Levest is an oral combined contraceptive pill commonly prescribed for preventing pregnancy. It's over 99% effective when taken as prescribed and a good option for people who also want a pill that can help with acne.

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from £19.99

Product details

Levest is an oral combined contraceptive pill commonly prescribed for women in the UK to prevent pregnancy.

Levest is over 99% effective at providing protection from getting pregnant when used as prescribed by your doctor.

At Superdrug Online Doctor, you can buy Levest online by simply completing a brief medical form for one of our doctors to review.

Dr Louisa Draper

Medically reviewed by

Dr Louisa Draper

Last reviewed: 28 May 2021

Levest prices

Pack Size Price
30 mcg - 3 x 21 tablet(s) £19.99
30 mcg - 6 x 21 tablet(s) £24.99

How it Works

Order Levest Online

What is Levest?

Levest is a type of combined oral contraceptive pill taken to prevent pregnancy. Levest can also be used to help with painful and heavy periods. Each pill contains man made versions of two female hormones, oestrogen (30mcg ethinylestradiol) and progesterone (150mcg levonorgestrel).

Is Levest the same as Rigevidon?

Levest and Rigevidon contain the same hormones (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol), in the same doses. This means that both of these contraceptive pills work in the same way. The only difference between Levest and Rigevidon is the manufacturer, and the brand name.

Is Levest the same as Microgynon?

Both Levest and Microgynon contain the same hormones but have different brand names. They contain the same active ingredients (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol hormones), in the same doses and work in the same way.

How to buy Levest

You can buy Levest online from Superdrug Online Doctor even if this is your first time using the pill. You can begin your order by simply taking the following steps:

  • Complete a brief online medical form
  • One of our doctors will review your form and make sure it is safe for you to take Levest
  • We will send Levest to your address or you can alternatively pick it up from your local Superdrug store
  • Our service at Superdrug Online Doctor is confidential and convenient. We will post your medication in discreet and unmarked packaging

Can you get Levest over the counter?

No. You cannot buy Levest over the counter. It is a prescription only contraception so you need a doctor to issue a prescription for you to get it from a pharmacy. Superdrug Online Doctor offers a discreet service where you can get a prescription for Levest online.

Can you get Levest on the NHS?

Yes. You may be able to get Levest on the NHS if it is medically suitable for you, but you will need to book an appointment with a doctor first. You can book an appointment with your local GP or one of the NHS sexual health clinics in your area.

Is Levest safe?

A doctor will check that Levest is safe for you to take. Levest is a popular contraceptive pill prescribed for women in the UK, and is as safe as other combined contraceptive pills to take.

How does Levest work?

The hormones in Levest work in three ways to prevent pregnancy.

  • They prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg every month (you stop ovulating every month)
  • They thin the lining of your womb so if an egg does get fertilised, it cannot easily implant in the womb
  • The hormones also thicken the mucus in your cervix (neck of the womb), making it more difficult for sperm to get into the womb

How long does Levest take to work?

The day of your monthly cycle you start taking Levest will determine when it starts to work. If you start between day 1 to 5, you will be protected from pregnancy right away. (Day 1 of your cycle is the first day of your period). If you start taking Levest on any other day outside the first 5 days of your period, you will not be protected from pregnancy immediately. You will need to use an additional method of contraception (like condoms) for the first 7 days of taking the pill to prevent pregnancy.

How effective is Levest?

Levest is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy if you take it correctly. This means you take the pill every day at the same time, except during your 7 day pill free period. Levest may be less effective (about 91%) for the following reasons:

  • If you experience episodes of vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Missing pills
  • Taking other medicines that interact with Levest making it less effective

How to take Levest

There are 21 pills in each Levest strip, which should be taken every day for 21 days. Each pill is marked with the day of the week you should take it.

  • Swallow each pill whole with water at the same time each day
  • After taking the pill for 21 days, you should take a 7-day pill-free break (no pills for 7 days). During this time you will have a ‘withdrawal bleed’ similar to your monthly period
  • After the 7 day pill free break, start a new strip of 21 pills and take them again for the next 21 days. Remember to start each strip on the same day every time.

During your 7-day pill free break, you will still be protected from pregnancy as you’ve taken your pill everyday for the 21 days beforehand. After the 7-day break, you need to start a new strip to continue being protected from pregnancy.

When should I start taking Levest?

You can start taking Levest on any day of your cycle but it will affect when you’re protected from pregnancy. If you want to get protection from pregnancy immediately, you should start the pill between day 1 to 5 of your period. If you start the pill on any other day, you will need to use another form of contraception like condoms for the first 7 days, to prevent pregnancy.

Can I take Levest without a break?

You can take Levest every day in your monthly cycle without a 7 day pill break and still be protected from pregnancy. This will delay your period, and you will not have your withdrawal bleed.

What happens if you miss a Levest pill?

If you regularly miss one or more pills when taking Levest, it may be less effective at protecting you from pregnancy. The patient information leaflet supplied with your pill pack provides more information on what you should do if you have missed one or more pills.

  • If you have missed a pill, take it as soon as you remember even if it means taking 2 pills on the same day. You will still be protected from pregnancy without needing emergency contraception (the morning after pill)
  • If you miss a pill between day 14 and 21 of your 21 day strip, take the pill as soon as you remember and continue the strip as normal; in addition, skip the 7 day pill free break and start the next 21 day strip of pills immediately your current strip ends
  • If you miss more than one pill, you may not be protected from pregnancy; continue to take the pill and finish your current strip, but use an additional form of contraception like condoms for the next 7 days
  • If you miss more than one pill and you have unprotected sex during this period, you will need to use emergency contraception (the morning after pill)

Can I use Levest as emergency contraception?

