The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
In Brief: Plan B for 17-Year Olds
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Med Lett Drugs Ther. 2009 May 18;51(1312):40
 Select a term to see related articles  2009   Contraceptives   EC   emergency contraception   In brief   Issue 1312   levonorgestrel   May 18   OTC contraceptives   OTC emergency contraceptives   Over the counter contraceptives   Over the counter emergency contraceptives   Over-the-counter contraceptives   Over-the-counter emergency contraceptives   page 40   Plan B for 17 Year Olds   Plan B for 17-Year-Olds   Volume 51 

The FDA has announced that it will lower the age for over-the-counter access to the emergency contraceptive Plan B1 from 18 to 17 years old. In a randomized, controlled trial, the two 0.75-mg levonorgestrel tablets in Plan B, taken 12 hours apart beginning within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse, decreased the overall pregnancy rate to 1.1% (11/976) of women who requested emergency contraception.2 The sooner the drug is taken after coitus, the more effective it is. Nausea and vomiting can occur with Plan B. Fetal malformations have not been associated with pregnancies that occurred despite use of levonorgestrel-only emergency contraception.3

1. Emergency contraception OTC. Med Lett Drugs Ther 2004; 46:10.

2. Task Force on Postovulatory Methods of Fertility Regulation. Randomised controlled trial of levonorgestrel versus the Yuzpe regimen of combined oral contraceptives for emergency contraception. Lancet 1998; 352:428.

3. L Zhang et al. Pregnancy outcome after levonorgestrel-only emergency contraception failure: a prospective cohort study. Hum Reprod 2009 Mar 31 (epub).

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