Morning-After Pill May Not Work For Women Over 176 Pounds

Widespread implications if true

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A European company that makes an emergency contraceptive identical to the morning-after Plan B pill is set to warn consumers that the drug is completely ineffective for women over 176 pounds, and begins to lose effectiveness after 165 pounds, Mother Jones reports. 

The European drug, Norlevo, will be repackaged to reflect the weight limits, according to the report, which could carry significant implications for American women if true and if also applicable to morning-after pills in the U.S. Norlevo is chemically identical to many of the most popular emergency contraceptive brands used in the U.S., including Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One-Dose, and My Way. American manufacturer of emergency contraceptives didn’t comment to Mother Jones, and the FDA has yet to weigh in on the matter.

According to weight data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American woman weighs 166 pounds, and the average non-Hispanic black woman between 20 and 39 weighs about 186 lbs. If the European manufacturer is correct, morning-after pills could be ineffective for many American women.

Plan B One-Step is the only emergency contraceptive available over-the-counter to women of all ages. Norlevo packages will include a pamphlet summarizing the new discovery.

[Mother Jones]