Search info


What's the difference between emergency contraceptives, such as Plan B One-Step and regular birth control pills?


Plan B One-Step® emergency contraceptive pills contain the hormone levonorgestrel - a common ingredient in some birth control pills. However, the dosage of this hormone in Plan B One-Step® is higher than in a single birth control pill. In addition, the hormone estrogen - another common birth control pill ingredient - is not in Plan B One-Step®.

Plan B One-Step® is intended as a backup contraceptive for instances when regular contraception methods fail (such as when a condom tears, or two or more birth control pills are missed in a month) or in cases of unprotected sex. It is not meant to be used as a routine method of birth control.

The ingredients in birth control pills and Plan B One-Step® are not right for everyone. You should discuss using Plan B One-Step® with your healthcare provider in advance of possibly needing it to determine if it is an appropriate option for you. This is true whether you are under age 17 (women in this age group need a prescription) or age 17 or older (women in this age group do not need a prescription but must show proof of their age at the pharmacy counter).

Back to Ask a Pharmacist


Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.

Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices

20 Points
20 Points

Now you can track your blood pressure and blood glucose.

Start earning points Go Arrow