Morning-after pill may not work for overweight women

Gainer

Gainer

The following comes from a Nov. 26 story on CNN.

An emergency contraceptive manufactured in Europe will come with a new label in 2014, warning that the pill may not be effective for women over a certain weight.

The same may be true for emergency contraceptives in the United States.

French manufacturer HRA Pharma was conducting research on another topic related to its emergency contraceptive Norlevo when scientists realized there was “a clear impact of weight” on the drug’s effectiveness, CEO Erin Gainer said.

HRA Pharma scientists discovered Norlevo began losing its effectiveness when women reach about 75 kilograms, or 165 pounds, Gainer said, and showed an “absence of effectiveness” at about 80 kilograms, or about 176 pounds.

“We felt it was our ethical duty … to report those results to our health authorities here in Europe,” Gainer said.

Norlevo is identical to the emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step, said Kelly Cleland, a public health expert at Princeton University. Both are LNG ECs, or emergency contraceptives that include levonorgestrel, a synthetic version of the hormone progestogen. Emergency contraceptives are often called the morning-after pill because they work by interfering with ovulation, preventing the fertilization of an egg.

Teva Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures Plan B, did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

The Food and Drug Administration “is currently reviewing the available and related scientific information on this issue, including the publication upon which the Norlevo labeling change was based,” said spokeswoman Erica Jefferson. “The agency will then determine what, if any, labeling changes to emergency contraceptives are warranted.”

Plan B is available in the United States without a prescription to anyone of any age. Its generic versions Next Choice One Dose and My Way are also the same as Norlevo, Cleland said….

To read the entire story, click here.

 

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  1. Abeca Christian says:

    Wow and they are worried about that over weight thing…really? How about that it hurts women no matter what weight they are…..it kills underweight unborn children and who knows what else it does to the human body taking it.

  2. Love Camille’s comment!

    My guess is the Plan B type of contraceptive will be the way of the world as the backup contraceptive in the next decade. Ironically, this will make abortions continue to decline.

  3. I think I’ve understood this correctly – because the manufacturer is “ethical” they’re warning women about conditions under which their baby killing pill might not be effective ? Somehow, I cannot get past how sick that whole thing is. They believe it’s ethical to sell a baby-killing chemical. Is it me ? Am I crazy or is it the modern world that has gone completely nuts ?

  4. Maryanne Leonard says:

    Ted, it is the world. You’re thinking clearly here!
    On the weight question, I have to “weigh in.” I’ve known a handful of women who are 6 feet tall and over, all of whom are superfit and one was an Olympic swimmer. I don’t know what they weigh exactly, but with all that working out, I assume they are more muscle than most of us gals, and certainly with all that height, they have got to weigh close to the upper limits mentioned here I’d guess.

    Does this medication, evil though it is, not work for women who weigh a good deal but are not “overweight” for their body types and lifestyles? I wonder then if other medications also work less effectively, or perhaps also not at all, for women in general in that weight range, overweight for their body type or not?

    • Maryanne, You raise an important question. Here is what I have read and understand with regards to this issue. The FDA has certain standards which need to be met before a drug is approved for use in the USA. Most of us probably think it is about safety and effectiveness, and this would be true. The important question would be; safe and effective for who? The industry standard is that the minimum effective standard dose of a drug needs to be certified by the FDA as being effective for a 160 lb male. This would mean that a 249 lb male would need a larger dose of the same medication in order to be as effective. It would also mean that a 110 lb female would be overdosed if she simply took the minimum standard dosage for a medication. While the “overdosing” of most medications may not be fatal, it would increase the likelihood of suffering one of the side effects so common to modern day drugs.

      Prior to the 20th Century, doctors use to formulate and dispensed their own medications in proportions which were ideal for the individual needs of each of their patients. This art is mostly a thing of the past today.

  5. Here in California, this medication is sold over the counter. Teens can buy it. Boys and men can buy it. The potential for abuse is obvious. Plan B is an extra-large dose of the hormones used in the contraceptive pills. We know that the “Pill” is a Class I carcinogenic. We know that teens/women who have taken the “Pill” for three or more years before their first full term pregnancy further increase their risk of cancer.

    WOMEN DESERVE BETTER THAN THE “PILL”!

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