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Levonorgestrel What drug? Function Guide, Dosage, Side Effects, and Uses | Good Doctor

Levonorgestrel is a hormonal drug used for emergency contraception. This drug belongs to a group of contraceptive drugs that have been patented since 1960.

The following is complete information regarding the benefits of levonorgestrel, dosage, how to use it, and the risk of possible side effects.

What is the drug levonorgestrel for?

levonorgestrel drug

Levonorgestrel is a hormone medication used to decrease the chance of pregnancy after unprotected sex. This drug is generally used as an emergency contraceptive drug.

Levonorgestrel is available as a generic drug in the form of an oral pill. Certain brands are also available as hormonal contraceptives that are released from the contraceptive device, commonly referred to as implants.

What are the functions and benefits of levonorgestrel?

Levonorgestrel has a function to control the possibility of getting pregnant by preventing ovulation and closing the uterus to prevent sperm from entering. This drug has been shown to be effective when given before ovulation.

Specifically, levonorgestrel binds to progesterone and androgen receptors and slows the release of gonadotropin hormones from the hypothalamus. This mechanism will inhibit the release of the egg from the ovary.

Based on these properties, levonorgestrel is widely used for the following conditions:

Emergency contraception

Levonorgestrel is used as an emergency contraceptive agent, especially when it is known that previous contraceptive methods have failed, or are not using condoms.

In one study, the use of levonorgestrel as a single agent was known to be more effective than in combination with estrogen. In addition, use as a single drug is also known to be better tolerated.

This hormone drug can be taken for 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse. Some formulations of this drug can be given without a prescription to adult patients and by prescription to adolescents under 17 years of age.

Emergency contraception is not as effective as most other long-acting forms of contraception. For this reason, do not use emergency contraceptive preparations as a routine form of contraception.

Routine contraception

At low doses, levonorgestrel can be used to control pregnancy. This routine administration especially in lactating women who can not receive estrogen therapy.

Several brands of the drug are available in combination with ethinylestradiol which are formulated for long-term contraception. This hormone has also been used in various long-term contraceptives ranging from 3 to 5 years.

For example, a form of subdermal implant is available for pregnancy prevention up to 5 years. This drug is generally given if you have no history of pelvic inflammation or ectopic pregnancy.

Hormone therapy

Levonorgestrel is used as hormone therapy during menopause to treat vasomotor symptoms and prevent osteoporosis. Generally, hormone therapy treatment is combined with estrogen.

The use for this hormone therapy is still included in off-label. Levonorgestrel can also be used to treat menorrhagia, endometrial hyperplasia, and endometriosis.

Brands and prices of levonorgestrel

In certain countries, this medication is available as an OTC or over-the-counter medication. Several brands of levonorgestrel that have been circulating in Indonesia are Andalan, Cyclogynon, Indoplant, Mirena, Nogestat, Novadiol 28.

The following is information about several drug brands containing levonorgestrel and their prices:

  • Microgynon tablets 25. Each oral contraceptive tablet contains 150mcg levonorgestrel and 30mcg ethinylestradiol plus 7 placebo tablets. This drug is produced by Bayer Indonesia and you can get it for IDR 19,753/strip.
  • Microgynon tablets 10 STR. Oral contraceptive preparations to help control pregnancy. This drug is produced by Bayer Indonesia and you can get it for IDR 21,856/strip.
  • Planotab KB tablets. The oral contraceptive tablet contains a combination of 30mcg estradiol. This drug is produced by Triyasa Nagamas Farma and you can get it for IDR 7,753/strip.
  • Mainstay birth control pills FE. Preparation of oral contraceptive tablets to help control pregnancy. This drug is produced by Harsen and you can get it for IDR 8,430/strip.
  • Mainstay birth control pills Postpill tablets. Preparation of tablets for emergency contraception after unprotected sexual intercourse. This drug is produced by PT Tunggal and you can get it at a price of IDR 30,407/pcs.
  • Postinor 750mg tablets. Preparation of oral tablets for emergency contraception after unprotected intercourse. This drug is produced by PT Tunggal Idaman Abadi and you can get it for IDR 14,564/tablet.
  • Microlut 30mcg tablets. Oral contraceptive tablet preparations contain levonorgestrel 30mcg to help control pregnancy. This drug is produced by Bayer Indonesia and you can get it at a price of IDR 1,341/tablet.
  • Trinordiol-28. Oral tablet preparations to help prevent pregnancy. You can get this drug at a price of IDR 13,276 / pcs.

