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Next Choice Side Effects

Headaches, fatigue, and nausea are among the most commonly reported Next Choice side effects. In most cases, reactions to this contraceptive tend to be minor and are generally easy to treat. However, contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop potentially serious side effects, including vomiting within one hour of taking a tablet, signs of an ectopic pregnancy, and allergic reactions.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Next Choice

Just like any medicine, Next Choice® (levonorgestrel) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes this contraceptive will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Next Choice. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Next Choice Side Effects

Next Choice is a generic version of Plan B®. All side effect information for Next Choice was taken from clinical trials of Plan B.
In clinical studies for most medications, one group of people receives the actual medication, while another group is given a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients). The side effects in both groups are carefully documented and compared. As a result, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group taking the placebo.
However, it is not possible to use a placebo in clinical trials for contraceptives, as this would lead to many unintentional pregnancies. Therefore, some of the possible "side effects" of Plan B may not really be true side effects, but there is no way of knowing because the studies did not use a placebo.
In studies, the most commonly reported Plan B (and therefore Next Choice) side effects included:
  • Nausea -- in up to 23.1 percent of women
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain -- up to 17.6 percent
  • Fatigue -- up to 16.9 percent
  • Headaches -- up to 16.8 percent
  • A heavier menstrual period -- up to 13.8 percent
  • A lighter menstrual period -- up to 12.5 percent
  • Dizziness -- up to 11.2 percent
  • Breast tenderness -- up to 10.7 percent
  • Vomiting -- up to 5.6 percent
  • Diarrhea -- up to 5 percent.
Most women will get their period right on schedule after taking Next Choice, although sometimes the drug can delay a period by a few days. If your period is more than a week late, you should take a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant; Next Choice is not 100 percent effective.
Next Choice ONE DOSE (the newer version, taken as a single tablet, which is a generic version of Plan B One-Step) has similar side effects. In studies, the most commonly reported Plan B One-Step side effects included:
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding -- in up to 30.9 percent of women
  • Nausea -- up to 13.7 percent
  • Lower abdominal pain (stomach pain) -- up to 13.3. percent
  • Fatigue -- up to 13.3 percent
  • Headache -- up to 10.3 percent
  • Dizziness -- up to 9.6 percent
  • Breast tenderness -- up to 8.2 percent
  • A delayed menstrual period -- up to 4.6 percent.
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