Levonorgestrel (generic Levonelle) is an emergency contraceptive medication. It should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, or if your usual contraceptive method has failed. Levonorgestrel is deemed ineffective for women who weigh over 70kg.
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What is Levonorgestrel?
Levonorgestrel is an emergency contraceptive that contains the same active ingredient as Levonelle, and is to be used within 72 hours of unprotected sex. It is not guaranteed to prevent pregnancy but is most effective the sooner you take the tablet. Levonorgestrel is thought to work by stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg and preventing sperm from fertilising any egg that may have already been released.
Precaution: Levonorgestrel is deemed ineffective for women who weigh over 70kg in body weight. If you weigh over 70kg please select EllaOne (which has no weight restriction).
Levonorgestrel is known to be most effective if taken within 12 hours of unprotected sex. The efficacy of the drug is reduced if taken after 12 hours. Statistics have shown that this medication is thought to prevent up to 95% of pregnancies when taken within 24 hours.
How to Use Levonorgestrel
Take the tablet as soon as possible, preferably within 12 hours. One tablet should be taken orally, no later than 72 hours after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. If vomiting occurs within 2 hours of taking Levonorgestrel a replacement dose should be taken.
Levonorgestrel can be taken at any time in your menstrual cycle, assuming you are not already pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Please ensure you swallow the tablet whole with water. Do not chew the tablet or break in half. Do not delay in taking the tablet. Levonorgestrel works best the sooner you take it after engaging in unprotected intercourse.
Levonorgestrel Side Effects
When used for emergency contraception, Levonorgestrel can cause some side effects such as; nausea, irregular bleeding until your next period, fatigue, headache and lower abdominal pain. If you feel you are suffering from any uncommon side effects, contact your doctor for advice straight away.
Read the patient information leaflet for a full list of side effects.
Before taking any medication, it is important to read the Patient Information Leaflet. You can find the information by searching for your treatment on Medicines.org.uk.
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