i-Pill

Infertility woman

Last Updated July 12th, 2019

Therapeutic Indications of i-Pill

i-Pill is a popular emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) in the Indian market. Also called as ‘morning-after pill’, this medicine is a treatment for specific situations, as postcoital contraception. i-Pill targets women between the ages of 25 and 45 years.

CONTRACEPTION IUDsIdeally, teenagers especially those below the age of 17 years must not use this pill. Each tablet contains 1.5 mg of Levonorgestrel (Progestogen), therefore it is a hormonal pill to help women protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies.  This drug is also known as Plan-B in the United States.

i-Pill helps:

  • Avoid unwanted pregnancy
  • Postpone pregnancy up to 3 years
  • Halt or reduce some of the changes that menopause brings

The reasons for unwanted or accidental pregnancies are:

  • Ineffectiveness or failure of birth control measures
  • Condom rupture/slippage
  • In case a cervical cap or diaphragm was pulled out prematurely, or it came off or tore away
  • Missing the schedule of birth control pills
  • Delayed start of a new pack of birth control pills
  • Delayed birth control shot.
  • Lack of protection during sex or no form of birth control measure
  • Rape, sexual abuse with no reliable method of birth control already in use

Most importantly, the use of i-pill is only during an emergency to offset a potential pregnancy. This medication works only for a short duration. i-Pill efficacy is highest only if you take it within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. It also works if the pill is inside before gestation takes place. Experts say that the sooner one takes this pill, the higher is its chances of success. Further, i-Pill does not have the ability to guard against sexually transmitted diseases.

Do I Need A Prescription?

Generally, all forms of birth control pills are available only with a prescription all over the world. In India, i-Pill, manufactured by Piramal Healthcare is available easily without a prescription.

Dosage

  • Doctors prescribe i-Pill as emergency birth control to prevent accidental pregnancies. They prescribe one oral tablet to take within 72 hours or 3 days of unprotected sexual intercourse. Although called the ‘morning after pill’, it is not conditional to take the pill only in the morning.
  • Take i-Pill 5 mg or  2 tablets of 0.75 Levonorgestrel (hormone)  orally with water.
  • In case you experience vomiting within 1 hour after taking i-Pill, you must take another dose quickly.
  • Experts sometimes recommend i-Pill as a long-term contraception measure. The pill works well as slow release oral tablets as well as a vaginal insert to offset the risk of unwanted pregnancies for a prolonged period.
  • i-Pill is useful in cases where there is a doubt about the success of other birth control measures. In that case, doctors prescribe i-Pill for consumption within 72 hours of intercourse. They also prescribe a second dose after 12 hours of the first.
  • i-Pill is 95% effective only if taken on time.
  • Once consumed, i-Pill will not offer protection for any number of episodes of sex during the same menstrual cycle.
  • A single dose of i-Pill offers protection from two occurrences of unprotected sex but the protection is there only if the time gap between two sexual episodes is not more than 12 hours.
  • i-Pill medicines are best when stored at room temperature. It should be stored in places away from direct light and heat.

Chemical composition

Each I Pill tablet contains Levonorgestrel  1.5 mg (Progestogen),  as an active ingredient.

Mechanism of Action

i-Pill helps avoid an accidental pregnancy in the following ways. The contraceptive pill adopts different methods to upset ovulation. The pill offsets a potential pregnancy by actually delaying ovulation. It halts the release of eggs from the ovary for fertilization. It can also alter the route of the sperm or the eggs.  If implantation has already occurred, the pill is capable of changing the uterus lining.

Facts on i-Pill

  • CONTRACEPTION pregnancyStatistics have pointed out that the chance of getting pregnant is only 1% to 2% if you consume i-Pill within 72 hours of sex
  • It is possible to become pregnant even with just one episode of unprotected intercourse
  • A research endeavor found that out of 100 women who have unprotected sex once, 92 of them might escape pregnancy. Using ECP, the number of pregnant women may just be 1 to 3 out of the 100
  • You need a different medication for protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). I-Pill will have no effect
  • Using i-pill once may not have an adverse effect on lactating mothers on either the quality or quantity of milk produced.

Contraindications

i-Pill carries the risk of adverse interactions with other drugs or in the presence of health conditions. Below is the list of some of the drug and health condition warnings:

Health conditions: Victims of the following health conditions should avoid i-Pill.

  • Porphyria patients (a genetic disorder of the lymphatic system)
  • Victims who have /had Breast cancer
  • Retinal thrombosis
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Blood clotting disorder
  • Liver disease
  • Liver tumor
  • Stroke patients
  • Intracranial hypertension
  • Fluid retention and edema
  • History of allergy to levonorgestrel
  • Diabetes

Drug interactions

Taking i-Pill along with the following medications can reduce the efficacy of the contraceptive pill, which may also result in an unwanted pregnancy.

  • Bosentan
  • Griseofulvin
  • Phenytoin
  • Carbamazepine
  • Tranexamic Acid – this drug combo can elevate the risk of blood clots
  • Amprenavir

 Important pointers

  • Reduce the consumption of alcohol or completely avoid it while taking this medicine.
  • Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or keen to plan a pregnancy soon
  • Breastfeeding women must consult the doctor before taking this medicine
  • Keep away from this drug if you are below 17 years of age

Side effects

Infertility womanAfter taking i-Pill, women may experience minor side effects, which will go away soon. The serious ones need immediate medical attention.

Minor Side Effects

  • Tenderness in the breast or even breast pain
  • Alteration in libido
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive menstrual bleeding
  • Spotting or bleeding between periods
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If any minor side effects persist, you need to consult a medical specialist immediately.

Major Side Effects

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Blood clot formation
  • Stroke
  • Swelling of tongue, lips, eyelids, face and even hands and feet
  • Severe abdominal pain

What to do if you skip a dose

  • i-Pill is an emergency contraceptive pill you should ideally take within 72 hours of unprotected sex. If you happen to throw up the dose within one hour of taking it, you may repeat the dose
  • In case you are on long-term use of i-Pill, speak to your doctor if you miss a dose for advice on what action to take.

Overdose

Seek your doctor’s advice if you suspect an overdose of this drug.

Generic Brand Names of i-Pill

Levonorgestrel is the generic name of the progestin found in emergency contraceptives such as i-Pill, One Step, Plan B, Next Choice.

Different Manufacturing Companies of i-Pill

The well-known pharmaceutical company in India, Piramal Healthcare, manufactures i-Pill.

Substitutes for i-Pill

There are substitutes to i-Pill available, which share similar drug composition, form, and strength. Some of the substitute drugs are:

  • Niel 72
  • Unwanted 72
  • Postpone 72
  • Instafree 72
  • Gestarest 72
  • My Pal

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