26
Nov

New Warning: Morning-After Pill Doesn’t Work for Women Over 176 Pounds!

From MotherJones, “The European manufacturer of an emergency contraceptive pill identical to Plan B, also known as the morning-after pill, will warn women that the drug is completely ineffective for women who weigh more than 176 pounds and begins to lose effectiveness in women who weigh more than 165 pounds.”

Wow! Really?

“This development has implications for American women. Some of the most popular emergency contraceptive pills sold over the counter in the United States—including the one-pill drugs Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One Dose, and My Way, and a number of generic two-pill emergency contraceptives—have a dosage and chemical makeup identical to the European drug. Weight data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that, at 166 pounds, the average American woman is too heavy to use these pills effectively.”

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“HRA Pharma began investigating the need to change Norlevo’s label after Anna Glasier, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Edinburgh, published research in 2011 showing emergency contraceptive pills that use levonorgestrel are prone to fail in women with a higher body mass index. In an email, Karina Gajek, a spokeswoman for HRA Pharma, says that by December 2012, the company had reviewed clinical data on its own and requested permission from a European Union governing body to update its product information.

New leaflets warning women about the weight limits will appear in every box of Norlevo sold in Europe in the first half of 2014. The new packaging slip will read, in part: “Studies suggest that Norlevo is less effective in women weighing [165 pounds] or more and not effective in women weighing [176 pounds] or more” and that Norlevo “is not recommended…if you weigh [165 pounds] or more.””

I wonder if these changes will be made in North America any time soon!

 

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