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Levonorgestrel

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Mirena®;Next Choice®;Next ChoiceT One Dose;Plan B® One Step
    • Brand Names: Canada: Mirena®;Norlevo;Plan B®

    Uses
    • It is used to stop pregnancy.
    • It is used to treat heavy bleeding during monthly periods (menstruation).
    • Levonorgestrel stops or delays egg release (ovulation). It keeps the sperm from fertilizing the egg, changes chemicals seen in pregnancy, and stops the fertilized egg from implanting.
    • It thins the lining of the uterus.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • Oral:
    • Start this drug less than 72 hours after unprotected sex.
    • If you throw up within 2 hours of taking this drug, take 1 more dose.
    • Uterine device:
    • The device is placed in your uterus. This will be done sometime during the first 7 days of your monthly period cycle or right after an abortion. This must be changed every 5 years.

    Missed Dose

    • Oral:
    • Call your doctor to find out what to do.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

    Storage

    • Store tablets at room temperature.
    • Device will be placed in your uterus in a doctor's office. You will not store it at home.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • This drug does not protect you from diseases caused by having sex.
    • Sometimes drugs are not safe when you take them with certain other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the drugs you take.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to levonorgestrel or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
    • Mirena® (uterine device):
    • If you have any of these health problems: Active liver disease, blood clots, breast cancer, tumor where estrogen makes it grow, or vaginal bleeding.
    • If you have any of these health problems: Pap smear that is not normal, endometritis after a birth, infected abortion in the last 3 months, pelvic infection, pregnancy where the fertilized egg was not in a normal position, uterine or cervical tumor or growth, uterine fibroids, or untreated cervicitis or vaginitis.
    • If you have an IUD (intrauterine device) in place.
    • If you or your partner have sex with more than one person.
    • If your body is weak at fighting infections.

    Precautions

    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • All products:
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Avoid cigarette smoking. People older than 35 years of age and/or smoking more than 15 cigarettes per day have more chance for heart disease.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
    • To protect from diseases caused by having sex, use a latex condom.
    • Oral:
    • This drug will not end a pregnancy.
    • This drug is not for regular use to stop pregnancy.
    • Uterine device:
    • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor.
    • If you have heart valve problems, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have high blood pressure, talk with your doctor.

    Side Effects

    • All products:
    • Weight gain.
    • Headache.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Pimples (acne).
    • Enlarged breasts.
    • For women, vaginal yeast infection. Report itching or discharge.
    • Period (menstrual) changes. These include lots of bleeding, spotting, or bleeding between cycles.
    • Gallbladder disease, blood clots, heart attacks, and other blood vessel problems may rarely happen.
    • Uterine device:
    • Pain while the device is being placed.
    • High blood pressure.
    • A cyst on the ovary may rarely happen.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • All products:
    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Very bad headache.
    • Very bad belly pain.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Sudden change in eyesight, eye pain, or irritation.
    • A lump in the breast or breast soreness.
    • For women, if you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
    • Oral:
    • If you throw up within 2 hours of taking this drug.
    • Uterine device:
    • Cannot feel string.
    • Device comes out.
    • Painful sex.
    • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
    • Very bad belly pain.
    • Follow up with your doctor after using this drug for 3 months.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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