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Prog Hum Reprod Res. 1999;(51):3-5.

Levonorgestrel is more effective, has fewer side-effects, than Yuzpe regimen.

[No authors listed]



This large-scale clinical trial compared the efficacy and side effects of 2 emergency contraceptive methods, the levonorgestrel and the Yuzpe regimen. A total of 1955 women, with a mean age of 27 years were studied, of whom 979 were randomly assigned to the Yuzpe regimen and 976 to the levonorgestrel group. Treatment began within 24 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse among nearly 50% of women in each group and within 48 hours in more than 80%. Findings showed that pregnancy occurred in 3.2% of women who received the Yuzpe regimen and in 1% of those assigned to the levonorgestrel regimen, with a crude relative pregnancy risk of 0.36. The levonorgestrel and Yuzpe regimen prevented 85% and 57% of expected pregnancies, respectively. Considering the side effects of the methods, the study found that levonorgestrel was better tolerated by women than was the Yuzpe regimen because of less significant occurrence of unpleasant reactions such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness and fatigue with levonorgestrel usage. An important finding of the study was the consistent linear relationship between efficacy and the time from intercourse to treatment where trends of rising pregnancy rates occur as treatment is being delayed. Both methods were more effective the sooner they were used after unprotected intercourse. From the findings, researchers suggest that replacement of the Yuzpe regimen with levonorgestrel should improve the acceptability of hormonal emergency contraception and should therefore be considered in family planning programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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