‘Morning-after’ pill probed
TORONTO—Health Canada says it is studying the effectiveness of the so-called “morning-after” contraceptive pills in the wake of news they aren’t as effective in larger women.
The federal drug regulator said it is assessing new data that suggests a higher body weight could reduce the effectiveness of emergency contraceptives.
The department’s statement comes two months after French manufacturer HRA Pharma announced its emergency contraception pill doesn’t work in women who weigh more than 176 pounds.
There are four brands of morning-after pills available without prescription in Canada: Next Choice from Cobalt Pharmaceuticals, HRA Pharma’s Norlevo, Option 2 from Perrigo International, and Plan B from Women’s Health Inc.
Health Canada said if it decides action needs to be taken, it will work with manufacturers to update labels and inform consumers.
The pills contain higher levels of levonorgestrel than standard oral contraceptives, and work by preventing ovulation or fertilization of an egg.
They can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex or a contraceptive accident such as a condom breaking.
This pills do not have any impact if a woman already has become pregnant.