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Missing periods. Prescribed levonelle 1500. Is it safe to take this medicine?

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Hi - I haved just found that my girlfriend has taken the morning after pill - levonelle 1500. We havern't had sex in 2 months so I know its not as a result of me. She tells me the reason is that she was due a period earlier this month, went to see the doctor earlier this week and they prescribed taking levonelle 1500 5 days running to bring ther period on. Aside from the relationship issues that we have - which you have probably guessed by now - is that an acceptable way of prescribing this drug ? From what I have read you shouldn't take it more than once in a menstrual cycle. Thanks
Posted Sat, 10 Nov 2012 in Menstruation and Miscarriage
Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 1 hour later
Hello there.

Thanks for writing to us.

Levonelle 1500 contains a hormone called levonorgestrel. It is a morning after pill used for emergency contraception. It prevents unwanted pregnancies when taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. It will not prevent a pregnancy every time and is more effective if taken as soon as possible (within 12 hours)after unprotected sex.

Levonelle 1500 has no role in delayed periods. It is NEVER prescribed in the way you mentioned in your history that is for 5 days to get menses. The only role of 1500 microgram of levonorgestrel is in emergency contraception after unprotected intercourse and is taken as a single dose within 72 hours.

In delayed periods, a different progesterone in a different dose for 5 days is given to start menses. These are medroxyprogesterone tablets like Modus, meprate or another progesterone called regesterone.
But levonoregestrel in this dose has no role in delayed periods to start menstruation.

You are right in saying that if Levonelle 1500 is used more than once in a menstrual cycle , it is less reliable and it is more likely to upset periods. When a female uses it more than once as emergency contraceptive for one or more unprotected acts of intercourse. it is likely to cause menstrual disturbances.

I hope I have answered your query.
You can revert back if anything remains.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Missing periods. Prescribed levonelle 1500. Is it safe to take this medicine? 1 hour later
Thanks for this.

Is there a lower dose levonelle that would be used/prescribed to bring on a period.

Also, if my girlfriend is on the pill but has been prescribed antiobotics (which I am told negates the effect of the pill), does taking levonelle/the morning after pill boost the effect of the pill ie it replaces the lost effects of the pill that the antibiotics have caused ?

Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 1 hour later

Thanks for writing back.

Levonelle is levonorgestrel and is not used for inducing menses. There is no low dose used for the same.

Coming to your second query regarding use of antibiotics with levonelle, the antibiotics which induce liver enzymes lead to greater metabolism of levonelle and contraceptive failure. These antibiotics are rifampicin, rifabutin. other drugs like anticonvulsants (used in convulsions) and anti retrovirals (used in HIV treatment) reduce efficacy of levonelle. Taking levonelle with other antibiotics does not cause any problem.

I hope I have answered your query.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Missing periods. Prescribed levonelle 1500. Is it safe to take this medicine? 1 hour later
thanks for that. the only bit you didn't respond on was whether taking the levonelle boosts the properties of the pill.

my understanding is it doesnt, the pill does one job the levonelle another. the pill does something that is essentially preventative if you have sex after it has been taken ie it prepares the body before you have sex, whereas the levonelle deals with the consequences of having sex when the body hasn't been prepared for sex

Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 1 hour later

Thanks for writing back.

My apologies for not addressing your segment of the query.

What do you mean by pill? Do you mean an oral contraceptive pill?
If yes then Oral contraceptive pills are pills used for birth control irrespective of history of intercourse. They have to be used regularly for 21 days to ensure protection.
Whereas levonelle is emergency pill which means it is taken after intercourse to avoid pregnancy. It is recommended when the female does not have history of any contraceptive use like ocp or condoms.
Both are preventive. But their mechanism of action,method of intake and indication of use are different.

So if it is indeed an oral contraceptive pill that you are talking of, Levonelle DOES NOT boosts the effect of the pill. Though both prevent pregnancy but levonelle can not be used on a regular basis to avoid pregnancy. If used more than twice in a month, it leads to menstrual irregularities and efficacy also decreases. Its only emergency when levonelle is used.

I hope i have answered your query.

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