Plan B in Overweight Women

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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Plan B, Next Choice and Plan B One-Step are all brand names of levonorgestrel, and good options for emergency contraception. Well, not for some. Now there is news that levonorgestrel emergency contraception may be less effective or not effective in overweight and obese women.

What? Yep. Studies suggest that the contraceptive may be less effective in women 165 to 176 pounds (75 to 80 kg) and not effective in women over 176 pounds (over 80 kg). Overweight and obese women need to know that levonorgestrel (Plan B) may be less effective or not work at all as emergency contraception.

So what other the other options for emergency contraception? Well, Ella (ulipristal) is more likely to be effective than levonorgestrel. Ella is a single dose prescription emergency contraception that prevents progestin from binding to progesterone receptors so it works differently than Plan B and Next Choice, and is more effective in obese and overweight women.

Good to know.

Dr O.

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