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Levonelle linked to ectopic pregnancy

GPs should warn women who take emergency contraception of the risk of ectopic pregnancy, new Government guidance states.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Liam Donaldson issued the guidance last week after concerns were raised over

the efficacy of Levonelle at the last meeting of the Committee on Safety of Medicines.

Of 201 unintended pregnancies reported to the CSM following failure of Levonelle, 12 were ectopic.

The guidance said: 'The possibility of an ectopic

pregnancy should be considered, particularly in women with a previous ectopic

pregnancy, fallopian tube surgery or pelvic inflammatory disease.'

The CSM advised GPs that women taking Levonelle should be told that treatment failure may occur.

Levonelle has a 95 per cent success rate if taken within 24 hours of intercourse, dropping to 85 per cent after 48 hours and 58 per cent after 72 hours, the guidance said.

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