What is Levonelle 1500?
Levonelle 1500 contains the active ingredient in Levonogestrel, which is a synthetic version of the female hormone progesterone. It is licensed in the UK for use as emergency contraception up to 72 hours after having unprotected sexual intercourse or failure of regular contraception. Another named Levonelle is marketed under outside of the UK is Norlevo.
How does Levonelle 1500 work?
Levonelle 1500 exerts its contraceptive action by interfering with the hormonal balance in the uterine environment. The result of this is a delay or absence of the release of egg from the fallopian tube, this is a process known as ovulation. Levonelle 1500 also acts to prevent the egg from becoming embedded in the womb.
How effective is Levonelle 1500?
Levonelle 1500 is effective as the emergency contraceptive pill if used within 3 days of sexual intercourse. It is important to take Levonelle 1500 as soon as you can after having sexual intercourse as its effectiveness decreases with time, it is:
- 95% effective when taken within 24 hours of sexual intercourse
- 85% effective when taken within 24-48 hours
- 58% effective when taken within 48-72 hours
It is important to understand that no form of emergency contraception is 100% effective and if there is any suspicion of existing pregnancy patients should not use emergency contraception and see their GP instead. After taking Levonelle 1500 patients should get their next menstrual cycle around the normal time expected although there may be difference of 1-2 days. If the next period does not occur 5 days later than expected the patient should see their GP they may be pregnant.
How should I take Levonelle 1500?
Levonelle 1500 should be taken as soon as possible but no longer than 72 hours after sexual intercourse to increase effectiveness. The tablet should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. If vomiting occurs within 3 hours of having the Levonelle 1500 the absorption and therefore effectiveness of this medication may be compromised, therefore another tablet should be taken immediately. Levonelle 1500 may be used at any time during the menstrual cycle unless menstrual bleeding is overdue. After using Levonelle 1500 patients are recommended to use barrier contraception (e.g. condoms) until the next period starts.
What are the cautions related to Levonelle 1500 use?
Levonelle 1500 is a commonly used for of emergency contraception in the UK it may not be suitable for everyone. This medication should not be used by people suffering from certain conditions and those taking particular medications.
You should always read the patient information leaflet (PIL) for Levonelle 1500 before taking this medication to ensure it is safe for you to use.
Levonelle 1500 may interact with certain medications, which can reduce its effectiveness or increase risk of adverse effects.
A complete list of the medications that should be avoided whilst using Levonelle 1500 is detailed with the patient information leaflet (PIL).
Can I use Levonelle whilst taking a regular contraception pill?
Patients can use Levonelle 1500 if you are taking combined (‘the pill’) or progesterone-only (‘mini-pill’) oral contraceptives. There may be a need for emergency contraception when a regular contraceptive tablet is missed. If you use Levonelle 1500 whilst taking regular contraception, you should take your next regular contraceptive tablet within 12 hours of using Levonelle 1500. It is also recommended to use additional barrier contraception (e.g. condoms) for the next seven days if you are using combined (‘the pill’) oral contraceptives and 2 days if you are using progesterone-only (‘mini-pill’) oral contraceptives.
What are the side effects of Levonelle 1500?
Levonelle 1500 like all medications can be associated with certain side effects although not all patients would experience these.
Common Levonelle side-effect include:
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Abdominal Pain & Diarrhoea
- Breast Tenderness
- Menstrual Irregularities
For more information about the side effects associated with this medication please see the patient information leaflet or contact us.
Can I use Levonelle 1500 as regular contraception?
Levonogestrel (Levonelle 1500) should not be used as regular contraception and its use should be reserved for emergencies. Regular use of this medication during the same period can result in disturbance of the cycle. Patients should be aware that Levonogestrel (Levonelle 1500) provides no protection against sexually transmitted infections.
Where can I get more information about Emergency Contraception and Levonelle 1500?
Please refer to the patient information leaflet for more information on Levonelle 1500. You can find more information on Emergency Contraception on the Conditions category page.