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Levonorgestrel Side Effects

Commonly reported side effects of levonorgestrel include amenorrhea. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to levonorgestrel: oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by levonorgestrel. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking levonorgestrel:

More common
  • Heavy or light menstrual bleeding
Incidence not known
  • Absent missed or irregular menstrual periods
  • cramps
  • irregular menstruation
  • pain
  • pain in the pelvis
  • stopping of menstrual bleeding

Some of the side effects that can occur with levonorgestrel may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • tenderness of the breasts
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
Less common
  • Diarrhea

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to levonorgestrel: intrauteral device, oral tablet, subcutaneous implant


Cardiovascular side effects have included hypertension.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have included acne and other skin disorders.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects have included leukorrhea, vaginitis, dysmenorrhea, breast pain, abnormal pap smear and decreased libido. Very common adverse reactions (greater than 1 in 10 users) include uterine/vaginal bleeding (including spotting, irregular bleeding, heavy bleeding, oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea) and ovarian cysts.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache, dizziness and nervousness.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included upper respiratory infection and sinusitis.[Ref]


General side effects have included weight gain and fatigue.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects have included depression.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects have included back pain.[Ref]


Other side effects have included postmarketing reports of device breakage and angioedema.


1. "Product Information. Mirena (levonorgestrel)." Berlex Laboratories, Richmond, CA.

2. "Product Information. Plan B (levonorgestrel)." Women's Capital Corporation, Bellevue, WA.

Not all side effects for levonorgestrel may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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