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Morning-after Pill

House of Lords written question – answered on 12th November 2003.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What warnings or other protection against adverse reactions are available to people under 18 who take the morning-after pill, or for whom the morning-after pill is made available; and what guidance is provided to parents of such children to help them deal with such reactions.

Photo of Lord Warner Lord Warner Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

Guidance about the possible side effects associated with taking the morning-after pill or emergency contraceptive, Levonelle, is provided in the patient information leaflet included in the medicine pack. This includes advice on the action that should be taken if nausea and vomiting are experienced after taking Levonelle. The possible side effects of Levonelle are also included in the information that is provided to health professionals (the summary of product characteristics) who are encouraged to discuss these side effects with the individual before treatment is provided.

Pharmacists are supplied with a "protocol" that contains a checklist of advice that should be given to each individual when she is given Levonelle. This protocol includes the need to give information about the most common side effects that may occur.

Earlier this year healthcare professionals were reminded about the possible risk of ectopic pregnancy after failure of Levonelle treatment via the Chief Medical Officer's (CMO) newsletter, CMO Update, which is available to women through the Medicines Control Agency (MCA)/CMO websites.

As with all licensed medicines, the safety of Levonelle is continuously monitored by the MCA, with independent expert advice from the Committee on Safety of Medicines. In the event of any important new safety information emerging, the MCA will take action to ensure that this is accurately reflected in the product information and communicated to health professionals and individuals using the product.

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