17 years of age or older, or by prescription only for women under the age of 17. Please call your
pharmacist to see if it — or a similar product — is available at a store near you.
Levonorgestrel – the active ingredient in Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg – has been used in many daily-use oral contraceptives for 40 years. Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg are designed to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the event that normal contraceptives fail, are not used, or are not available. This FDA approved drug effectively prevents approximately 7 of 8 pregnancies that would occur in the absence of routine contraceptive use, and is effective up to 3 days (72 hours) after intercourse. Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg are a generic product that is bioequivalent to the previously available two tablet Plan B® product.
It is important to note that Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg are a method of birth control – unlike products like mifepristone (Mifeprex; RU-486), they cannot terminate an existing pregnancy, but may prevent one from occurring. By using the same chemical compounds found in normal oral contraceptives, but at an elevated dose, Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg effectively interferes with the process that allows pregnancy to occur.
Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg contain two (2) 0.75mg doses of levonorgestrel. The first tablet should be taken as soon as possible after intercourse, and the second tablet 12 hours later. The sooner the first pill is taken, the more effective it is, but do not take the second pill sooner than 12 hours after the first.
Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg can be purchased at select pharmacies nationwide, and provide a safe and effective, low-cost solution when normal birth control methods fail. They are available as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug from a pharmacist for anyone 17 years of age or older, or by prescription only for women under the age of 17. In states with pharmacy access programs, women under the age of 17 may be able to receive Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg directly from a licensed pharmacist working together with a doctor in the area.
Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg are designed for use as an emergency contraceptive only. Emergency contracpetion with Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg is not as effective as when other methods of birth control are used correctly.
Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg work just like normal birth control pills – they contain the same medication found in many popular oral contraceptives, but at a higher dose. By using an elevated dose, they are able to prevent pregnancy from occurring if you forgot to use your normal birth control method, or other alternatives were unavailable to you.
Some studies have shown that levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception may be less effective for heavier women (those with a Body Mass Index over 26). If you may be overweight, and are at risk of an unplanned pregnancy, contact your doctor or pharmacist to discuss your options for emergency contraception.
Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg prevent pregnancy by preventing or delaying ovulation. Unlike mifepristone (commonly referred to as Mifeprex®, RU-486 or the "abortion pill"), Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg cannot terminate an existing pregnancy. Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg simply prevent the process that allows pregnancy to happen, just like daily use contraceptive medicines. The only difference is that Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg can be taken – and be effective – up to 72 hours after unprotected intercourse.
Common side effects are similar to those experienced with daily-use birth control pills, and include nausea (reported in up to 23% of women) and vomiting (reported in up to 6% of women). These effects can be lessened with the use of an anti-nausea medicine. If you experience vomiting within two hours of taking a dose, please consult your doctor, as a repeat dose of Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg may be necessary.
Other reported side effects are mild and include headache, fatigue, breast tenderness, dizziness, and abdominal pain. These are similar to the side effects that some women have when taking regular birth control pills. Some women taking Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75 mg will have menstrual changes such as spotting or bleeding before their next period. Some women may have a heavier or lighter next period, or a period that is early or late. If your period is more than a week late, you should have a pregnancy test, because you may be pregnant. If delayed menstruation is accompanied by abdominal pain, consult your doctor immediately, as this may be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.
Emergency contraception is recognized alongside routine forms of contraception by family planning organizations, and state and federal government. Normal methods of contraception should, however, still be used as the primary means of preventing pregnancy.
Levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75mg do not prevent against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.