Next Choice One Dose Emergency Contraception

A Morning-After Pill Option

Next Choice One Dose
Next Choice One Dose. Photo © Dawn Stacey

Next Choice One Dose is as an emergency contraceptive pill that can lower your chance of getting pregnant if it's taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex or birth control failure. Next Choice One Dose can be bought over the counter, with no age restrictions. It was FDA-approved as emergency contraception on July 13, 2012. Next Choice One Dose is the generic equivalent to Plan B One-Step.

What Is It? 

Next Choice One Dose is as a single pill. Just like Plan B One-Step, the Next Choice pill contains 1.5 mg of the progestin levonorgestrel. Levonorgestrel has been safely used in many brands of birth control pills for over 35 years. 

How It Works

The levonorgestrel hormone in Next Choice One Dose is the primary ingredient that helps to prevent pregnancy -- but there's some debate over exactly how this medication works. Next Choice One Dose contains a higher dose of levonorgestrel than the pill, so it's believed that this morning-after pill works in some of the same ways as the pill to stop pregnancy. The product labeling (required by the FDA) explains that Next Choice One Dose may work by preventing a fertilized egg to attach (implant) to the wall of the uterus. But most of current research shows that this type of morning-after pill has no impact on implantation.

What It Is NOT

I'll admit, there may be some confusion over how Next Choice One Dose works. But I can tell you with 100% certainty that Next Choice One Dose will not work if you are already pregnant. It has been proven that this morning-after pill will not harm an existing pregnancy. So this means that Next Choice One Dose is NOT the same thing as the abortion pill, and it won't cause a medical abortion. To make sure that you are crystal clear about this fact... Next Choice One Dose is not effective if you take it once you have already become pregnant -- Next Choice One Dose will also not terminate an established pregnancy.

Also, Next Choice One Dose should not be used for regular contraception use. Listen, because this is important -- Next Choice One Dose will not continue to prevent pregnancy during the rest of your cycle. So if you have unprotected sex (again) after taking Next Choice One Dose, it will not help protect you from getting pregnant. It's so important that you use another contraceptive method for pregnancy protection.

When and Why to Use It 

You can use Next Choice One Dose at any time during your monthly cycle to help prevent an unplanned pregnancy. There are several reasons why you may decide to use Next Choice One Dose -- the main reason being that your contraception fails. So, you may want to use Next Choice One Dose if:

How to Buy and Use It 

Next Choice One Dose can be purchased over-the-counter (without a prescription), no matter your age. Due to FDA requirements, the label on Next Choice One Dose must say that it is intended for use in women 17 years of age or older. Don't worry about that -- it's just politics. This type of morning-after pill  has been shown to be safe for all ages of women. The FDA is requiring this labeling information as a way to protect an exclusivity agreement with the manufacturer of Plan B One-Step.

When buying Next Choice One Dose, keep these tips in mind:

  • Even though Next Choice One Dose has OTC status, you may still need a prescription (no matter your age) in order for your insurance to cover the cost of this medication -- so be sure to check your insurance policy's rules.
  • Because you don't want to waste any time, it may also be a good idea to call your pharmacy/store before you go to make sure that they have Next Choice One Dose in stock. You can check Next Choice One Dose's store locator page to find the closest store that is selling this morning-after pill. I would still double-check by calling as well.
  • Since Next Choice One Dose works best the sooner you take it -- it might also be a good idea to buy some ahead of time and have it in your home. This way, you can take it immediately.

Next Choice is super easy to use. Just pop the pill out of it's blister pack and swallow it. Despite the name morning-after pill, you can use it at any time during the day.

Side Effects

When used as directed, Next Choice One Dose is a safe emergency birth control option for most women. The most common reported side effects are:

  • Heavier menstrual bleeding
  • Nausea/Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Fatigue/Feeling tired
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Delay of period

You may start to feel sick to your stomach and/or throw up after taking Next Choice One Dose. If you throw up within 2 hours of taking this morning-after pill, call your doctor and ask if  you should take another dose.

Frequent use of Next Choice One Dose may cause your periods to become irregular and unpredictable. If you use Next Choice One Dose, you may have spotting or bleeding before your next period. Plus, your next period may be heavier or lighter -- or it may come earlier or later than expected. Most women will have their next period at its expected time, or within a week of that expected time.

  • IMPORTANT: If your period is more than seven days late, it's possible that you may have gotten  pregnant. If you think that you may be pregnant, take a pregnancy test to either rule out or confirm a pregnancy. You should also follow up with your doctor.


The sooner you take Next Choice One Dose, the more effective it will be. Next Choice One Dose is about 84% effective in reducing the chance of pregnancy. In clinical studies, after calculating the number of pregnancies expected (by determining the timing of sex as compared to where a women was in her menstrual cycle -- for example, if she was near ovulation), the expected pregnancy rate of 8% (with no use of any birth control) was reduced to around 1.5% if a woman used Next Choice One Dose with 24 hours and 2.6% if used within 48-72 hours. Another simpler way to understand this is -- about 7 out of 8 women who would have gotten pregnant will not get pregnant if they use Next Choice One Dose and follow its directions. In any case, the effectiveness of Next Choice One Dose decreases as time does on.


Next Choice One Dose should cost between $26 and $62 (with an average price being around $41). This is about 14% less than Plan B One-Step (which can cost anywhere from $35 to $65 -- with an average price of approximately $48). Right now, Next Choice One Dose is offering a $5.00 off coupon.

STD Protection

Next Choice One Dose does not provide any protection against sexually transmitted infections or HIV.

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Article Sources

  • Trussell J, Raymond EG, Cleland K. "Emergency contraception: A last chance to prevent unintended pregnancy." Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice. 2014; 6:7. Accessed via private subscription.
  • Yikes -- after looking at that list, it seems like a lot of things can go wrong. The good news is that most of the time, contraception use is smooth sailing. But, it's helpful to know that you have options. Remember though, if you have unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, you only have a few days to try to prevent pregnancy. The sooner you can use Next Choice One Dose, the better it will work. This morning-after pill should be taken as soon as possible, but not later than 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure.
    **Note: emergency birth control, in general, can be used up to 5 days after unprotected sex, so it may still be useful to use Next Choice One Dose for up to 120 hours.