[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Levonorgestrel (0.75 mg given for two doses 12 h apart) has been proven to be an effective regimen for emergency contraception when the first dose is given within 72 h of unprotected coitus. However, the dosing interval is inconvenient for those taking the first dose in the afternoon. We conducted a randomized study to evaluate two levonorgestrel dosing regimens for emergency contraception. Two doses of levonorgestrel 0.75 mg were administered with the first dose given up to 120 h after unprotected intercourse. The second dose was given 12 h later in the first regimen and 24 h later in the second regimen.
We conducted a double-blind, randomized trial between 1997 and 2003 at five centres in China. A total of 2071 women requesting emergency contraception within 120 h of unprotected intercourse were recruited. They were randomized to receive two doses of 0.75 mg of levonorgestrel, given either 24 h apart or 12 h apart.
Outcome was unknown for 53 women (24 in the 24 h group and 29 in the 12 h group). Among the remaining 2018 women, the crude pregnancy rate was 1.9% in the 24 h group [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17-2.94] and 2.0% in the 12 h group (95% CI 1.19-2.99). The proportion of pregnancies prevented was estimated to be 72% in the 24 h group and 75% in the 12 h group. Side-effects were mild in both groups. The efficacy of the 12 h regimen declined significantly when there were further acts of intercourse after treatment (5.0 versus 1.0%, P<0.01). This was not observed in the 24 h group.
Two doses of 0.75 mg levonorgestrel given either 24 or 12 h apart are effective for emergency contraception up to 120 h after unprotected intercourse. Further research to investigative more effective methods of emergency contraception is warranted.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2005 · Human Reproduction
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A single 10 mg dose of mifepristone, and two 0.75 mg doses of levonorgestrel 12 h apart, are effective for emergency contraception. Because no studies had compared the efficacies of both compounds, or investigated a single dose of 1.5 mg levonorgestrel, we undertook this three-arm trial.
We did a randomised, double-blind trial in 15 family-planning clinics in 10 countries. We randomly assigned 4136 healthy women with regular menstrual cycles, who requested emergency contraception within 120 h of one unprotected coitus, to one of three regimens: 10 mg single-dose mifepristone; 1.5 mg single-dose levonorgestrel; or two doses of 0.75 mg levonorgestrel given 12 h apart. The primary outcome was unintended pregnancy; other outcomes were side-effects and timing of next menstruation. Analysis was by intention to treat, but we did exclude some patients from the final analyses.
Of 4071 women with known outcome, pregnancy rates were 1.5% (21/1359) in those given mifepristone, 1.5% (20/1356) in those assigned single-dose levonorgestrel, and 1.8% (24/1356) in women assigned two-dose levonorgestrel. These proportions did not differ significantly (p=0.83). The relative risk of pregnancy for single-dose levonorgestrel compared with two-dose levonorgestrel was 0.83 (95% CI 0.46-1.50), and that for levonorgestrel (the two regimens combined) compared with mifepristone, 1.05 (0.63-1.76). Side-effects were mild and did not differ greatly between groups, and most women menstruated within 2 days of the expected date. Women who took levonorgestrel had earlier menses than did those who took mifepristone.
The three regimens studied are very efficacious for emergency contraception and prevent a high proportion of pregnancies if taken within 5 days of unprotected coitus. Mifepristone and levonorgestrel do not differ in efficacy. A 1.5 mg single levonorgestrel dose can substitute two 0.75 mg doses 12 h apart.