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- What is levonorgestrel-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for levonorgestrel-oral?
- Is levonorgestrel-oral available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for levonorgestrel-oral?
- What are the uses for levonorgestrel-oral?
- What are the side effects of levonorgestrel-oral?
- What is the dosage for levonorgestrel-oral?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with levonorgestrel-oral?
- Is levonorgestrel-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about levonorgestrel-oral?
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
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:
What is the dosage for levonorgestrel-oral?
- Emergency contraception pills should be taken as soon as possible and not more than 72 hours after unprotected sex or when birth control fails.
- Single dose regimen: Take one 1.5 mg tablet as soon as possible within 72 hours of unprotected sex or when birth control fails.
- Two-dose regimen: Take one 0.75 mg tablet as soon as possible within 72 hours of unprotected sex or when birth control fails, followed by a second 0.75 mg tablet 12 hours later.
Is levonorgestrel-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Emergency contraception pills will not work if you are already pregnant and should not be used during pregnancy.
- Levonorgestrel is thought to enter human milk after oral administration and should be used cautiously in nursing mothers.
What else should I know about levonorgestrel-oral?
What preparations of levonorgestrel-oral are available?
- Levonorgestrel is available as a blister pack containing two 0.75 mg tablets
- Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One Dose, My Way are available as a blister pack containing one 1.5 mg tablet
How should I keep levonorgestrel-oral stored?
Levonorgestrel should be stored at room temperature between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information
Levonorgestrel (Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One Dose, My Way) is a non-prescription (over-the-counter or OTC) drug used help prevent pregnancy when birth control methods fail or after unprotected sex. Side effects, drug interactions, storage, dosing, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Barrier Methods of Birth ControlBarrier methods of birth control include:
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Birth Control Methods
Birth control is available in a variety of methods and types. The method of birth control varies from person to person, and their preferences to either become pregnant or not. Examples of barrier methods include:
- Barrier methods (sponge, spermicides, condoms)
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C-Section (Cesarean Birth)C-section (cesarean birth) is surgery to deliver a baby. C-section options, what to expect before, during, and after the delivery of your baby are important considerations for birth. Reasons for a C-section delivery include multiple births, health problems, problems with the pelvis, placenta, or umbilical cord. Vaginal birth after a C-section (VBAC) is also an important issue to discuss with your doctor if you have had prior C-section deliveries.
Contraceptive Measures After Unprotected SexContraceptive birth control measures after unprotected sex include: emergency hormonal contraception (the morning after pill), and emergency IUD. The morning after pill is not meant to be a long-term contraception. Once the emergency is over, a woman should consult with her physician so that an appropriate contraceptive method can be chosen if the woman continues to be sexually active. The emergency IUD can provide a woman with long-term contraception. Emergency IUD insertion does however, increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
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Natural Methods of Birth ControlNatural methods of contraception are considered "natural" because they are non-mechanical and non-hormonal. Natural methods of birth control require that a man and woman not have sexual intercourse during the time when an egg is available to be fertilized by a sperm. Fertility awareness methods (FAMs) are based upon knowing when a woman ovulates each month. Natural methods of birth control include: the calendar rhythm, basal body temperature, mucus inspection, symptothermal, use of an ovulation indicator testing kit, withdrawal, lactational infertility, douching and urination, and abstinence.
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