Magazine article Insight on the News

FDA Approves Marketing of 'Morning-After' Pills

Magazine article Insight on the News

FDA Approves Marketing of 'Morning-After' Pills

Article excerpt

The Food and Drug Administration has approved marketing of "morning-after" pills that women take after sexual intercourse to prevent pregnancy. Gynetics Inc. of Somerville, N.J., will market the Preven Emergency Contraceptive Kit, which contains four birth-control pills, costs about $20 and requires a prescription. The kit also contains a pregnancy test that women should take first because the pills won't work if a woman already is pregnant.

Taking two birth-control pills within 72 hours of intercourse and two more pills 12 hours later is "safe and effective for pregnancy prevention," according to the FDA. The pills harden the lining of the womb so that the fertilized egg or embryo cannot implant. ("Morning-after" pills work differently than the controversial French abortion pill, known as RU-486, used to end a pregnancy several weeks after it has begun. The French drug, in the final stage of testing, works by blocking the effects of a hormone necessary to maintain pregnancy.)

Reproductive-health experts hailed the FDA action, noting that some women already knew that taking birth-control pills after sex can prevent pregnancy. …

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