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Levonelle tablet
Levonelle is a morning after pill containing levonorgestrel. It's an emergency contraception used to prevent pregnancy and must be taken as soon as possible within 3 days (72 hours) of unprotected sex or failed contraception.
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Interested in Morning After Pill Treatment? View Our Full Range Of Morning After Pill Treatment
What is Levonelle?

Levonelle is a form of emergency contraception. It's a morning after pill used to prevent you becoming pregnant after you've had unprotected sex, or after contraception failure (such as regular contraception missed or a split condom).

It's the branded version of the morning after pill Levonorgestrel. We can also prescribe non-branded Levonorgestrel, which is the same medicine and works in the same way but is a cheaper option.

Find out more about the morning after pill.

What is Levonelle used for?

Levonelle is a branded emergency contraceptive pill that uses levonorgestrel, a progestogen hormone, to prevent the release of an egg from the ovaries (ovulation). It's most effective if taken within 24 hours, but can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.

How does Levonelle work?

Levonelle contains the active ingredient levonorgestrel, which works by preventing or delaying ovulation (your ovaries releasing an egg). This means it can't be fertilised by a sperm, which protects you against pregnancy.

Levonelle will not protect you from sexually transmitted infection (STI). Order your home STI test kit here if you're concerned about this after unprotected sex.

How to take Levonelle

Swallow one Levonelle tablet whole with water within 72 hours of unprotected sex. The sooner you take Levonelle after sex, the more effective it is.

If you vomit within 3 hours of taking Levonelle, take another tablet immediately.

Levonelle can be taken at any point throughout your menstrual cycle. However, if you know you've ovulated already and are in the second half of your cycle this month, it may be less effective. Your best option in this case is the copper coil. We would advise you to use both to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

After you've taken the morning after pill, you should restart any regular hormonal contraception immediately and also use condoms for at least seven days or until your next period. Levonelle should not replace a regular contraceptive method as it's not effective enough. If you don't wish to become pregnant at this stage, please consider using a regular method of contraception.

Levonelle dosage

The usual dose is one tablet of 1.5mg.

Levonelle may be less effective if your BMI is over 26 and/or your weight is over 70kg. In these situations, you would need to take a double dose of Levonelle (two tablets) as this is shown to be more effective than a single dose. The emergency IUD or ellaOne would be more effective in these circumstances.

How effective is Levonelle?

Emergency contraception is effective when used correctly and as quickly as possible, but it will not stop pregnancy every time.

A 2010 clinical study estimated that around 23 in 1,000 women who take Levonelle or Levonorgestrel within 24 hours of unprotected sex will become pregnant. The same study found nine in 1,000 women who take ellaOne within 24 hours of unprotected sex will become pregnant. The emergency IUD ("copper coil") is the most effective form of contraception with fewer than 1 in 1000 women falling pregnant with this method.

Levonelle can be taken up to 72 hours after sex but becomes less effective over time. For the best chances of preventing pregnancy, you should take it as soon as possible within the first 24 hours.

If it's been more than 24 hours since you had sex, ellaOne might be a better option, which maintains effectiveness for 5 days. Find out more about ellaOne.

Levonelle will not stop you becoming pregnant if you have unprotected sex after you've taken it, or if you take it after you've already ovulated.

What are the main side effects of Levonelle?

As with all medicines, Levonelle comes with potential side effects.

Common side effects of taking Levonelle include nausea, vomiting and tummy pain. If you're sick within 3 hours of taking Levonelle, you must take another tablet again as soon as possible.

You might also get some bleeding before your next period. You may have an early or late period after taking Levonelle; this is completely normal and your cycle should return to normal the following month. If your period is more than one week late, you should take a pregnancy test.

Please read the important Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your medicine for the full information on side effects and how to take Levonelle.

Some side effects of Levonelle, such as nausea, could also be signs that you're pregnant. If you experience these symptoms take a pregnancy test as soon as possible. We also recommend taking a pregnancy test three weeks after unprotected sex, even if you took Levonelle or another morning after pill.

What else should I know about Levonelle?

If you're taking Levonelle after forgetting your regular contraceptive pill or you didn't use the patch or vaginal ring correctly, you can re-start your pill/patch/ring within 12 hours of taking Levonelle.

You would need to use additional contraception, such as condoms:

  • for 7 days with the patch, the ring and the combined pill (9 days for Qlaira)
  • for 2 days with the progestogen-only pill
What are alternative emergency contraception treatments?

ellaOne and Levonorgestrel are both morning after pills that work in the same way as Levonelle, by preventing or delaying the ovaries from releasing an egg. This means the sperm won't be able to fertilise an egg which prevents you from becoming pregnant.

ellaOne contains ulipristal acetate and Levonorgestrel contains levonorgestrel.

You must take either of these morning after pills as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Levonelle must be taken within three days (72 hours) of unprotected sex, and its effectiveness decreases after 12 hours. ellaOne can be taken up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex and remains consistently effective throughout this time.

Read more about emergency contraception.

What are the non-drug alternatives to Levonelle?

The IUD ("copper coil") is the most effective form of emergency contraception. You can have an IUD fitted by a trained doctor or nurse up to 5 days after unprotected sex. It can still be fitted if you've taken the morning after pill and can be effective after ovulation has occurred. It can also be used as ongoing contraception.

To get this you need to contact your GP, Practice Nurse or local sexual health clinic. Find out more.

Where can I buy Levonelle?

You can get the emergency contraception you need quickly and discreetly from Boots Online Doctor. Simply fill out our short online Levonelle questionnaire to determine if this is the right treatment for you.

There's no need for an appointment and you won't need to talk to anyone directly.

Same-day collection is available if you order before 1pm. Going into your local pharmacy to get emergency contraception could be a faster option should you need emergency contraception more quickly.

Find out more about our emergency contraception service.

I've just had a baby — do I need to take Levonelle?

After having a baby, you are not at risk of pregnancy in the first 21 days after you have given birth. Read more about options for contraception after giving birth.

If you have unprotected sex after this time, you would need to consider emergency contraception if you do not wish to fall pregnant.

Can I take Levonelle twice in one cycle?

If you need to, you can take Levonelle more than once in a menstrual cycle. However, emergency contraception is not as effective as regular contraception and shouldn't be used in place of this.

If you're using emergency contraception regularly, then talk to us or your regular healthcare provider about options like the pill, condoms or long acting methods such as the implant, coil, or injection.

You should avoid taking two different types of morning after pill within one cycle. So if you've already taken Levonelle during a cycle, you should avoid taking ellaOne as well within the same cycle.

Levonelle, Levonorgestrel and ellaOne — what's the difference?

All of these morning after pills work in the same way by preventing or delaying ovulation.

Levonelle and Levonorgestrel are exactly the same medicine and contain the same active ingredient (levonorgestrel). They work in the same way. Both must be taken within 72 hours but work best if taken within the first 12-24 hours.

ellaOne contains a different active ingredient (ulipristal acetate) and offers a longer window to take it, remaining effective for up to 5 days (120 hours) after sex.

Find out more about morning after pills.

This treatment is available as:
1 Tablet
2 Tablets

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