Product Description

Levonelle, also known as the morning after pill can be taken by women who have regular periods for the prevention of pregnancy after unprotected sex or condom failure.  

 

How effective is Levonelle?

Levonelle works by delaying ovulation (the release of an egg), and it is effective if taken before ovulation occurs.  Ovulation is usually delayed by a few days, just long enough to render any sperm unviable.  

If ovulation is delayed, you may become fertile again later in your cycle.  Always ensure you are using effective contraception.  Please speak with you GP or Pharmacist for more information.

Any time effectiveness of Levonelle is expected to be around 85% at preventing pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of intercourse, however, the failure rate is expected to be significantly higher if intercourse occurs at or around ovulation.  

Studies have demonstrated that Levonelle is no longer effective if taken 96 hours or more after intercourse. 

 

Should you require emergency contraception urgently we would advise you to visit your local pharmacy to prevent any unnecessary delays caused by the postal service.  Studies have demonstrated that there are more effective methods for emergency pregnancy prevention than Levonelle and these include EllaOne (Ulipristal Acetate) and the Copper Coil (Cu-IUD).

If you would like to discuss the copper coil in more detail please contact your local NHS Sexual Health Service.  Copper coils can be fitted up to 5 days after intercourse. Click here to find your nearest centre.    

Directions

Directions for use: A single tablet should be taken as soon as possible, and swallowed whole with a glass of water after unprotected sex (up to 72 hours after). The sooner the tablet is taken, the more effective it is likely to be.

Important: For women over 70kg (or with a BMI greater than or equal to 27kg/m2) and those on certain medications, two tablets are recommended.

Levonelle can be taken with or without food and if vomiting occurs within 3 hours the dose should be repeated.  

Ingredients

Levonelle and generic Levonelle contain the following:

Active: Levonorgestrel 1500mcg (1.5mg)

These tablets also often contain the following inactive ingredients: Potato starch, Maize starch, Colloidal silica anhydrous, Magnesium stearate, Talc, Lactose monohydrate.

 

This list is not exhaustive so please refer to the product leaflet for further information and advise our team of any allergies or intolerances before purchase. 

Side Effects

Like all medicines, Levonelle pills can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Very common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people):

  • Tiredness
  • You might have some irregular bleeding until your next period
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • You might have lower abdominal pain
  • Headache

Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):

  • Your period might be different. Most women will have a normal period at the expected time, but some may have their period later or earlier than normal. You might also have some irregular bleeding or spotting until your next period. If your period is more than 5 days late or is unusually light or unusually heavy, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Being sick (vomiting).
  • You might have tender breasts, diarrhoea, or feel dizzy after taking this medicine.

Very rare effects (may affect up to 1 in 10000 people):

  • Rash, urticaria, pruritus, swelling of the face pelvic pain, painful period

 

Warnings

Levonelle is unsuitable in the following situations, please speak with your GP or pharmacist for further advice:

  • If you are pregnant or think that you may already be pregnant. This medicine will not work if you are already pregnant. If you are already pregnant, Levonelle 1500 cannot terminate a pregnancy, so Levonelle 1500 is not an “abortion pill”.

You may already be pregnant if:

  • your period is more than 5 days late, or you have experienced unusual bleeding when your next period is due
  • You had unprotected sex more than 72 hours ago and since your last period.

The use of Levonelle 1500 is not advised if:

  • you have a disease of your small bowel (such as Crohn’s disease) that inhibits the absorption of the drug.
  • you have severe liver problems.
  • • you have a history of ectopic pregnancy (where the baby develops somewhere outside the womb).
  • • you have a history of salpingitis(inflammation of the Fallopian tubes). A previous ectopic pregnancy or previous infection of the fallopian tubes increases the risk of a new ectopic pregnancy.

In all women, emergency contraception should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse. There is some evidence that Levonelle 1500 may be less effective with increasing body weight or body mass index (BMI), but these data were limited and inconclusive. Therefore, Levonelle 1500 is still recommended for all women regardless of their weight or BMI. You are advised to speak to a healthcare professional if you are concerned about any problems related to taking emergency contraception.

 

Other medicines and Levonelle

Please speak with our pharmacist or declare the information in your consultation if you are taking or have recently taken or might take any other medicines.

Some medicines may prevent Levonelle from working effectively. If you have used any of the medicines below during the last 4 weeks, Levonelle may be less suitable for you.

  • barbiturates and other medicines used to treat epilepsy (for example primidone, phenytoin, and carbamazepine)
  • medicines used to treat tuberculosis (for example, rifampicin, rifabutin)
  • treatment for HIV (ritonavir, efavirenz)
  • a medicine used to treat fungal infections (griseofulvin)
  • herbal remedies containing St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum).

Talk to your pharmacist or doctor if you need further advice on the correct dose for you.

 

Pregnancy, breast-feeding and fertility

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, speak with our pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.

You should not take this medicine if you are already pregnant. If you do become pregnant after taking this medicine, you must see your doctor.  There is no evidence that Levonelle will harm a baby. Nevertheless, your doctor may want to check that the pregnancy is not ectopic (where the baby develops somewhere outside the womb). This is especially important if you develop severe abdominal pain after taking Levonelle or if you have previously had an ectopic pregnancy, Fallopian tube surgery, or pelvic inflammatory disease.

The active ingredient of this medicine is passed through your breast milk. Therefore, it is suggested that you take your tablet immediately after breast-feeding and avoid nursing for at least 8 hours following levonorgestrel administration then drain your milk with a breast pump for 8 hours following tablet taking.

Levonelle increases the possibility of menstruation disturbances which can sometimes lead to an earlier or later ovulation date resulting in a modified fertility date.

Although there is no fertility data in the long term, after treatment with Levonelle a rapid return to fertility is expected and therefore, regular contraception should be continued or initiated as soon as possible.

 

Patient Information Leaflet

The patient information leaflet can be found here

Frequently Asked Questions

How often can you use Levonelle?

You should only use Levonelle in emergencies and not as a regular method of contraception. If this medicine is used more than once in a menstrual cycle, it is less reliable and it is more likely to upset your menstrual cycle (period). Levonelle does not work as well as regular methods of contraception. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about long-term methods of contraception which are more effective for preventing pregnancy.

 

What to do if you are sick?

If you are sick within three hours of taking the tablet, you should immediately take another tablet. These can be purchased both online or at your local pharmacy if they are needed urgently.

 

How do I know my Levonelle tablet has worked?

Levonelle will affect your menstrual cycle and might trigger unusual bleeding.  If your regular period is more than 5 days late or is unusually light or heavy please do a pregnancy test.  A pregnancy test is usually reliable about 2-3 weeks after intercourse.

 

 

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