Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel, Next Choice One Dose, My Way)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    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: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is levonorgestrel-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

  • 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.

What brand names are available for levonorgestrel-oral?

Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One Dose, My Way

Is levonorgestrel-oral available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for levonorgestrel-oral?

No. Most emergency contraception pills can be purchased over-the-counter or OTC (without a prescription). However, some age restrictions may apply.

What are the uses for levonorgestrel-oral?

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.

What are the side effects of levonorgestrel-oral?

Side effects include:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/31/2016
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors