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Generic Levonelle

Generic Levonorgestrel is an emergency contraception that can be used up to 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex. It is clinically the same as Levonelle. It contains  a synthetic version of the naturally occurring female hormone progesterone. The synthetic hormone Levonorgestrel works by tricking the body into believing that ovulation has already taken place so that another egg is not released.  

Levonorgestrel is estimated to be 84% effective if taken within 72 hours but is more effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex.  

Suffering from the side effects is rare and a normal menstrual cycle usually resumes after taking the Levonorgestrel.  


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Levonorgestrel 1500mg is the same active ingredient found in the Levonelle brand and is an emergency contraceptive that can be used within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex or if your usual contraceptive method has failed.

Levonorgestrel is appropriate for use when:

No contraception was used during the sexual intercourse (tablet or barrier).
The contraception measure was used incorrectly, for example as if a condom tore, slipped away or used in a wrong way,
If vaginal pessary or diaphragm changed position, burst, was broken or taken out ahead of time,

Generic Levonorgestrel contains a synthetic hormone like active substance called levonorgestrel.

It prevents about 84% of expected pregnancies when you take it within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. It will not prevent a pregnancy every time and is more effective if you take it as soon as possible after unprotected sex. It is better to take it within 12 hours rather than delay until the third day.

Levonorgestrel 1500mg is thought to work by:

Stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg; preventing sperm from fertilising any egg you may have already released. Levonorgestrel can only prevent you becoming pregnant if you take it within 72 hours of unprotected sex. It does not work if you are already pregnant.

If you have unprotected sex after the use of Levonorgestrel  (during the same menstrual cycle), the tablet will not exert its contraceptive effect and there is a chance of pregnancy occuring.

How to use:-

Take the tablet as soon as possible, preferably within 12 hours, and no later than 72 hours (3 days) after you have had unprotected sex.

Levonorgestrel can be taken at any time in your menstrual cycle assuming you are not already pregnant or think you may be pregnant.

Do not delay taking the tablet. The tablet works better the sooner you take it after having unprotected sex.

If you are already using a regular method of contraception such as the contraceptive pill, you can continue to take this at your regular times.

If unprotected intercourse takes place after the use of Levonorgestrel (also if this is during the same menstrual cycle), the tablet will not exert its contraceptive effect and there is again the risk of pregnancy.

What to do if you are sick (vomit)

If you are sick (vomit) within three hours of taking the tablet, you should immediately source and take another tablet.

After you have taken Levonorgestrel 1500mg

If you want to have sex, and are not using the contraceptive pill, you should use condoms or a cap plus spermicide until your next menstrual period. This is because Levonorgestrel will not work if you have unprotected sex again, before your next period is due.

You are advised to make an appointment to see your doctor about three weeks later, to make sure that Levonorgestrel  has worked. 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. If you do become pregnant even after taking this medicine, it is important that you see your doctor.

Your period is usually normal and will start at the usual day; however sometimes, this will be a few days later or earlier. If your period starts more than 5 days later than expected, an ‘abnormal’ bleeding occurs at that time or if you think that you might be pregnant, you should check whether you are pregnant by a pregnancy test.

If you take more Levonorgestrel than you should

Although there have been no reports of serious harmful effects from taking too many tablets at once, you may feel sick, actually be sick (vomit), or have vaginal bleeding. You should ask your pharmacist, doctor, practice nurse or family planning clinic for advice, especially if you have been sick, as the tablet may not have worked properly.

If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

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

  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • You might have some irregular bleeding until your next period
  • You might have lower abdominal pain
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • A full list of side effects can be found HERE.

    Reporting of side effects

    If you get any concerning side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

    Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.

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