Speed Reads


Plan B may still be effective for overweight women

Last fall, a European drug "identical" to Plan B One-Step, Norlevo, was found to be less effective in heavier women. Naturally, Americans wondered if the same was true for Plan B, since 23 percent of American women aged 20 to 44 are obese. A new report, however, states that emergency contraceptives are effective for women of any weight.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) requested a warning for Norlevo last year, stating that it may be less effective in women with BMIs over 25. Now, however, the EMA is stating that emergency contraceptives are effective in pregnancy prevention, regardless of weight. The EMA now claims that there "isn't enough data to support the previous warning to women about weight," Time reports.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has currently not issued similar warnings about Plan B's effectiveness in heavier women. According to Time, the EMA found that the earlier studies on Norlevo's effectiveness were "not substantial enough to conclude that the contraceptives' effect was decreased with increased body weight."

The EMA has recommended that Norlevo remove the current weight warning from its packaging, but it also suggests including study results about "potentially reduced effects in heavier women."