Upostelle is an emergency contraceptive pill, produced and marketed by Gedeon Richter pharmaceutical company and distributed within the UK by Consilient Healthcare. It is a generic version of Levonelle morning after pill, originaly produced by Bayer and as such, it contains the same active ingredient which completes the same tasks, producing the same results by relying on the same mechanism of action.

What’s on this page?

With the effectiveness rate of 84% if the tablet is taken as prescribed, within 72 hours after an unsafe intercourse, Upostelle is a very efficient and reliable emergency contraception tablet. Aside from this, Upostelle also exhibits certain contraceptive properties, including the increase in density of vaginal mucus which makes it harder for sperm to reach and fertilize an egg cell.

What is emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception is a so-called umbrella term denoting numerous contraceptive methods that were manufactured to be used only after the primary contraceptive method (such as condom or a conventional contraceptive pill) has failed or was absent and an unwanted pregnancy is likely. In order to get a deeper understanding of how morning after pills work, we first need to take a glance at the most important biological processes that lead to the possibility of pregnancy.

The most important among those processes is certainly ovulation. Ovulation occurs when every month when an egg cell is released by the ovary into the womb. Once there, egg cell can be fertilized by a sperm cell provided that an intercourse occurs. In that scenario, the egg will migrate to the uterus and get attached to the endometrium, lining of the uterus, where it will begin transformation into an embryo.

Process of ovulation is directly controlled by the activity of progesterone, a hormone which plays a crucial role not only in ovulation, but also in determining the density of cervical fluid. Once the levels of progesterone drop, eggs will get produced by the ovary.

How does Upostelle work?

Just like with Levonelle, Upostelle too relies on the active ingredient levonorgestrel, which is a unique kind of synthetic progesterone. Once present within the organism, this compound will trick the body into detecting higher levels of progesterone – when that occurs, the reproductive system will act as if the ovulation has already occurred. Thus, ovulation will not occur and the egg won’t be released into the womb.

Simultaneously, this substance will also exhibit certain contraceptive properties, most notably by thickening the cervical fluid and consequently making it harder to for sperm cells to reach the egg. In this way it has the same effects, but slightly different mechanism of action as compared to another very successful morning after pill, EllaOne.

When should Upostelle be used?

There’s no doubt that primary hormonal contraception, a regular birth control pill, is among the most effective methods for preventing an unwanted pregnancy. However, there are many reasons why this medicine didn’t play its intended role – someone might not use it since it does not offer protection against STIs and is only sensible to be used in a long-term relationship. On the other hand, missed dose can reduce the safety provided by the pill.

In the same manner, so-called barrier contraceptives (such as condom or diaphragm) can get ripped during intercourse, which will eliminate their effectiveness entirely.

In these scenarios, the morning after pill, also known as plan B pill can be the only remaining choice. Upostelle should be administered as soon as possible after an unprotected intercourse has taken place. For optimal efficiency, this should be no later than 12 hours after sex, but the medicine will still be effective in a majority of cases (up to 84%) if taken within the first 72 hours or three days.

However, it’s important to note that morning after pills won’t be able to reduce the risk of potential STIs. So, if a barrier method such as a condom has failed during intercourse, you might have to discuss the risks of STIs with your partner. In this scenario, a doctor might recommend taking an STI test and obtaining proper treatment if needed.

How to use Upostelle?

When it comes to emergency contraception, it is of uttermost importance to precisely follow the instructions provided in the official patient information leaflet that is issued with every pack of Upostelle. In this way, you will optimise the chances of success while at the same time reducing the risk of possible side effects.

Some of the most general guidelines can be presented as follows:

  • Use precisely as prescribed (according to the doctor’s advice or patient information leaflet)
  • The product contains one tablet that should be used ideally within 12 hours after unprotected sex
  • The medicine can be taken 72 hours after intercourse, but not later
  • The earlier you take Upostelle, the more effective it will be
  • Take the tablet whole, with water if needed
  • Make an appointment with your doctor a couple of weeks after taking the pill to ensure that it was effective
  • You can continue with you preferred method of hormonal contraception after use of this medicine
  • Don’t take this medicine if you are pregnant or suspect you have been for longer than 72 hours time frame
  • If you are sick after using the medicine, ask the doctor for advice

What are Upostelle side effects?

As is the case with all prescription medication, Upostelle side effects have been documented. Based on the frequency of occurrence, they can be presented as follows:

Frequency of Occurrence Side effects
Very common (1 in 10 users or more) Drowsiness, irregular menstrual bleeding, feeling sick, lower abdominal pain, headache
Common (1 in 10 users or less) Delayed menstrual period, being sick, breast tenderness, diarrhoea, dizziness
Very rare (1 in 10.000 users) Skin rash, urticarial, pruritus, facial swelling, painful periods

Can Upostelle be used with other medicines?

One reason why doctor might advise you against using Upostelle is the possibility of unwanted interactions with some other medicines which you might be taking at the moment. These include:

  • Barbiturates
  • Epilepsy medicines
  • St John’s wort
  • Tuberculosis medicines
  • HIV medicines

Is it safe for me to use Upostelle?

For healthy women, Upostelle should be rather safe. However, there are some health conditions which might be considered to be contraindications. These include:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Severe liver problems
  • History of ectopic pregnancy
  • Salpingitis
  • Lactose intolerance

In addition, you shouldn’t be using this medicine if use this medicine if you are already pregnant. While there is nothing to suggest that Upostelle could harm a developed pregnancy, it is still very important to check whether the pregnancy is developing outside of the womb.

If you are currently breastfeeding, it’s better to consult with your doctor for advice prior to using Upostelle. It is highly advisable to avoid breastfeeding for at least 8 hours after using this emergency contraception, while still pumping and discarding breast milk during this time.