EU finds 'morning after pills' work, regardless of a woman's weight

LONDON, July 24 Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:17am EDT

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - Emergency contraceptives, known as the "morning after pill", remain suitable for all women who need them, regardless of a woman's weight, European regulators said on Thursday.

The European Medicines Agency had questioned whether the contraceptives worked as effectively in women weighing more than 75 kg, but its experts concluded that the benefits of using them outweighed the risks.

While some clinical studies suggested a reduced effectiveness in women with high bodyweight, others found no such connection and the agency decided there was not enough evidence to conclude with any certainty that there was a risk.

The European review looked at the effectiveness of Takeda's Norlevo and Bayer's Levonelle, containing levonorgestrel, and HR Pharma's ellaOne, containing ulipristal acetate.

"Women should be reassured that regardless of their body weight, emergency contraceptives can still be used to prevent unintended pregnancy," said Sarah Branch, of Britain's drugs watchdog the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Goodman)

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