Document Detail

Mechanisms of action of mifepristone and levonorgestrel when used for emergency contraception.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15192056     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
An emergency contraceptive method is used after coitus but before pregnancy occurs. The use of emergency contraception is largely under-utilized worldwide. One of the main barriers to widespread use is concern about the mechanism of action. Recently, treatment with either 10 mg mifepristone or 1.5 mg of levonorgestrel has emerged as the most effective hormonal method for emergency contraception with very low side-effects. However, the knowledge of the mechanism of action of mifepristone and levonorgestrel in humans, when used for contraceptive purposes and especially for emergency contraception, remains incomplete. The objective of this review is to summarize available data on the effects of mifepristone and levonorgestrel on female reproductive functions relevant to the emergency use of the compounds. When summarized, available data from studies in humans indicate that the contraceptive effects of both levonorgestrel and mifepristone, when used in single low doses for emergency contraception, involve either blockade or delay of ovulation, due to either prevention or delay of the LH surge, rather than to inhibition of implantation.
K Gemzell-Danielsson; L Marions
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2004-06-10
Journal Detail:
Title:  Human reproduction update     Volume:  10     ISSN:  1355-4786     ISO Abbreviation:  Hum. Reprod. Update     Publication Date:    2004 Jul-Aug
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-06-23     Completed Date:  2005-01-04     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9507614     Medline TA:  Hum Reprod Update     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  341-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Woman and Child Health, Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Karolinska Hospital/Institute, S-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Contraception, Postcoital / methods*
Contraceptives, Postcoital, Synthetic / administration & dosage,  pharmacology*
Corpus Luteum / physiology
Endometrium / metabolism,  ultrastructure
Fallopian Tubes / physiology
Levonorgestrel / administration & dosage,  pharmacology*
Luteinizing Hormone / antagonists & inhibitors,  urine
Mifepristone / administration & dosage,  pharmacology*
Ovulation Inhibition / drug effects
Receptors, Estrogen / physiology
Receptors, Progesterone / physiology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Contraceptives, Postcoital, Synthetic; 0/Receptors, Estrogen; 0/Receptors, Progesterone; 797-63-7/Levonorgestrel; 84371-65-3/Mifepristone; 9002-67-9/Luteinizing Hormone

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