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Levonorgestrel

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Contraceptive Postinor-2® Adult

Levonorgestrel - What is it for

​There are 2 types of emergency contraception; the pill method and the insertion of a device called the copper intrauterine device (IUD). A copper IUD can prevent pregnancy because its presence is toxic to sperms. A woman might use emergency contraception if she forgot to take her birth control pills, if the condom broke or slipped off during sexual intercourse, or if no birth control methods were used.

Postinor-2, also known as “Morning-After Pill”, is one of the pill methods. It is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse.

Levonorgestrel - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Levonorgestrel cause?

​You may experience some spotting or bleeding within two to three days after taking the tablet. Your next period usually starts within a week from your expected date. However, if your period is more than 7 days late, it is recommended to get a pregnancy test. If you experience heavy or extended period of bleeding, or very bad stomach pain, you should consult your doctor.

Other side-effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting
    • Take the medication after food to reduce this side effect.
  • Headache
    • You may take Paracetamol to manage the headache.
  • Breast tenderness
  • Dizziness, Fatigue
    • Avoid activities that require mental alertness and avoid using heavy machineries.

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Levonorgestrel, what precautions must I follow?

​Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You may already be pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies
  • You have severe liver disease

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Levonorgestrel?

​Some medications may prevent this medication from working effectively. Inform your healthcare professional if you have taken any medication since the last 4 weeks to ensure the correct type of emergency contraceptive has been prescribed for you.

Levonorgestrel - Dosage and How to Use

How should Levonorgestrel be used?

  • ​You may take this medication with or without food
  • You may take the medication at any time during the menstrual cycle.
  • The most common method of taking the medication would be to take the 1st tablet as soon as possible within 72 hours of sexual intercourse; the 2nd tablet must be taken 12 hours after taking the first tablet. Some might be directed to take 2 tablets at the same time within 72 hours of intercourse.
  • The medication is less effective after 72 hours. You should not take more than 4 tablets each month.
  • If you vomit within 2 hours after taking the medicine, take another tablet as a replacement. Consult a doctor to get an additional dose of the medicine.

You may still get pregnant if there is sexual intercourse after taking the pill. Ensure that you use a condom or any other type of birth control method if you have sexual intercourse after taking the emergency contraceptive pill.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​If you forget to take the 2nd tablet 12 hours later, take it as soon as possible – do not delay taking the tablet. The tablet works best the sooner you take it after having unprotected sex. It can only prevent you from becoming pregnant, if you take it within 72 hours of unprotected sex. Please contact your healthcare professional if it is more than 72 hours.

What should I do if I overdose?

Levonorgestrel - Handling

How should I handle Levonorgestrel safely?

Levonorgestrel - Storage

How should I store Levonorgestrel?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Levonorgestrel safely?

​Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

Levonorgestrel - Additional Information

When can I start my regular hormonal contraception after taking Postinor-2 (Levonorgestrel)?

You can continue or start any birth control method right away. For the next 7 days, you also must use a barrier method (for example: condoms, diaphragm, and spermicides) along with your regular birth control method, or not have sexual intercourse.

  • Updated on Sunday, June 30, 2019
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

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