Levest should not be used as a form of emergency contraception. If you have unprotected sex and are not using any contraception, you should either get the morning after pill or the copper coil contraception. You should do this as soon as possible, as the copper coil can only be inserted within 5 days of having unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy, and there are different types of morning after pill which should be taken within 3 days, or 5 days of sex, depending on the type of pill.

Levest side effects

Some women who take Levest may experience side effects. They usually improve with time, but you should speak with your doctor if you have any concerns or find them too difficult to manage. Some common Levest side effects are:

  • Sore breasts
  • Headaches
  • Change in weight
  • Feeling sick
  • Stomach pain
  • Changes in mood

Some uncommon/rare Levest side effects are:

  • Skin rash
  • Changes in interest in sex
  • Fluid retention
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Allergic reactions (difficulty breathing, swelling of face, mouth, skin rashes) - seek immediate medical attention if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction when using Levest

For more information about the full list of known Levest side effects and cautions, read the patient information leaflet supplied with your pill pack.

What should I do if I experience side effects from taking Levest?

Most common side effects of using Levest will improve or go away after the first 3 months. The side effects are usually caused by your body adjusting to the hormone changes from taking the pill. If you have a serious side-effect, or your side effects do not improve after 3 months of taking Levest, speak to the doctor who prescribed it to you. They will be able to advise you on using other types of contraception with fewer side effects.

Who shouldn’t take Levest?

Some women may have certain risk factors that prevent them from taking Levest. If Levest or other combined oral contraceptive pills are unsuitable for you, the mini pill might be a better option for contraception. Levest may not be suitable for you if you are over 35 and smoke, or have had any of the following conditions:

  • Breast cancer
  • Migraine with aura
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Problems with your kidney or liver
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Crohn’s disease, IBS or ulcerative colitis
  • Blood clot in your legs or your lungs
  • Blood clotting disorders or a family history of blood clotting disorders
  • High blood pressure or heart disease
  • Depression
  • Sickle cell anaemia
  • Obesity

Taking Levest may also increase your risk of developing the following conditions:

  • Blood clots - certain risk factors like obesity, smoking, diabetes or high blood pressure can make blood clotting more likely. If you experience symptoms of a blood clot like difficulty breathing, chest pain, swelling or pain in your leg, seek emergency medical attention
  • Bleeding or spotting between periods - this should improve after the first 3 months of taking the pill. If the bleeding doesn’t stop or becomes very heavy, speak to your doctor for advice and to rule out other causes
  • Breast cancer - the risk is higher if you have a family history. You should speak to your doctor if you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a breast lump or changes in your nipple

Levest drug interactions

Certain medicines may reduce the effectiveness of Levest. These include some medicines used to treat:

  • Hepatitis C
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • HIV
  • Epilepsy

Certain sedatives (barbiturates) and herbal remedies (St John’s Wort) may also interact with Levest and reduce its effectiveness at preventing pregnancy. Tell your doctor about all medicines you are currently or will be taking before you start using Levest. You can find the full list of all known drug interactions with Levest in the patient information leaflet supplied with your pill pack.

Frequently asked questions about Levest

Does Levest make your breasts grow?

Levest may cause changes in your breast size especially when you first start taking the pill. This is because it contains oestrogen, which can cause your breasts to become tender and increase in size.

Does Levest increase your risk of blood clots?

Yes. The risk of developing blood clots is small but increases if you smoke, are overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of blood clots or heart disease.

Does the Levest pill help acne?

Yes. Levest and other similar combined contraceptive pills have been shown to improve acne and are regularly prescribed to treat acne in the UK.

Can Levest make you depressed?

Some women have reported feeling depressed when taking Levest. If you feel depressed or are having suicidal thoughts, speak to your doctor to seek medical attention immediately.

Can Levest cause changes to your weight?

Some women have reported weight changes when taking Levest but not all women experience this side effect. However, there is no evidence that suggests that the contraceptive pill causes weight gain. For more information, you can read our page about how the contraceptive pill can affect your weight. If you have concerns about any recent changes in your weight after starting the pill, you can also talk to your doctor.

Does the Levest pill stop periods?

It can do, depending on how it is taken.Taking Levest back to back without a 7 day pill free break will delay your monthly period.

Can Levest cause mood swings?

There is no clear research linking Levest with mood swings but it has been reported as a side effect of taking Levest. If you experience mood swings when you start taking Levest and they do not improve after 3 months, speak to your doctor. They may suggest trying another contraceptive pill.

Can Levest give you low libido?

Some women have reported they experienced changes in their sex drive when taking Levest although it is uncommon. You can speak to your doctor for advice if you are concerned about any recent changes in your sex drive.

Can I drink while taking Levest?

Drinking alcohol does not affect the effectiveness of Levest but you should aim to stay within the weekly recommended drinking limits.

Can I take painkillers when taking Levest?

Pain medications like paracetamol are safe to take when on Levest. Tell your doctor if you are about to take any other type of painkillers or about any new medication while you are taking Levest.

Can I take Levest when I’m breastfeeding?

You should talk to your doctor about what contraceptive pill to take while you are breastfeeding. The combined pill is not always recommended for breastfeeding mothers due to the oestrogen it contains.

Levest reviews

Levest has received an average rating by users on some popular platforms, including:

  • 5.3/10 on Drugs.com
  • 3 out 5 stars on Theldown


Patient Reviews