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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » EC Levonorgestrel 72 hours?

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Author Topic: EC Levonorgestrel 72 hours?
Redskies
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This is me wondering rather than anything that affects me practically right now.

I see on Scarleteen that EC is effective up to 120 hours - though obviously, more effective when taken sooner. On my German leaflet for Levonorgestrel PiDaNa 1.5mg (1 tablet), it says it can be taken up to 72 hours afterwards, and "not later". Is this different because the active ingredient is different, or in a different amount, or is it because different licensing authorities have had different opinions/conclusions about how medication should be used?

Also, do you know why the people who wrote my leaflet felt the need to write that it's best to take it within 12 hours? That's not something I've come across elsewhere. Obviously, the sooner the better, but why 12 hours? And isn't that pretty impractical for quite a lot of people in quite a lot of situations?

And also, why do they feel the need to write that "it isn't recommended to take it more than once in a cycle, because this can lead to disturbances in the cycle"? I mean, most people aren't going to want to have a really wonky cycle, but this isn't really a serious health concern as such, so why can it not be just a warning/statement of fact rather than an actual recommendation against taking what might be a really important medication? I'm wondering if I'm sniffing a bit of misogyny in there about "but people must have a regular cycle!!!".

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Karybu
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I've just been looking through some of the academic literature on emergency contraception, and there is quite a lot of evidence to support the idea that EC (of all types) can be effective up to 120 hours after a risk. So, I'd guess that the labeling on your packet of EC may be due to different countries having differing regulations or opinions on how medications should be used. (I don't know for sure, but maybe someone else will have a better idea.) That same reasoning may also be behind the instruction that it's best taken within 12 hours - and yes, I'd say that would be highly impractical for a lot of people, unfortunately. (Looking at the information leaflet for the UK it includes all same things as everything you've written here.)

The whole recommendation against taking it more than once a cycle does seem a bit unnecessary, but pharmaceutical companies tend to include all information possible, even if that means listing a side effect experienced by only one person out of a trial group of thousands, and the same sort of reasoning probably applies here.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

Posts: 5799 | From: Canada/Australia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskies
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Karybu, thank you for being so thorough and fast!

The combination of the information you have and the regulations is making me think that if I was ever in a situation where I needed and couldn't access EC within 72 hours, but could within 120, I would lie about when the risk was in order to get it. And surely that's not good, people shouldn't have to lie to get simple medication that still has a decent chance of helping them, plus it's also not a good thing to lie to medics! This seems really broken to me.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Karybu
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 20094

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Glad to help. I agree, no one should have to lie to access medical care or medication, and doing so isn't a good idea, as you pointed out - the whole system is pretty messed up in a lot of ways, unfortunately. [Frown]

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

Posts: 5799 | From: Canada/Australia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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