanted to say thanks for clearing it up. I was worried about along next choice and not plan b because the pharmacy didn’t have it. I have a quick question. I was running out time. I had only about 9 hours to take next choice. I had unprotected sex Saturday night around 3 am and Monday night I picked up next choice. I picked the 2 pill one. Will it still work for me if I took the first dosage at around 8:00 pm that night and the next dosage at 8:00 am the next morning? Thank you!! I’m really worried.

Hi Shannon-Thanks for leaving a comment/question! Yes, it will work just as well the way you took it.

Hi Lauren -It is okay that you are not experiencing any side effects. Many women do not experience the negative effects, that doesn’t mean that the medication is not working. There hasn’t been any studies about having sex during the dose time. However, from the research, I would surmise that you would be covered just as well.

Hi Amber,

Plan B can change your period for a cycle or two. If your cycles continue to be different, it is best to see your physician to make sure everything is okay. Just FYI, as you age your cycle will go through changes too.

Hope this helps!
Nova

If I took Next Choice about 90 hrs after unprotected sex will the pill still be effective in preventing pregnancy??

If you get get the 2 pill contraceptive do you have to take them 12 hours apart or can it be less? What about the same time?

i just started taking an antibiotic yesterday and today during sex the condom broke. does taking an antibiotic (cefprozil) lower the effectiveness of next choice? or do the 2 interact badly with eachother?

Hi Peyton,

The studies show that the sooner it is taken after unprotective sex the better. The studies also show that to be most effective Next Choice should be taken within 72 hours. However, it is still *possible* that it will work at 90 hours.

Hope this helps,
Nova

Hi Dana,

It is okay to take the antibiotic with Next Choice. It is best to continue to use a back up birth control -like condoms during this time.

Take care,
Nova
Nova Simpson, Pharm.D.

This probably sounds superstitious, given that the two forms of emergency contraceptive are purportedly pharmaceutically identical, but SERIOUSLY. I had the worst time with Next Choice. WORST TIME EVER. The two or three times previous to taking Next Choice, I took Plan B and had zero side-effects–none at all! This time around, I took Next Choice, and my shit has been so whack. I started my period two weeks early and proceeded to menstruate for THREE WEEKS. We’re talking: heavy period for a week, light period the next week, and then, intermittent spotting that still sometimes required a tampon the third week. Though my side-effects may have had nothing to do with the brand of EC I took, I will forever consider Next Choice the very LAST choice I make: my vote goes to Plan B.

I have a question I took the next choice at 7pm today and realized I could take both pills at once so I took the second one at 8pm an hour later will this effect me in any way will it still work the way it’s supposed to.

I had sex before midnight and out condom busted but at midnight I took my birth control pill..and it was a day in a half later that I took next choice….will I come out pregnant…oh and I’ve been taking my birthcontrol pill even while I took next choice..will next choice interfere with my birthcontrol if I kept taking my birthcontrol..

I take tri-sprintec birthcontrol pills daily, and 50mg of minocycline for acne twice a day. My doctor said shes required to warn me that the minocycline could decrease the affectiveness of the pill. Is this actually true? Ive heard both that it is, and that it isnt. And if so, how much less affective would it be? Ive just taken next choice 15 hours after the incident because i am fearing that my birth control was uneffective…

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