Levonelle contains the active ingredient levonorgestrel, which is licensed for use in the UK as a form of emergency contraception. It is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, either because no protection was used, or a regular form of contraception failed, for example a torn condom or missed pill.
It does this by stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation), so it can’t be embedded into the womb. For Levonelle to work, you must take it within 72 hours of having unprotected sex, but we recommend taking it as soon as possible.
If you are already pregnant when you take Levonelle, it will not work – emergency contraception is not the same as an abortion. If you’ve missed a period, or you have any other symptoms of being pregnant, see your GP for advice on what to do next.
The single dose treatment, Levonelle 1500, is also available to buy in its generic, unbranded form – levonorgestrel – for just £13.99. Both tablets work in the same way, and should be swallowed whole with a glass of water, no more than three days after unprotected sex.
To check if you are suitable to take the morning after pill Levonelle, our team will ask you to complete a short online consultation. It’s important that you tell us if you are taking any other medication, as some drugs can prevent Levonelle from working effectively.
We recommend reading the patient information leaflet before you start treatment.
Women taking the Levonelle pill (or the unbranded version, levonorgestrel), may experience some side effects. Those most commonly reported, include:
- nausea and vomiting
- abdominal pain and diarrhoea
- breast tenderness
- menstrual cycle irregularities
If you vomit within three hours of taking Levonelle, then you must take another dose, or contact your GP or sexual health clinic for an alternative emergency contraception.
If you normally take the pill, then you should take your next normal dose in line with the recommendation in the patient information leaflet or consult your GP. We also recommend using a barrier form of protection, such as a condom or diaphragm, for up to seven days for the combined pill (except Qlaira) and two days for the progesterone-only pill (known as the ‘mini pill’).
You’ll find a full list of side effects and cautions in the patient information leaflet.
Can I use Levonelle as a regular contraceptive?
Levonelle is designed for use in emergencies after unprotected sex, and should not be used regularly. For help choosing a long-term contraception, contact your GP or sexual health clinic – you may also find the NHS guide to contraception a useful place to start
I think I might be pregnant, what should I do?
If you were already pregnant when you had unprotected intercourse, then Levonelle will not work – the morning after pill is a form of emergency contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy, it is not a method of abortion. Speak to your GP for advice on what to do next.
I’ve been sick, do I need to take it again?
Yes, if you vomit within three hours of taking Levonelle, then you must take another dose or consider an alternative form of emergency contraception such as the IUD coil.
Can I take Levonelle with other medication?
There are some drugs that can limit the effectiveness of Levonelle. Tell your pharmacist, if you have taken any of the following in the last four weeks.
- Medicines used to treat epilepsy
- Medicines used to treat tuberculosis
- Treatment for HIV
- Medicines used to treat fungal infections
- Herbal remedies containing St John’s wort
Am I suitable to take the morning after pill?
‘Levonelle is not suitable for young women under 16 years of age to purchase from a pharmacy. We do not advise taking this type of morning after pill from our service if:
- You have a disease of your small bowel (such as Crohn’s)
- You have severe liver problems
- You have a history of ectopic pregnancy
- You have ever had salpingitis (inflammation of the fallopian tubes)
Your pharmacist will check to make sure that you are suitable to take Levonelle, before they prescribe it.
Will Levonelle prevent me from getting an STI?
No, emergency contraception cannot prevent you from getting a sexually transmitted disease (STI). For protection from HIV and other STIs, we recommend using a condom.
Is it safe to buy Levonelle online?
Yes, Levonelle and its unbranded form, levonorgestrel, are both approved by the UK’s regulatory body for medicines and healthcare products (MHRA). Post My Meds is a registered online pharmacy with the General Pharmaceutical Council.
Is the packaging discreet?
Yes, we use unbranded, generic packing for your privacy.
How does Levonelle work?
Levonelle contains the active ingredient, levonorgestrel, which is a synthetic, hormone-like substance. It’s used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, by:
- Stopping or delaying the release of an egg (ovulation)
- Preventing sperm from fertilising an egg that may already have been released
You must take it within three days (72 hours) of unprotected sex for it to work. The earlier you take it, the more effective it is.
Can you take Levonelle twice in one cycle?
It is possible to use Levonelle twice in one menstrual cycle, but it is not intended to be relied upon long-term. If you find yourself needing to use emergency contraception more than once, ask your GP for help finding a regular contraceptive that works for you.
Levonelle will not prevent you from getting pregnant if you have unprotected sex again after you’ve taken it, and it can’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections.
Does Levonelle delay your period?
Taking Levonelle can alter your period – you might find it is early or late by a few days.
If it is more than seven days late, we recommend that you take a pregnancy test. You should generally wait at least three weeks after having unprotected sex before doing the test.
How often can you take Levonelle?
Levonelle is not intended to be used as a regular method of contraception. It does not work as well as regular contraception and it should only be used in emergencies. Taking it more than once in any one menstrual cycle is more likely to disrupt your next period.
Does Levonelle work after 72 hours?
Levonelle will not prevent you from getting pregnant if it is taken more than 72 hours after you have had unprotected sex. The earlier you take it, the more effective it is. We recommend taking it as soon as possible, preferably within the first 12 hours.
Do you need more information? You might find what you’re looking for in our frequently asked questions or in the patient information leaflet online.