Postpill vs Postinor-2: Similarities and differences

Postpill and Postinor-2 are emergency contraceptive pills used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. Learn the similarities and differences between both pills.

A white girl buying medicine from a pharmacist at a pharmacy store

Key takeaways:

  • Postpill and Postinor-2 are emergency contraceptive pills used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex.
  • Both medications share common similarities in use and mode of action.
  • The difference between Postpill and Postinor-2 lies mostly in the quantity of their active ingredient and the number of pills in each pack.

It is normal to feel anxious after unintentional unprotected sex. For people who are not ready to have a baby, taking an emergency contraceptive pill (also called the morning-after pill) immediately after unintended unprotected sex is most likely the best way to prevent pregnancy.

However, because there are different birth control pills on the market, some people tend to be confused about which pill to use. For instance, Postpill and Postinor 2 are 2 commonly used emergency contraceptives that share some similarities and differences. People are often confused about which of them to use after unprotected sex.

In this article, we will discuss Postinor-2 vs. Postpill. We’ll explore the similarities and differences between Postpill and Postinor-2 pills and also find out if one of them is more effective than the other.

What is Postpill?

Postpill is an emergency contraceptive pill (ECP), also called the morning-after pill. It contains concentrated doses of levonorgestrel, an active ingredient also found in regular birth control pills.

DKT Ethiopia manufactures Postpill. Each pack contains only one pill with 1.5mg levonorgestrel, a synthetic progesterone. 

ECPs like Postpill are FDA-approved and are first-line oral pills with approval from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to prevent pregnancy. It prevents pregnancy, especially when taken immediately after unprotected sex. Even though it works up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, the earlier you take it, the higher its chances of preventing pregnancy. 

PostPill works by delaying the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). When you don’t ovulate, there won’t be an egg for sperm cells released during penetrative sex to fertilize; hence pregnancy won’t take place. Postpill may also prevent pregnancy by thickening cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm cells to swim past into the uterus. 

Postpill is quite affordable. It costs about N1,000 in Nigeria. 

What is Postinor-2?

Like Postpill, Postinor-2 is an emergency contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. It also contains levonorgestrel. However, unlike Postpill, which contains 1.5mg of levonorgestrel per pill, Postinor-2 contains 0.75mg of levonorgestrel per pill. 

Postinor-2 is manufactured by Gedeon Richter Plc, a multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company headquartered in Hungary. 

Postinor-2 works similarly to postpill. It is effective when taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse and even more effective when taken immediately after sex. It is not intended to be used as a regular birth control pill.

The cost of Postinor-2 varies depending on your location and the pharmaceutical store you are buying it from. In Nigeria, the cost of Postinor-2 ranges from N800-3,500. 

Differences between Postpill and Postinor-2

A table comparing Postpill vs Postinor-2

Postpill

Postinor-2

Active ingredient quantity

Contains 1.5 mg levonorgestrel

Contains 0.75 mg of levonorgestrel

Pack presentation

A pack contains one pill

A pack contains 2 pills

Manufacturer

Manufactured by DKT Ethiopia

Manufactured by Gedeon Richter Plc

Usage guideline

The single pill in the pack should be taken immediately after sex or at least within 72 hours

The first pill in the pack should be taken immediately after sex and the second pill taken 12 hours after

Similarities between Postpill and Postinor-2?

Since they contain the same active ingredient, levonorgestrel, Postpill, and Postinor-2 share a lot of things in common:

  • They are both emergency contraceptives (also called plan B)
  • They are both taken orally
  • They are both not intended to be used as regular birth control pills
  • They both prevent pregnancy by delaying ovulation
  • They are both effective when taken immediately after sex or within 72 hours after sexual intercourse
  • Neither pill protects against sexually transmitted infections

Postpill and Postinor-2, which is more effective?

Postpill and Postinor-2 both effectively prevent pregnancy when taken earlier after sex. According to WHO, emergency contraceptives taken as a single dose of 1.5 mg, such as Postpill, work the same as the ones taken in two doses of 0.75 mg each.

Both levonorgestrel contraceptive pills are also considered safe for use. However, they may cause varying side effects for different people. You may experience side effects when you take Postinor-2 and may feel okay with Postpill, while the reverse may be the case for another person. It is often best to stick with the birth control option that works best for you. 

Postpill and Postinor-2 side effects

Like regular birth control pills, emergency contraceptives like Postpill and Postinor-2 have some possible side effects. However, the side effects are often mild and don’t last long.

If you take emergency contraceptive pills, you may notice side effects like:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Mild stomach disturbances
  • Changes in the menstruation cycle

Final thoughts

Postpill and Postinor 2 are both levonorgestrel-containing emergency contraceptives with a similar mode of action but different quantities of the active ingredient. Both drugs are effective and considered safe for use. Like other drugs, they have some adverse effects. But, their side effects are often mild. 

Your body may react differently to either medication. In most cases, it’s no cause for concern. But, if you have concerns about contraceptive pills and how they affect you or notice abnormal symptoms that worsen or persist, it is best to speak with a gynecologist. 

Learn more about how to use Postinor-2, how it works, other drugs it can interact with and when to see your doctor for birth control counseling.

References

  1. Stewart, Mary, and Kirsten Black. (2015). Choosing a combined oral contraceptive pill.
  2. Vrettakos, C, and Bajaj, T. (2022). Levonorgestrel.
  3. World Health Organization. (2021). Emergency contraception.