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Levonorgestrel - Indications, Dosage, Side Effects and Precautions

Written & Compiled by Anushta Chandrapalan, M.Sc  | Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team
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Information about Levonorgestrel

Generic Name : Levonorgestrel
Pronunciation : LEE-voe-nor-JES-trel
Latest prescription information about Levonorgestrel. Learn how to pronounce the drug's name, its indications, dosage, how to take, when to take, when not to take, side effects, special precautions, warnings and its storage instructions . Also listed are the International and Indian trade name(s) of the drug and its price list.
ICD Code : Y42.4 | Therapeutic Classification : Oral Contraceptives

Trade Names/Brand Names of Levonorgestrel

India : 


International : 

Plan B One-Step

Why is Levonorgestrel Prescribed? (Indications)

This medication is a birth control pill, prescribed after unprotected sexual intercourse or suspected birth control failure. It inhibits ovulation, prevents transport of sperm or eggs and thus prevents fertilization and alters the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation if fertilization occurs.  

When should Levonorgestrel not be taken? (Contraindications)

Known or suspected pregnancy; hypersensitivity.

What is the dosage of Levonorgestrel?

Contraception- Adult: Monotherapy: 30 or 37.5 mcg daily. Monophasic combined oral contraceptive (COC): 150-250 mcg daily. Triphasic COC: 50-125 mcg daily.
Oral- Emergency contraception- Adult: 1.5 mg as soon as possible or within 72 hours of coitus. Alternatively, 750 mcg as soon as possible or within 72 hours of coitus followed by a 2nd dose 12 hour later. Another regimen combines levonorgestrel 500 mcg and ethinylestradiol 100 mcg; may be given within 72 hours of coitus followed by a 2nd dose 12 hours later.
Intrauterine system- Adults - Insert into uterine cavity within 7 days of onset of menstruation or immediately after first-trimester abortion. Replace every 5 years.

How should Levonorgestrel be taken?

This medication is available in the form of tablet to take by mouth (orally), with or without food, and intrauterine system for 5 years.

What are the warnings and precautions for Levonorgestrel?

• It does not protect against HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases.

It may affect your blood sugar levels. Check blood sugar levels closely.

It is an emergency contraceptive. It should not be used for routine birth control.

Caution should be exercised with patients with history of sex-steroid dependent cancer, past pregnancy in outside of the uterus, malabsorption syndromes, functional ovarian cysts, active liver disease, recurrent cholestatic(bile cannot flow from the liver) jaundice, history of jaundice in pregnancy, heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, migraine, conditions aggravated by fluid retention, depression and blood clot(high doses); breastfeeding.

What are the side effects of Levonorgestrel?

  Central Nervous System: Headache, dizziness, increased pressure around the brain and depression.
  Gastrointestinal: Nausea, vomiting, obstruction in bile movement, jaundice and appetite disturbances.
  Genitourinary: Menstrual irregularities, changes in libido, breast discomfort and fluid retention.
  Miscellaneous: Weight changes, swelling of legs, hair loss and low platelet counts.

What are the other precautions for Levonorgestrel?

Consult with your doctor for dosage changes.

What are the storage conditions for Levonorgestrel?

Intrauterine: Store it at room temperature( 25C). Keep away from children.

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ankit1111, India

Is M-pill a emergency contraceptive pill

Ferous, Sweden

Usually I do not take this pill during my safe period.Will it be a problem? I am using it for 6 months. But I have not feel any problem yet. However I want to take it only in the day when I do coitus. Will it be problem?

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