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Why is this medication prescribed?

Levonorgestrel is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse (sex without any method of birth control or with a birth control method that failed or was not used properly [e.g., a condom that slipped or broke or birth control pills that were not taken as scheduled]). Levonorgestrel should not be used to prevent pregnancy on a regular basis. This medication is to be used as an emergency contraceptive or backup in case regular birth control fails or is used incorrectly. Levonorgestrel is in a class of medications called progestins. It works by preventing the release of an egg from the ovary or preventing fertilization of the egg by sperm (male reproductive cells). It also may work by changing the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent development of a pregnancy. Levonorgestrel may prevent pregnancy, but it will not prevent the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS]) and other sexually transmitted diseases.


Levonorgestrel is used by women to prevent pregnancy after birth control failure (such as a broken condom) or unprotected sex. This medication is an emergency contraceptive and should not be used as a regular form of birth control. It is a progestin hormone that works mainly by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) during your menstrual cycle. It also makes vaginal fluid thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg (fertilization) and changes the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg.

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.

Side effects of Levonorgestrel tablets

If your Physician has recommended and prescribed Levonorgestrel tablets to you, they feel that the benefit to you outweighs the risk of any side effects. Some of these side effects are unlikely, however here is a list of common Levonorgestrel side affects:

  • vomiting and nausea
  • headaches
  • stomach or abdominal pain
  • bloating or weight change
  • breast tenderness or swelling
  • swelling of the ankles or feet
  • changes in appetite

General Instructions

Take Levonorgestrel as instructed by the doctor. For emergency contraception, this medicine should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex or suspected contraception failure. For long term contraception and other purposes.

Warnings for special population

Pregnancy - This medicine is not recommended for use if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy in near future. This medicine should be taken only after chances of being pregnant are ruled out.

Breast-feeding - This medicine can be used by women who are breastfeeding if the potential benefits outweigh the risks involved with use. Consult your doctor before taking this medicine