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Hormonal contraception

Emergency contraceptives can be used in women regardless of bodyweight

Levonorgestrel and ulipristal acetate are suitable for use in women regardless of bodyweight, concludes a review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Emergency contraception is effective regardless of a woman’s weight or body mass index (BMI)

Source: istockphoto.com

Emergency contraception is effective regardless of a woman’s bodyweight, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA)

Emergency hormonal contraception is suitable for women regardless of bodyweight, concludes a review conducted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Despite concerns that emergency contraception was ineffective in heavier women, the EMA says there is no solid evidence to support this.

The EMA conducted a review of all emergency hormonal contraception containing levonorgestrel or ulipristal acetate. The review was triggered by the results of two clinical trials, which led to an amendment to the product information of Norlevo, a morning after pill containing levonorgestrel, in November 2013 to state that it was less effective in women weighing over 75kg and not effective at all in women weighing more than 80kg. Norlevo is licensed in every European country excluding the UK.

After reviewing the data, the EMA has decided that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that emergency contraceptives are less effective in women who are overweight or who have a large bodyweight and the text in Norlevo will be deleted.

In the UK, ulipristal acetate is marketed as EllaOne, which can be taken for up to five days after unprotected sex, compared with levonorgestrel which is effective for up to three days.

 

 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20065963

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