How to take levonorgestrel?

Take the medicine according to the directions for taking and the dosage prescribed by the doctor. Do not take more or less of the drug than the recommended dose.

You can take this medicine with or without food. If you feel nauseous or have a history of gastrointestinal disorders, you can take it with food.

Take the medicine regularly according to the instructions on the packaging label. You can take tablets starting on the first day of menstruation from small tablets for 21 days. Then, continue taking for 7 days with large tablets.

Emergency contraceptive preparations should be taken immediately for 72 hours after sexual intercourse.

Take regular contraceptive pills regularly. If you forget to take a drink, take your dose immediately for at least 12 hours. Menstruation usually occurs as long as you take large tablets.

If you vomit less than 2 hours after taking levonorgestrel, contact your doctor immediately. The doctor may give another dose of this drug.

You can store levonorgestrel at room temperature, away from moisture and sun exposure after use. Make sure the medicine is stored out of reach of children.

What is the dosage of levonorgestrel medicine?

Doses of this drug are available for adults with the following conditions:

Adult dose


  • Dosage as monotherapy: 30 or 37.5 mcg taken daily.
  • Plus dose as monophasic combined oral contraceptive: 150-250 mcg daily.
  • Dosage as triphasic combined oral contraceptives: 50-125 mcg daily.

Emergency contraception

Usual dosage: 1.5 mg taken as soon as possible or within 72 hours after intercourse.

Menopausal hormone replacement therapy

Typical dosage: 75-250 mcg taken by mouth for 10 to 12 days in a 28-day cycle.

Is levonorgestrel safe for pregnant and lactating women?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not included levonorgestrel in any pregnancy category of drugs.

This drug is known to be absorbed in breast milk so it is not recommended for nursing mothers.

Consult your doctor before deciding to take levonorgestrel while you are pregnant or breastfeeding a baby.

What are the possible side effects of levonorgestrel drugs?

Stop the medication and contact your doctor if the following side effects occur after taking levonorgestrel:

  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as rash, hives, red skin, swelling, blisters, shortness of breath, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Very bad stomach pain

Common side effects that may occur while taking levonorgestrel include:

  • Dizzy
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Delayed or irregular menstruation
  • Breast pain

Contact your doctor if the symptoms of these common side effects do not go away, or they get worse, or other side effects symptoms may appear.

Warning and attention

Tell your doctor about any allergies you have, including levonorgestrel formulations, foods, or other substances.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant because this drug may not be suitable for you to consume.

Ask your doctor if it is safe for you to take levonorgestrel if you have the following medical history:

  • Liver disease
  • Malabsorption disorders
  • Ectopic pregnancy, which is a pregnancy in which the fetus develops outside the uterus

Emergency contraceptive drugs should not be used as routine contraceptive drugs because they have different effectiveness and vice versa.

Do not drive or do other dangerous activities after taking levonorgestrel because this drug can cause dizziness.

Do not consume alcohol while you are taking this medication because it can increase the risk of certain side effects.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are using any of the following medicines:

  • Medicines for tuberculosis, eg rifampicin
  • Types of drugs for epilepsy, eg phenytoin, carbamazepine
  • Medicines for HIV infection, eg ritonavir, nevirapine, efavirenz
  • medicines to treat yeast infections, eg griseofulvin

Tell your doctor about other medicines you are currently taking, including nonprescription drugs, herbal medicines, and vitamin supplements.

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