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Emergency contraceptives still effective for heavier women

Emergency contraceptives continue to be suitable for all women who need them, regardless of the woman’s weight, according to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

The advice from the MHRA follows a European review that concluded that the benefits of emergency contraceptives continued to outweigh the risks in all women.

The review looked at whether the effectiveness of Levonelle (containing levonorgestrel) and ellaOne (containing ulipristal acetate) was reduced with increased body weight.

It found that, based on the data available, the benefits of using these emergency contraceptives remains positive and it cannot be concluded that body weight has an impact on the effectiveness of these medicines.

Dr Sarah Branch, deputy director of vigilance and risk management of medicines, said: “Women should be reassured that regardless of their body weight, emergency contraceptives can still be used to prevent unintended pregnancy.

“Women should continue to take these products as early as possible after contraception failure or unprotected sexual intercourse,” she added.


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