Generic Levonelle contains the same active ingredient as Levonelle – levonorgestrel. So you can expect the same level of protection from pregnancy, just at a lower price.
If you would like to order Generic Levonelle, complete a short online assessment with us and choose your preferred treatment option (Generic Levonelle is listed as 'Levonorgestrel'). Your online doctor will then review your request and if they agree it's right for you, your medication will be posted to your door.
About Generic Levonelle
How do I take Generic Levonelle?
Levonorgestrel should be taken as informed by your doctor and according to the dose instructions in the patient leaflet that comes with the drug.
Ideally you should take the tablet as soon as possible, preferably within 12 hours, and no later than 72 hours after you’ve had unprotected sex or your birth control method has failed. The tablet is most effective when you take it sooner rather than later. When you take it, don’t chew it but swallow it whole with water.
You can take levonorgestrel at any time during the menstrual cycle so long as you aren’t pregnant, although it’s not effective after ovulation. You should also know that if you happen to have unprotected sex after you take the tablet then it won’t protect you from the risk of pregnancy from this second case.
Remember that you should only take this in cases of emergencies, and you shouldn’t take too many. If you do take too many, then the symptoms would likely include nausea and vomiting. You should seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. On the other hand, if you vomit within three hours of taking the tablet, you need to contact your doctor who might suggest that you take another tablet.
Common side effects
Common and very common side effects include:
- lower abdominal discomfort
- tenderness of the breasts
- irregular bleeding until your next period
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Levonorgestrel is a morning after pill, which is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring female hormone, progesterone. It’s been historically marketed under the brand name Levonelle and Generic Levonelle is the non-branded version, and so it's cheaper.
The prices of morning after pills and how they vary between pharmacies and shops is a matter of ongoing debate.
After a campaign run by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), Tesco began selling generic Levonelle at half the price of regular Levonelle. Boots, the largest high street pharmacy in the UK, originally refused to do so, and only sold full-price Levonelle. However, Boots has since begun to offer the generic too.
The fact that some supermarkets and pharmacies are reducing their prices is good progress in making emergency contraception for women more easily affordable.
Your chance of not getting pregnant with the copper IUD is over 99%. EllaOne and Levonelle are considered less effective, with EllaOne being considered the more effective of the two. According to the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), the Copper IUD is the best option, followed by EllaOne, and finally Levonelle.
It’s important to consider some other factors too.
- Neither of the two emergency contraceptive tablets will be effective if you take them after ovulation
- There are time limits for taking the tablets as well – EllaOne can be used up to 120 hours after unprotected sex while Levonelle can only be used up to 72 hours after
- You might also need to consider whether you have a significantly high BMI or body weight; this can actually impact how well the tablets work, especially Levonelle, where having a BMI over 26 or weight over 70kg can make it less effective. But, with the IUD, this isn’t affected at all
- The IUD is the only one which you can use on a long-term basis, because it’s inserted in your uterus until you decide to have it removed
Every person is different, and you might be taking some medications that others aren’t. Because of that, you’ll need to talk to your doctor to see if these will affect the type of emergency contraception you can or can’t use. For example, if you’re taking enzyme-inducing drugs, these can affect how effective the tablets can be. Another case might be that you’re taking the contraceptive pill or mini-pill; this can affect how well EllaOne works so you might be recommended one of the other contraceptives.
According to the NHS, you can get the emergency contraceptive pill for free from most pharmacies, some A&E departments, and some NHS walk in centres.
Both the emergency pill and IUD are free from contraception clinics, sexual health clinics, GP surgeries that provide contraception and some young people’s clinics (with registered nurses). If you haven’t got the time to go to a pharmacy, or if you’d rather not go in, you can also conveniently get levonorgestrel by using our online service. Zava can provide you with a prescription and send the medication to your chosen address.
Most women can take Generic Levonelle, but for a few women it might not be safe or effective. It’s important to let your doctor know if you’re taking any other medications before you come to a decision to take levonorgestrel. The reason for this is that it could interact with the other medications making the other medications ineffective, make the the levonorgestrel ineffective or cause some harmful effects.
You’re not advised to take levonorgestrel if you’re taking any of the following:
- Bosentan to treat pulmonary artery hypertension
- Barbiturates to treat seizures or induce sleep
- Medicines to treat seizures – carbamazepine, ethotoin, felbamate, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, topiramate
- HIV medications – atazanavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, tipranavir, ritonavir
- Warfarin, an anticoagulant
You also shouldn’t take levonorgestrel if you fall under any of the categories below:
- Women who are already pregnant
- Women with very poor liver function
- Women who are allergic to any of the ingredients in levonorgestrel, or feel that they might have experienced an allergic reaction while using the drug
- Women who have a disease of the small bowel that prevents absorption of the drug e.g. Crohn’s disease
Even if your doctor has cleared you to take levonorgestrel, you should remember that, like any drug, you may experience some side effects. If you do, then you need to inform your doctor, especially if any persist and start to affect your daily life. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme, and in this way you can provide some helpful information about the safety of the medicine.
Less common side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Swelling of the face (facial oedema)
- Pelvic pain
The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health (2017). FSRH CEU clinical guidance: emergency contraception - december 2017. RCOG. [online] Available at: https://www.fsrh.org/standards-and-guidance/documents/ceu-clinical-guidance-emergency-contraception-march-2017/ [accessed 4th January 2017].
Generics (UK) Ltd t/a Mylan (2017). Public assessment report: Ezinelle 1.5mg tablet (levonorgestrel). MHRA. [online] Available at: http://www.mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/par/documents/websiteresources/con562613.pdf [accessed 4th January 2018].
NHS Choices (2015). Emergency contraception (morning after pill, IUD). NHS. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception-guide/pages/emergency-contraception.aspx [accessed 4th January 2018].