Postinor-2, commonly known as the morning after pill or p2 pills, is an emergency contraceptive (ADEC Category D drug), that is not intended to be used as a regular method of contraception. It is used to prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected intercourse. It’s estimated that Postinor-2 will prevent 85% of expected pregnancies.
If taken within 24 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse, it can prevent up to 95% of expected pregnancies. The effectiveness of the drug keeps declining as time lapse, dropping to 58%, if taken between 48 hours and 72 hours after unprotected intercourse. If taken after 72 hours, it’s very rare that the drug will work.
Postinor-2 has an active ingredient know as levonorgestrel that works in two ways to prevent an expected pregnancy:
- If taken before ovulation, it may delay the release of the egg
- If taken after ovulation, it may interfere with the transport of eggs and sperm
Cases when you should not take Postinor-2 pills
Postinor-2 should not be taken under certain conditions.
- Current or suspected pregnancy
- Breast cancer
- Liver problems
- When breastfeeding
- Hypersensitivity to any ingredients
- By children
- Unprotected intercourse more than 72 hours earlier in the same menstrual cycle
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes mellitus with nephropathy, retinopathy or neuropathy
- Vascular heart disease
- Ischaemic heart disease
- Malabsorption (for example caused by vomiting, severe diarrhoea, Crohn’s disease).
- Having gastrointestinal tract infection/disease affecting digestion and absorption of food
Side effects of Postinor-2
All medicines have side effects that vary from one user to another. Some of these side effects are minor, and in other cases they can get serious.
Common side effects
These side effects occur in more than 1% of women using Postinor-2.
- Nausea, vomiting
- Breast tenderness
- Vaginal bleeding
- Stomach pain
- Skin rash or itching
Uncommon side effects
These side effects occur in less than 1% of women using Postinor-2.
- Ectopic pregnancy, if pregnancy occurs after taking Postinor-2
- Symptoms of flu
Medicines that may interfere with Postinor-2
Some of the medicines that my affect the effectiveness of Postinor-2 include:
- Tuberculosis medicines
- Medicines used to treat epilepsy
- Medicines used to treat fungal infections
- A treatment for HIV infection
Before taking Postinor-2 pills first ensure you seek the advice of your doctors. But in general cases, this is the dosage information and how you should use it:
- Take one 750 μg tablet as soon as possible (within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse)
- Take a second 750 μg tablet (12 hours after the first dose)
- If you vomit within 2 hours of taking a tablet, talk to your doctor for an additional tablet
What to remember when using Postiner-2
When using Postinor-2 pills, it’s very important to remember that:
- The sooner the first tablet is taken, the greater the chance of the treatment being effective
- You must take the second tablet exactly 12 hours after the first tablet
- Postinor-2 will not prevent you from catching sexually transmitted diseases
- Postinor-2 can be taken at any time during the menstrual cycle, unless the menstrual period is late
- Your next menstrual period is likely to arrive on time. However, it may be slightly early or late. If it is more than 1 week late, or if it is unusually light, perform a pregnancy test
- If you do not have a menstrual period after 3 weeks of taking Postinor-2, you may be pregnant