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Levonelle - 72 Hour EHC

Levonelle and Levonelle One Step are the first morning after pills that were made available to buy over the counter. They can be effective if taken up to 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex.

Levonelle contains the active ingredient levonorgestrel. Levonorgestrel works by preventing the release of an egg which means that it will not be present to be fertilised. This is how it prevents unwanted pregnancy.

It prevents about 84% of expected pregnancies if taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex but can be up to 95% effective if taken within 1 day of intercourse. The sooner it is taken, the more effective it is.

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Levonelle and Levonelle One Step are an emergency contraceptive tablet that can be used within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex.

Levonelle is appropriate for use when:

- No contraception was used during sexual intercourse (tablet or barrier).
- The contraception that was used failed in some way, for example as if a condom tore, vaginal diaphragm changed position.

Levonelle contains the active ingredient levonorgestrel, which is a synthetic progestrogen that works by preventing the release of an egg. This means that it will not be present to be fertilised and thus preventing unwanted pregnancy.

It prevents about 84% of expected pregnancies when you take it within 72 hours of having unprotected sex but can be 95% effective if taken within 24 hours. The sooner it is taken, the more effective it is.

Levonelle 1500 can only prevent you becoming pregnant if you take it within 72 hours of unprotected sex. It does not work if there is a chance that you're already pregnant as fertilisation has alreadt occured. If you have unprotected sex for a second time after the use of Levonelle (during the same menstrual cycle), the tablet will not prevent pegnancy for the second episode. A maximum of two treatments can be used per menstrual cycle. If you are having unprotected sex more often than this then it is more appropriate to use another contraceptive (e.g. combined oral contraceptive).

P.S. 2019

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.

Levonelle 1500 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 another unprotected intercourse takes place after the use of Levonelle 1500 (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 Levonelle 1500

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 Levonelle 1500 will not work if you have unprotected sex again, before your next period is due. After you have taken Levonelle 1500, you are advised to make an appointment to see your doctor about three weeks later, to make sure that Levonelle 1500 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.

After the use of Levonelle 1500,

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 Levonelle 1500 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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