Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive pill found to be more effective when taken with an anti-inflammatory medication

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Taking piroxicam, an anti-inflammatory medicine generally used for arthritis ache, concurrently the levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive tablet after unprotected intercourse prevents considerably extra pregnancies in comparison with taking levonorgestrel alone, in keeping with a randomized managed trial revealed in The Lancet.

Two varieties of emergency contraceptive drugs—containing both levonorgestrel or ulipristal acetate—are essentially the most extensively used emergency contraception methodology in most international locations, with the levonorgestrel tablet out there in additional international locations than the ulipristal acetate tablet. Each contraceptives work by stopping or delaying ovulation and neither are efficient post-ovulation.

The accepted effectiveness of levonorgestrel relies on the outcomes of a trial from 1998 by which levonorgestrel prevented 95% of anticipated pregnancies when taken inside 24 hours of unprotected intercourse, 85% if taken inside 25–48 hours, and 58% if taken inside 49–72 hours. Nevertheless, newer analysis suggests the efficacy of levonorgestrel may be decrease.

“The levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive tablet is likely one of the hottest decisions of emergency contraception in lots of elements of the world, so discovering out that there’s a extensively out there medicine which will increase levonorgestrel’s efficacy when they’re taken collectively is de facto thrilling,” mentioned Dr. Sue Lo from the Household Planning Affiliation of Hong Kong, a co-investigator of the examine.

First writer of the examine Dr. Raymond Li from The College of Hong Kong added, “Our examine is the primary to counsel {that a} available and secure medicine taken concurrently the levonorgestrel tablet can stop extra pregnancies than levonorgestrel alone. We hope these outcomes will result in additional analysis and in the end adjustments in scientific pointers to allow girls around the globe to entry more practical emergency contraception.”

The examine occurred at a significant group sexual and reproductive well being service in Hong Kong between August 2018 and August 2022. Ladies who required levonorgestrel emergency contraception inside 72 hours of unprotected intercourse have been randomized to obtain a single supervised dose of levonorgestrel 1.5 mg plus both piroxicam 40 mg or a placebo tablet.

The members and the attending well being care professionals didn’t know which group acquired which therapy. A comply with up appointment was scheduled one to 2 weeks after the following anticipated interval. In the course of the appointment, if a traditional interval had not occurred by that point, a being pregnant check was carried out. The proportion of pregnancies prevented out of these anticipated was calculated based mostly on a longtime mannequin revealed in 1998.

Of the 836 girls adopted up, there was one being pregnant among the many 418 girls who took piroxicam and levonorgestrel and 7 pregnancies among the many 418 girls who had the placebo and levonorgestrel. The share of anticipated pregnancies with out contraception was estimated at 4.5% (19/418) in each teams. Subsequently, the proportion of pregnancies prevented following piroxicam- levonorgestrel co-treatment was 95% (18/19), in contrast with 63% (12/19) in those that took levonorgestrel and placebo.

There have been no important variations within the charges of unwanted side effects between these receiving piroxicam and placebo co-treatment.

Professor Kristina Gemzell-Danielsson from the Karolinska Institute, one other co-investigator, defined that “levonorgestrel prevents being pregnant by blocking or suspending the luteinizing hormone surge, which disrupts the ovulatory course of. Piroxicam would possibly work by concentrating on a unique sort of hormone—prostaglandins. Prostaglandins facilitate a number of reproductive processes together with ovulation, fertilization, and embryo implantation.”

“Subsequently, we speculate that piroxicam might present a contraceptive impact each pre-ovulation (by blocking the ovulatory course of) and post-ovulation (by stopping the implantation of the embryo), nevertheless our trial didn’t examine piroxicam’s mechanism of motion and additional research are required to substantiate this.”

The authors acknowledge some limitations of the examine, together with the generalizability of the findings to different settings. Because the examine excluded girls with present or current use of hormonal contraception, in addition to these with a couple of episode of unprotected intercourse earlier than taking emergency contraception, it isn’t sure whether or not the piroxicam-levonorgestrel co-treatment might be equally efficient when utilized to girls in these circumstances.

Writing in a linked Remark, Dr. Erica Cahill from Stanford College Faculty of Drugs, who was not concerned within the examine, mentioned, “General, this examine means that anybody administering levonorgestrel 1.5 mg as emergency contraceptive drugs ought to contemplate the addition of 40 mg piroxicam orally, because it improves efficacy with minor side-effects.”

“These conclusions won’t apply to all sufferers, as this examine was restricted by a selected inhabitants, with members being principally of Asian ethnicity and weighing lower than 70 kg. On condition that levonorgestrel emergency contraception is much less efficient in folks with weight problems, the efficacy proven right here won’t be generalizable to sufferers with increased BMIs.”

Extra info:
Oral emergency contraception with levonorgestrel plus piroxicam: a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial, The Lancet (2023). www.thelancet.com/journals/lan … (98)05145-9/fulltext

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive tablet discovered to be more practical when taken with an anti-inflammatory medicine (2023, August 16)
retrieved 16 August 2023
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