Last update March 9, 2022

Levonorgestrel Emergency Contraceptive

Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

Progestogen used as an emergency contraceptive for use up to 72 hours postcoitus. Oral administration in an isolated dose of 1.5 mg (several times higher than that used as a daily contraceptive).

It binds extensively to plasma proteins ( > 40% to sex hormone binding globulin, SHBG, and> 50% to albumin).

Levonorgestrel at a dose of 1.5 mg is excreted in breast milk in insignificant amounts (Sandoz 2016, Gainer 2007) and no adverse effects have been observed in the short or long term in infants or breastfeeding. (Shaaban 2019, Polakow 2013, FDA 2009)

Although the manufacturer (Sandoz 2016) and some authors (LactMed, Gainer 2007) advise an interruption of breastfeeding for about 8 hours after taking the medication, the small amount excreted in milk does not justify this interruption and other expert authors state that no breastfeeding interruption is required after taking levonorgestrel as an emergency contraceptive. (Polakow 2013,, FFPRHC 2004)

Several medical associations and expert consensus consider the use of levonorgestrel as an emergency contraceptive during breastfeeding to be safe and unrestricted. (CDC 2016, Jatlaoui 2016, Berens (ABM) 2015, WHO / OMS 2015, Polakow 2013, Shaaban 2013, FFPRHC 2004)

List of essential medicines WHO: compatible with breastfeeding. (WHO 2002)

American Academy of Pediatrics: medication usually compatible with breastfeeding. (AAP 2001)

See below the information of these related products:


We do not have alternatives for Levonorgestrel Emergency Contraceptive since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Levonorgestrel Emergency Contraceptive is also known as

Levonorgestrel Emergency Contraceptive in other languages or writings:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 100 %
Molecular weight 312 daltons
Protein Binding alb: 55; SHBG 42 - 68 %
VD 1.8 - 4.3 l/Kg
pKa 17.9 -
Tmax 1.6 - 2 hours
17 - 26 hours
M/P ratio 0.3 -
Theoretical Dose 0.00003 - 0.000255 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose 0.12 - 1.0 %


  1. LactMed. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). Internet. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-. Available from: 2006 - Consulted on March 15, 2022 Full text (link to original source)
  2. Shaaban OM, Abbas AM, Mahmoud HR, Yones EM, Mahmoud A, Zakherah MS. Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive pills use during breastfeeding; effect on infants' health and development. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2019 Aug;32(15):2524-2528. Abstract
  3. AEMPS-Gedeon. Levonorgestrel (Postinor). Ficha técnica. 2018 Full text (in our servers)
  4. CDC - Curtis KM, Tepper NK, Jatlaoui TC, Berry-Bibee E, Horton LG, Zapata LB, Simmons KB, Pagano HP, Jamieson DJ, Whiteman MK. U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2016. CDC - MMWR Recommendations & Reports. 2016 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Jatlaoui TC, Riley H, Curtis KM. Safety data for levonorgestrel, ulipristal acetate and Yuzpe regimens for emergency contraception. Contraception. 2016 Feb;93(2):93-112. Abstract
  6. Altshuler AL, Gaffield ME, Kiarie JN. The WHO's medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use: 20 years of global guidance. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Berens P, Labbok M; Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. ABM Clinical Protocol #13: Contraception During Breastfeeding, Revised 2015. Breastfeed Med. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Berens P, Labbok M; Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. Protocolo clínico de la ABM n.º 13: Anticoncepción durante la lactancia, revisado en 2015. Breastfeed Med. 2015 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  9. WHO. Department of Reproductive Health and Research World Health Organization. Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use: 20 years of global guidance. WHO/RHR/15.07. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. OMS. Criterios médicos de elegibilidad para el uso de anticonceptivos Quinta edición. Who Library. 2015 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. Polakow-Farkash S, Gilad O, Merlob P, Stahl B, Yogev Y, Klinger G. Levonorgestrel used for emergency contraception during lactation-a prospective observational cohort study on maternal and infant safety. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013 Feb;26(3):219-21. Abstract
  12. Shaaban OM, Hassen SG, Nour SA, Kames MA, Yones EM. Emergency contraceptive pills as a backup for lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) of contraception: a randomized controlled trial. Contraception. 2013 Abstract
  13. FDA-Gedeon. Levonorgestrel (Plan B One-Step). Drug Summary. 2009 Full text (in our servers)
  14. Gainer E, Massai R, Lillo S, Reyes V, Forcelledo ML, Caviedes R, Villarroel C, Bouyer J. Levonorgestrel pharmacokinetics in plasma and milk of lactating women who take 1.5 mg for emergency contraception. Hum Reprod. 2007 Jun;22(6):1578-84. Epub 2007 Mar 2. Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  15. FFPRHC: Faculty of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care. Guidance (July 2004): Contraceptive choices for breastfeeding women. J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care. 2004 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  16. Kook K, Gabelnick H, Duncan G. Pharmacokinetics of levonorgestrel 0.75 mg tablets. Contraception. 2002 Jul;66(1):73-6. Abstract
  17. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  18. AAP - American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs. Transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk. Pediatrics. 2001 Sep;108(3):776-89. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)

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