What is the Emergency Contraceptive Pill and what it is used for?
The emergency contraceptive pill that can be used after unprotected sex or where a contraceptive method has failed. This type of contraception is often called ‘the morning-after pill’.Each pack of contains a complete treatment which is one round, white tablet. The tablet contains 1500 microgram of levonorgestrel, which is the active ingredient. Also contains the inactive ingredients: potato starch, maize starch, colloidal silica anhydrous, magnesium stearate (E572), talc (E533b), lactose monohydrate.
How does The Morning After Pill Work?
Prevents about 84% of expected pregnancies when it is taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex. Will not prevent a pregnancy in every instance, but the tablet is more effective the sooner after unprotected sex it is taken (it is better to take it within 12 hours rather than delay until the third day).
Thought to work by:
stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg
preventing sperm from fertilising an egg you may have already released or stopped a fertilised egg from attaching itself to your womb lining. Stops a pregnancy before it is established. It does not work if you are already pregnant.
Before you take The Morning After Pill
- Please talk to your pharmacist before you take this medicine because emergency contraception might not be suitable for you. Call us up on 0844 357 0115 if in doubt and ask to speak to one of our pharmacists.
- Contains 142.5 mg lactose. This should be taken into account if you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars.
- If you are under 16, you must visit your doctor or family planning clinic to get emergency contraception. Use at any time during your menstrual cycle, except if your period is late. If your period is late, you should tell your pharmacist. Before you take this medicine, your pharmacist may check that you are not already pregnant by asking you questions about your periods or when you had sex. If you or your pharmacist think that you might already be pregnant, you will need to have a pregnancy test.
Do not use if:
- You know you have an allergy to any of the ingredients of this medicine.
- You should contact your doctor for advice about emergency contraception if:
- You have a disease of your small bowel (such as Crohn’s disease) that interferes with the digestion of your food;
- You have severe liver problems;
- You are taking any of the medicines listed below, as these medicines may prevent it from working properly.
– Barbiturates and other medicines used to treat epilepsy (for example, primidone, phenytoin, and carbamazepine).
– Medicines used to treat tuberculosis (for example, rifampicin, rifabutin).
– A treatment for HIV infection (ritonavir).
– A medicine used to treat fungal infections (griseofulvin).
– Herbal remedies containing St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
– You are taking a medicine called cyclosporin (used to help the immune system).
If any of these apply to you, this product may not be suitable for you, or other types of emergency contraception may be better for you.
If you are pregnant
- You should not take this medicine if you are already pregnant. If you have had unprotected sex which was more than 72 hours ago, and since your last period, you may already be pregnant and the treatment won’t work. If your last period was more than 5 days late or was unusually light or unusually heavy, you should check with your doctor that you are not already pregnant.
- If you do become pregnant even after taking this medicine, it is important that you see your doctor. There is no evidence that this will harm a baby that develops in your uterus/womb but your doctor may want to check that the pregnancy is not ectopic (where the baby develops somewhere outside the womb). This is especially important if you develop severe abdominal pain after taking the product or if you have previously had an ectopic pregnancy, Fallopian tube surgery or pelvic inflammatory disease.
If you are breastfeeding:
- Very small amounts of the active ingredient of this medicine may appear in your breast milk. This is not thought to be harmful to the baby, but if you are worried you can take your tablet immediately after a breast-feed. In this way, you are taking your tablet well before the next feed and reducing the amount of active ingredient your baby may take in with the breast milk.
How to take:
- Take the tablet as soon as possible, preferably within 12 hours, but no later than 72 hours (3 days) after you have had unprotected sex.
- Swallow the tablet whole, with water if necessary. Do not delay taking the tablet.
- The tablet works better the sooner you take it after having unprotected sex.
- If you are already using a regular method of contraception such as the contraceptive pill, you can continue to take this at your regular times.
How often can you use?
You should only use in emergencies and not as a regular method of contraception. If used more than once in a menstrual cycle it is more likely to upset your menstrual cycle (period).
Does not work as well as regular methods of contraception. Your doctor, practice nurse or family planning clinic can tell you about long-term methods of contraception which are more effective in preventing you from getting pregnant.
What to do if you are sick (vomit)?
If you are sick (vomit) within three hours of taking the tablet, you should take another tablet. You will need to contact your pharmacist, doctor, practice nurse or family planning clinic immediately for advice and another tablet.
What to do if you take too many tablets at once (overdose)?
Although there have been no reports of serious harmful effects from taking too many tablets at once, you may feel sick, actually be sick (vomit), or have vaginal bleeding. You should ask your pharmacist, doctor, practice nurse or family planning clinic for advice, especially if you have been sick, as the tablet may not have worked properly.
After you have taken the Emergency Contraceptive Pill
After you have taken the product, if you want to have sex, and are not using the contraceptive pill, you should use condoms or a cap plus spermicide. This is because the product won’t work if you have unprotected sex again before your next period is due.
After you have taken, you are advised to make an appointment to see your doctor about three weeks later, to make sure that the product has worked. If your period is more than 5 days late or is unusually light or unusually heavy, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible. If you do become pregnant even after taking this medicine, it is important that you see your doctor. Your doctor can also tell you about longer-term methods of contraception which are more effective in preventing you from getting pregnant. If you continue to use regular hormonal contraception such as the contraceptive pill and you do not have a bleed in your pill-free period, see your doctor and make sure you are not pregnant.