levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive

Pronunciation

Generic Name: levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive (LEE voe nor jes trel)
Brand Name: Next Choice, Plan B, Plan B One-Step

What is levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive?

Levonorgestrel is a female hormone that prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medication also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or failure of other forms of birth control (such as condom breakage, or missing 2 or more birth control pills).

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive?

Do not use this medication if you are already pregnant. Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive will not terminate a pregnancy that has already begun (the fertilized egg has attached to the uterus).

Slideshow: 2014 Update: First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive is not intended for use as a routine form of birth control and should not be used in this manner. Talk with your doctor about the many forms of birth control available.

Do not give this medication to anyone younger than 17 years old. Contact a doctor for medical advice.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive?

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive is not intended for use as a routine form of birth control and should not be used in this manner. Talk with your doctor about the many forms of birth control available.

Do not use this medication if you are already pregnant. Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive will not terminate a pregnancy that has already begun (the fertilized egg has attached to the uterus).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have diabetes. You may not be able to use levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive, or you may need special tests during treatment.

Levonorgestrel can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to anyone younger than 17 years old. Contact a doctor for medical advice.

How should I take levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.

The first dose of levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive must be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex (no later than 72 hours afterward). The second dose must be taken 12 hours after the first dose. The timing of these doses is very important for this medication to be effective.

Call your doctor right away if you vomit within 1 hour after taking either dose of levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive. Do not take another dose until you talk with your doctor.

You should be examined by your doctor within 3 weeks after taking levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive. The doctor will need to confirm that you are not pregnant and that this medication has not caused any harmful effects.

If your period is late by 1 week or longer after the expected date, you may be pregnant. Get a pregnancy test and contact your doctor if you are pregnant. Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive will not terminate a pregnancy that has already begun (the fertilized egg has attached to the uterus).

Store levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Missing a dose of this medication increases your risk of being pregnant.

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive. The timing of these doses is very important for this medication to be effective.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea and vomiting.

What should I avoid while taking levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive?

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases--including HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to protect yourself from these diseases. Avoid having unprotected sex.

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have severe pain in your lower stomach or side. This could be a sign of a tubal pregnancy (a pregnancy that implants in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus). A tubal pregnancy is a medical emergency.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, diarrhea, or stomach pain;

  • dizziness, tired feeling;

  • breast pain or tenderness;

  • changes in your menstrual periods; or

  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Contraception:

Contraception:
Mirena: One 52 mg intrauterine system inserted within seven days of the onset of menstruation or immediately after first-trimester abortion. One system is effective for 5 years.

Skyla: One 13.5 mg intrauterine system inserted during seven days of the menstrual cycle or immediately after a first trimester abortion. Postpone postpartum insertion and insertions following second trimester abortions a minimum of six weeks or until the uterus is fully involuted. One system is effective for 3 years.

Comments:
Back up contraception not needed when Skyla is inserted as directed.
Mirena is also indicated for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding in women who choose to use intrauterine contraception as their method of contraception.

Emergency contraception after unprotected intercourse or after contraceptive failure:
one 0.75 mg tablet orally within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse followed by 0.75 mg orally 12 hours after the first dose.
or
one 1.5 mg tablet orally as soon as possible within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse.

Comment: Efficacy is better if the tablet(s) is taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Contraception:

Emergency contraception after unprotected intercourse or after contraceptive failure:

For 15 years of age and older: one 1.5 mg tablet orally as soon as possible within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse.

Comment: Efficacy is better if the tablet is taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse.

What other drugs will affect levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane);

  • a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); or

  • seizure medicines such as phenytoin (Dilantin), or carbamazepine (Tegretol).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can affect levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.08. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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