The post-coital pills as over the counter drugs

Sukhbir Singh, Rakesh Kumar, Jagminder Kaur Bajaj


Post-coital pill or emergency contraceptives are birth control measures that, if taken after sexual intercourse, may prevent pregnancy. High dose of postcoital contraceptives like diethylstilbestrol & other estrogens were being used for some time without any approval by FDA. Task force on postovulatory methods of fertility regulations 1998, conducted clinical trials leading to approval of two preparations for postcoital contraception by FDA namely levonorgestrel 0.75mg & combination of 0.25 levonorgestrel & 0.05 mg of ethinyl estradiol. Levonorgestrel is more popular in India because it is more effective & has fewer side effects. The first dose of levonorgestrel 0.75mg should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse followed by a second dose after 12 hours. This treatment reduces the risk of pregnancy by approximately 75%. Oral levonorgestrel acts as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or ova. In addition, it may inhibit implantation by altering the endometrium. It is not effective once the process of implantation has begun.


Emergency contraceptive, Levonorgestrel, Ethinyl estradiol

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