Most common side effect of POSTINOR 2 (P2 pills) in Kenya

Postinor 2 which is popularly referred to as P2 Pills, is an emergency contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. It retails between Ksh 100 and Ksh 150 in most Kenyan pharmacies. It’s always advisable to take the Postinor 2 pill as soon as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse to be more effective.

The first P2 pill should be taken no later than 72 hours after intercourse and the second tablet should be taken exactly 12 hours after the first tablet. If you vomit within 3 hours of taking Postinor 2, you need to take another Postinor 2 pill.

You will know Postinor 2 has worked when you have your next period and it seems like a normal period.

Cases where you should not take P2 pills

1.When you are vomiting or having a severe diarrhea

2. When you have a disease of your gastrointestinal tract that interferes with the digestion and absorption of your food.

In such cases, please consult a doctor and he may recommend a higher suitable dose.

3. When you have previously had unprotected intercourse more than 72 hours earlier in the same menstrual cycle; you may already be pregnant.

4. When you are experiencing vaginal bleeding

5. When you have breast cancer

6. When you have diabetes: women with diabetes should monitor their blood glucose carefully after taking Postinor 2 pills.

7. When you have Liver problems

NB: Always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines because some of them may interfere with the effectiveness of the P2. Below are some of the medicines that may interfere with Postinor 2.

A treatment for HIV infection
Medicine used to treat fungal infections
Tuberculosis medicines
Medicines used to treat epilepsy
Side Effects of Postinor 2

Below are the common side effects of Postinor 2 pills

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Tiredness
  3. stomach pain
  4. diarrhea
  5. dizziness
  6. headache
  7. tender breasts
  8. increased vaginal bleeding
  9. skin reactions eg itching and skin rash
  10. It’s good to note that the p2 pills will not prevent you from contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

Shocking facts about Postinor-2 (P2) that you don’t know

Priced at only Ksh100 in most pharmacy outlets in Kenya, Levonorgestrel or simply known as Postinor-2 or further as P2, is an emergency contraceptive pill taken by women after sex to prevent pregnancy. Other brands of the drug available in Kenya include ECEE 2, EMCON, TRUSTON 2 and LEVO-72.

Pharmaceutically it is a progesterone; a group of contraceptives whose main contraceptive effect is via an action on cervical mucus, which renders it impenetrable to sperms. It also prevents ovulation. Nevertheless, Postinor-2 cannot prevent implantation of an already fertilized ovum, hence deemed ineffective in such scenarios. It is important to note at this point that, despite the likes of “P2” being the most commonly used contraceptives in Kenya; they have a higher failure rate than the combined oral contraceptives like; Microgynon, Diane 35 and Yasmin brands.

How then should these “two simple pills” be taken to maximize their effect? First and foremost, if you really do not want to be on the I-took-the-pills-but-they-did-not-work group is by following all directions given properly. These pills work up to 95% when taken as soon as possible, 58% when taken within 48hrs.

The sooner the better and this is why you only get as many as 72hrs to walk to the pharmacy and buy them. The closer you get to the 72nd hour, the lesser the chances of it working. While there are studies that suggest that the drug might work up to 120hrs, it is upon the user to actually determine if she can wait that long to become a statistic as to whether it worked or not.

The manufacturer recommends that Postinor-2 tablets should be taken as; first tablet as soon as possible, while the second tablet should be taken 12hrs after the first one. This is the first and most workable way and obviously it’s recommended for a reason. The other way is taking the two tablets all at once.

While this method works in most women, it doesn’t in, some hence leads to failure for contraception and hence pregnancy and the stress story that always follows. So again, to be on the safe side and not another statistic of a taken pill that did not work, always take the first method as your preferable choice, you never know.

The main challenge that comes with the usage of the drug is not from the Pharmacy, but from the buyers or women. While the drug is clearly prescribed and described as an “emergency pill,” most women in Kenya have become their own determiners as to when and how the pills should be taken disregarding the instructions from those who spent years researching and formulating it.

Most Kenyan pharmacies do not have the time to explain this to the women, and will sell and close the case within one minute. Why? Because in most instances, those who buy them are always in a hurry to leave or do not want to be asked anything concerning the drug. The facts remain; the drug can only be taken once every menstrual cycle. This means you can only take it once every month at most. Taking it more often will upset your hormones and lead to hormonal imbalance disorders including but not limited to acne.

Can Postinor-2 cause cancer? This is a question many have been and are still debating, so here is what is currently known. P2 can protect women against cancers of the endometrium, ovary, pancreas, and lung, but increase their risk for breast cancer. That has been documented and listed as a fact.

Finally yet importantly, Postinor-2, ECEE 2, EMCON, TRUSTON 2 and LEVO-72 are all the same drug just from different manufacturers. You cannot take one brand to day, and the other tomorrow and claim to have taken them as recommended because they are the same. Postinor does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases and infection; hence proper protection should and must be used to prevent those.

Can Postinor 2 cause infertility?

Postinor-2 does not cause barrenness.

However, you should only use it in emergencies and not as a regular method
of contraception. Overuse of postinor-2 can upset your menstrual cycle.

This emergency contraception is not meant to work as a regular method of contraception. Postinor-2 is supposed to be taken after unprotected sex to specifically stop pregnancy. It is estimated that postinor-2 prevents about 90% of unexpected pregnancies and so will not prevent a pregnancy in every instance.

This emergency pill works by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg, which prevents the sperm from fertilising the egg you may have already released, or stop a fertilised egg from attaching itself to the womb lining. This emergency contraception does not work if you are already pregnant.


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