Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Levonorgestrel

Levonorgestrel

Last updated on 04/08/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Levonorgestrel

CHINESE NAME: 左炔諾孕酮、左旋諾孕酮

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Anlitin, Microgynon 敏高樂, Postinor-2 後定諾, Loette 樂盈肌 (Levonorgestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol), Mirena 娩凡瑙, Jaydess 小蜜

DRUG CLASS: Contraceptives

SUB CLASS: Progestins

USED FOR: Contraception, Emergency contraception

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 0.75 mg, 1.5 mg (tablets)
– 52mg (intrauterine system)

What is Levonorgestrel for?

Levonorgestrel belongs to a class of medications called progestins. It resembles a female hormone progesterone in our bodies. It works by inhibiting the release of an egg from the ovary, preventing sperm fertilization of the egg by making vaginal fluid thicker, or changing the uterine lining to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg. It is an emergency contraceptive used by women after after birth control failure (such as a broken condom) or unprotected sex. It can also be used for long-term contraception through an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUDs).

How to use it?

Levonorgestrel can be taken by mouth as tablets, and inserted via intrauterine system (Jaydess®️, Mirena®️).

For oral dosage form, take one 0.75 mg tablet as soon as possible within 72 hours of unprotected sex, followed by a second 0.75 mg tablet 12 hours after the first dose. Alternatively, you may take one 1.5mg tablet once as soon as possible within 72 hours of sexual intercourse, but the side effects (e.g. vomiting) would be more serious. Take another dose if you vomit within 2-3 hours after taking this medication. You may take Levonorgestrel with or without food.

For an intrauterine system, it should be inserted by a doctor within seven days from the beginning of your period. It needs to be changed at different intervals of 3 to 10 years, depending on the device. Jaydess®️13.5 mg can be used for up to 3 years once inserted, while Mirena®️52 mg can be used for up to 6 years.

What are the side effects of Levonorgestrel?

Common side effects of Levonorgestrel include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, headache, fatigue, menstrual irregularity, breast pain or mood changes.

Who should not take Levonorgestrel?

– People allergic to Levonorgestrel or any component of the formulation
– Pregnant or breastfeeding women and those who intend to become pregnant

Pharmacist Tips:

– This medication may cause dizziness or severe headache. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how you respond to Levonorgestrel.
– Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you experience vaginal bleeding, or if any of the side effects do not go away or are severe.
– Do not take emergency contraceptive products for regular birth control.
– For the combined product with ethinylestradiol, when starting the regular birth control, other methods of contraception should be used for the first 7 days unless it is started in the first 5 days of menstrual bleeding or sexual intercourse is avoided in these 7 days.
– Tampons will not change the placement of IUD.
– Inform your doctor immediately if you vomit 2-3 hours after taking this medicine.

Common dosing schedule:
For regular birth control, it is taken once daily. When taking the combined product for emergency contraception, a second dose should be taken if vomiting occurs within 2-3 hours.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Levonorgestrel may interact with:
– Phenytoin
– Carbamazepine
– Rifampin
– Cyclosporine
– St. John’s wort

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Levonorgestrel in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Levonorgestrel is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at http://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Levonorgestrel in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.