Levonelle 1500 is commonly known as 'the morning after pill'. It is used to reduce the chances of becoming pregnant after unprotected sex or failure of a contraceptive method.
Levonelle 1500 tablets contain the active ingredient levonorgestrel, which is a synthetic derivative of the naturally occurring female sex hormone, progesterone.
It is not fully understood how this medicine prevents pregnancy. It is thought to work by preventing ovulation and fertilisation and also by altering the lining of the womb, depending on which stage of the menstrual cycle the woman is at.
In a woman's normal menstrual cycle, an egg matures and is released from the ovaries (ovulation). The ovary then produces progesterone, which prevents the release of further eggs. Levonorgestrel, tricks the body processes into thinking that ovulation has already occurred, as it provides high levels of synthetic progesterone. This prevents the release of eggs from the ovaries.
Levonorgestrel also increases the thickness of the natural mucus at the neck of the womb (cervix), making it more difficult for sperm to cross from the vagina into the womb. By preventing sperm entering the womb, successful fertilisation of any egg that is there is less likely.
Levonorgestrel is also thought to alter the lining of the womb, preventing it from being prepared for a fertilised egg. This means that if an egg is released from the ovaries and is fertilised, it cannot implant into the womb and therefore pregnancy is avoided.
The whole process from fertilisation to implantation in the womb can take up to three days, so the morning after pill can only stop pregnancy from occuring for up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. The sooner it is taken after unprotected sex, the more effective it will be.
It is estimated that 84 per cent of pregnancies will be prevented if this morning-after pill is taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. The tablet is more effective at preventing pregnancy the earlier it is taken, so it is important to take it as soon as possible after unprotected sex, rather than delay to the third day.
There is one tablet to be taken. It should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex, preferably within 12 hours and no later than 72 hours.
If you are sick within two hours of taking the tablet, another one should be taken immediately. You should consult your doctor, pharmacist or family planning clinic for advice and to get another tablet.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy. If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you take this medicine, to make sure that the combination is safe.
The morning after pill may be less effective if you are taking any of the following medicines, because these medicines speed up the breakdown of levonorgestrel by the liver:
If you are taking any of these medicines regularly, you may be advised to have a copper coil (IUD) fitted as emergency contraception, as this is not affected by the medicines you are taking. An alternative would be to take two Levonelle 1500 tablets (ie a total dose of 3mg). This is an unlicensed use of the medicine. You should discuss these options with your doctor, pharmacist or family planning clinic.
This medicine may increase the blood levels of the following medicines and this could possibly increase the risk of their side effects:
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you are taking either of these medicines.
|Levonelle one step (available from pharmacies)|
Norgeston is a progesterone only contraceptive pill (mini pill) that contains levonorgestrel.
Mirena is a contraceptive coil that contains levonorgestrel.