What is Levonelle 1500?
Levonelle is a progestin only emergency contraceptive pill that prevents unwanted pregnancy. It is called emergency contraceptive because it is used after having unprotected intercourse or when there has been a known contraceptive method failure. They are also known as the morning after pill and are not to be confused with abortion pills.
It comes as a 1500 mg pill of levonorgestrel, a synthetic hormone based on progestine, a hormone produced in women’s bodies.They are white round shaped tablets and every blister contains one tablet.
What other substances does Levonelle 1500 contain?
- Lactose monohydrate
- Magnesium stearate
- Potato starch
- Maize starch
- Colloidal silica anhydrous
What are the normal functions of progesterone?
Progesterone hormone is in charge of regulating the inner lining of the uterus. It is produced by the ovaries, placenta and adrenal glands. Progesterone is a hormone produced after ovulation. It regulates the inner lining of the uterus so that when an egg has been fertilized it will prepare the uterus for a pregnancy. It is produced 14 days after ovulation and will decrease if there is no pregnancy. Progesterone also plays an important role in the brain. It decreases symptoms of insomnia and depression acting as a natural antidepressant.
How does Levonelle 1500 work?
Levonelle 1500 should not be confused with abortion pills. Levonelle 1500 can be used up to 72 hours after you have had unprotected sexual intercourse. It is believed to work in two ways:
- It stops your ovaries from releasing an egg that can be fecunded while having unprotected intercourse.
- Prevents sperm from fertilizing an already released egg by your ovaries.
It is important to know that if you are already pregnant, Levonell 1500 will not be effective, and if you have had another unprotected intercourse after its use during the same menstrual cycle, it won’t be effective as well. Therefore, Levonelle 1500 should only be used as an emergency contraceptive and not to be taken as a monthly method to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
How effective is Levonelle 1500?
If it is taken correctly Levonelle 1500 can be up to 84% effective, preventing unwanted pregnancies if it is taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. The sooner it is taken after the intercourse, the more effective it will be. Therefore, it is recommended to be taken within 12 hours of sexual activity, rather than delaying the ingestion of the pill.
Who should consider other alternatives over Levonelle 1500?
You should consider other options if:
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: you are already pregnant or if you are breastfeeding, since it is secreted unto breast milk and will be absorbed by your baby.
- Allergy: If you are known to suffer from allergies from any of the substances that Levonelle 1500 contains, you should avoid taking this medication
- History of ectopic pregnancies: Recent studies have shown that one of the most important adverse effect of Levonell is ectopic pregnancy with an increase of over 50%.
Cautions taking this medication should be taken in women that:
- Smoke cigarettes since it increases the risk of serious cardiovascular risk when in combination with hormonal contraceptives.
- Women who are over the age of 35 with history of smoking
- Women who have or ever had breast cancer
- Women who suffer from epilepsy: Certain medicines have interactions with Levonelle 1500
- Women who suffer from tuberculosis: Levonelle 1500 may interact with certain medications that treat tuberculosis and reduces its efficacy.
- Severe liver diseases
- Sex steroid hormone dependent cancers: Cancers that need sex hormones to grow.
- High blood pressure
- Women who will be submitted to major surgeries or prolonged periods of immobilization for risk of thrombosis.
If you suffer from these conditions, it is advisable for you to consider other options and consulting with a GP before taking this medication. Always remember to inform your doctor of all health issues and doubts you have before taking any new medication.
Are there medicines that have interactions with Levonelle 1500?
There are certain medications that have interactions with Levonelle 1500. Be sure to tell your GP every medication you take, before starting to take Levonelle 1500. Certain medications make the efficacy of the emergency pill diminish, therefore if you are taking any of these medications be sure to consult your GP about it.
- St. John’s Wort herbal remedy
What are the advantages of taking Levonelle1500?
Levonelle is a safe and effective contraceptive pill when taken correctly. Some of the advantages are:
- Effectiveness: Up to 84% when taken correctly
- One pill: One dosage is enough to work correctly without need of repeating dosages afterwards.
What are the disadvantages of taking Levonelle 1500?
Just as other medicines, Levonelle 1500 has certain disadvantages.
- Effectiveness: After 72 hours it is no longer considered effective.
- It does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, herpes, genital warts, HIV or gonorrhea.
- Irregular bleeding and spotting is observed while taking Levonelle 1500.
- It can produce unwanted side effects such as headaches or migraines, mood swings.
- It can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancies.
- It has interactions with other medicines.
Before deciding to take Levonelle 1500, it is important you visit a doctor to have gynecological exams and check-ups made. Afterwards, consider which contraceptive method best suits you to continue using it.
What special precautions should you take if you suffered from vomiting?
If you suffer from vomiting within three hours after taking Levonelle 1500, it is recommended you take another pill immediately, since it may have not been absorbed correctly in your bloodstream.
What should you do if you are already using another contraceptive method?
If you are using another contraceptive method such as the pill and forgot to take a dosage, you can read the instructions of your contraceptive method in case that happens. If it has been more than one dosage, you can still use Levonelle 1500 and continue your contraceptive method every day as instructed.
How will your next period be like, after taking Levonelle 1500?
After taking Levonelle 1500, your period will be normal and may start a few days earlier of later. If your period does not start and you thing that you might be pregnant, be sure to take a pregnancy test and consult your doctor immediately.
What other precautions should you take after taking Levonelle 1500?
If you think you are already pregnant, this medication will not work. It is adviced you seek professional help if your mestrual period has not begun days after taking Levonelle 1500. Levonelle 1500 does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases, therefore if you are worried you may have contracted one, seek professional help.
How should Levonelle 1500 be taken?
In order for Levonelle to be most efective, it should be taken within 12 hours of having unprotected sex and no later than 72 hours (3 days) after having sexual intercourse. It can be taken at any time during your menstrual cycle and won’t have any interactions if you are currently taking another contraceptive pill. The pill (one) should be taken with water and should not be chewed, rather swallowed. The pill will not protect you if you have another unprotected sexual intercourse after having taken this medication. Therefore, other contraceptive methods are recommended.
How often can I take Levonelle 1500?
Levonelle 1500 is an emergency contraceptive pill, as stated, should only be used as emergencies and not as a contraceptive planning method. Therefore, it is advised you use other contraceptive methods such as barriers, (condoms), IUD, or hormonal pills to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Is there a risk of overdose after taking Levonelle 1500? There are no reports of harmful effects from taking too many pills at the same time. Thus, symptoms that may present are slight vaginal bleeding, vomiting and nausea. If you have taken too many tablets and need more information, seek for medical advice on the matter.
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
Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):
Being sick (vomiting). If you are sick, read the section ‘What to do if you are sick (vomit)’.
Your period might be different. Most women will have a normal period at the expected time, but some may have their period later or earlier than normal. You might also have some irregular bleeding or spotting until your next period. 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.
You might have tender breasts, diarrhoea, feel dizzy after taking this medicine.
Very rare effects (may affect up to 1 in 10000 people):
Rash, urticaria, pruritus, swelling of the face pelvic pain, painful period
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.