I thought it might be helpful to have a post where all the emergency contraception data sheets were linked for those of us who like to spend the wee hours of the morning getting glazed eyes peering over the fine print.
- Plan B One-Step (active ingredient: levonorgestrel)
- Next Choice (active ingredient: levonorgestrel)
- Postinor (active ingredient: levonorgestrel) [can’t find a US data sheet]
- Levonelle (active ingredient: levonorgestrel) [can’t find a US data sheet]
For those of you living outside the states, here is a list of emergency contraception brands connected with particular countries.
You’ll note that in some countries, Mifepristone is the main ingredient (in contrast with levonorgestrel, which is a manmade progestogen or pregnancy hormone). Mifepristone was once known as RU-486 and is currently used in the U.S. and many other countries to induce abortions during the first two months of pregnancy; in smaller doses, Mifepristone is used as a morning after pill to prevent pregnancy from taking place. The four main brands of morning after pills in the United States are all levonorgestrel based which, as I said, are, essentially, made of a synthetic copy of the pregnancy hormone.
Levonorgestrel, in small doses, may be found in your daily birth control pills; in larger doses, it makes up the most popular emergency contraceptive medication due to its high effectiveness and fewer side effects than emergency contraceptives containing high doses of both estrogen and progestin.