levonorgestrel (Plan B, Plan B One-Step)
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: levonorgestrel
BRAND NAME: Plan B, Plan B One-Step
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Levonorgestrel (Plan B) is emergency contraception (commonly called the morning after pill) that is used as backup contraception to prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex or when birth control fails.
Levonorgestrel is a progestin. Progestins are hormones used in many birth control pills. Although levonorgestrel and similar emergency contraception pills contain a higher dose of levonorgestrel than birth control pills, they work in a similar way to prevent pregnancy, mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. Additionally, levonorgestrel also may prevent fertilization of an egg (the uniting of the sperm with the egg) or prevent the attachment (implantation) of a fertilized egg to the uterus (womb).
Emergency contraception pills do not work in women who are already pregnant and should not be taken during pregnancy. The FDA approved levonorgestrel in July 1999.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Emergency contraception pills are used to help prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or when birth control methods fail. Emergency contraception is a backup method of preventing pregnancy and should not be used routinely.
SIDE EFFECTS WARNING:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/15/2015
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