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All about: Plan B

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Generic Name: levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive (LEE voe nor jes trel)
Brand Names: Plan B

What is Plan B (levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive)?

Levonorgestrel is a female hormones that prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medication also causes changes in your cervical mucous and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or failure of other forms of birth control (such as condom breakage, or missing 2 or more birth control pills).

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Plan B (levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive)?

Do not use this medication if you are already pregnant. Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive will not terminate a pregnancy that has already begun (the fertilized egg has attached to the uterus). Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive is not intended for use as a routine form of birth control and should not be used in this manner. Talk with your doctor about the many forms of birth control available. Do not give this medication to anyone younger than 18 years old. Contact a doctor for medical advice.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Plan B (levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive)?

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive is not intended for use as a routine form of birth control and should not be used in this manner. Talk with your doctor about the many forms of birth control available. Do not use this medication if you are already pregnant. Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive will not terminate a pregnancy that has already begun (the fertilized egg has attached to the uterus).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have diabetes. You may not be able to use levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive, or you may need special tests during treatment.

Levonorgestrel can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give this medication to anyone younger than 18 years old. Contact a doctor for medical advice.

How should I take Plan B (levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive)?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.

The first dose of levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive must be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex (no later than 72 hours afterward). The second dose must be taken 12 hours after the first dose. The timing of these doses is very important for this medication to be effective.

Call your doctor right away if you vomit within 1 hour after taking either dose of levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive. Do not take another dose until you talk with your doctor.

You should be examined by your doctor within 3 weeks after taking levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive. The doctor will need to confirm that you are not pregnant and that this medication has not caused any harmful effects.

If your period is late by 1 week or longer after the expected date, you may be pregnant. Get a pregnancy test and contact your doctor if you are pregnant. Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive will not terminate a pregnancy that has already begun (the fertilized egg has attached to the uterus).

Store levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Missing a dose of this medication increases your risk of being pregnant.

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive. The timing of these doses is very important for this medication to be effective.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive overdose may include nausea and vomiting.

What should I avoid while taking Plan B (levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive)?

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases--including HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to protect yourself from these diseases. Avoid having unprotected sex.

Plan B (levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have severe pain in your lower stomach or side. This could be a sign of a tubal pregnancy (a pregnancy that implants in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus). A tubal pregnancy is a medical emergency.

Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:

  • nausea, diarrhea, or stomach pain;

  • breast pain or tenderness;

  • dizziness, tired feeling;

  • breast pain or tenderness;

  • changes in your menstrual periods; or

  • headache.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Plan B (levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive)?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane);

  • a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); or

  • seizure medicines such as phenytoin (Dilantin), or carbamazepine (Tegretol).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive is available with a prescription under the brand name Plan B Emergency Contraceptive. Other brand name or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Plan B 0.75 mg-blister packs of two white, round tablets

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.02. Revision Date: 9/7/06 10:36:17 AM.

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