Loestrin (Ethinyl Estradiol/Norethindrone)

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What is Loestrin (Ethinyl Estradiol/Norethindrone) prescribed for?

Loestrin is a combination of two medications that are used to prevent pregnancy. It contains two hormones; progestin and an estrogen. It mainly works by preventing the release of an egg during your menstrual cycle. It also makes vaginal fluid thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg and fertilizing it. Plus, it also changes the lining of the uterus to prevent any fertilized egg from attaching itself. If a fertilized egg does not attach to the uterus, it passes through and out of the body.

Other then preventing pregnancy, birth control pills may adjust your menstrual cycle and make your periods more regular. It may also decrease blood loss and painful periods, and decrease your risk of an ovarian cyst, and it can also treat acne.

This medication comes in the singular dose of 1.5mg/30mg. Remember; your dose is based on your medical background and your overall response to the treatment. If your doctor or pharmacist has given you some information in the form of a pamphlet, take the time to read up on this drug, and if you have any questions or concerns regarding this medication, please consult your doctor.

This medication is to be taken by mouth, once daily. It is best to pick a time, and then take it at that time each and every day.

Each pregnancy pill is different from the next, so it is very important you follow your doctor’s directions precisely. Read all of the information and pamphlets given to you.

Do not skip any doses, pregnancy is more likely if you miss pills, start a new pack late, or take a pill at a different time of the day than usual.

Vomiting and diarrhea can prevent the birth control pills from working well. Therefore, it is best to have a back up birth-control method, such as condoms and spermicide.

If you have a upset stomach or nausea when taking this medication, what may help is to take the pills after you evening meal or at bedtime.

If this is the first time you are using this medication and you are not switching from another form of hormonal birth control (such as patch, other birth control pills), take the first tablet in the pack on the first Sunday following the beginning of your menstrual period or on the first day of your period. If your period begins on a Sunday, begin taking this medication on that day. For the first cycle of use only, use an additional form of non-hormonal birth control (such as condoms, spermicide) for the first 7 days to prevent pregnancy until the medication has enough time to work. If you start on the first day of your period, you do not need to use back-up birth control the first week.

Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic to Ethinyl Estradiol/Norethindrone; or to any estrogens (such as ethinyl estradiol, mestranol) or any progestins (such as norethindrone, desogestrel); or to any other medications or allergies in general.

Also it is best to notify your doctor of your medical history. Inform you doctor if you have had any of the following; blood clots (for example, in the legs, eyes, lungs), blood clotting disorders (such as protein C or protein S deficiency), high blood pressure, abnormal breast exam, cancer (especially endometrial or breast cancer), high cholesterol or triglyceride (blood fat) levels, depression, diabetes, family or personal history of a certain swelling disorder (angioedema), gallbladder problems, severe headaches/migraines, heart problems (such as heart valve disease, irregular heartbeat, previous heart attack), history of yellowing eyes/skin (jaundice) during pregnancy or while using hormonal birth control (such as pills, patch), kidney disease, liver disease (including tumors), stroke, swelling (edema), thyroid problems, unexplained vaginal bleeding.

Nausea, vomiting, headache, bloating, breast tenderness, swelling of the ankles/feet (fluid retention), or weight change may occur. Vaginal bleeding between periods (spotting) or missed/irregular periods may occur, especially during the first few months of use. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. If you miss 2 periods in a row (or 1 period if the pill has not been used properly), contact your doctor for a pregnancy test.

This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: lumps in the breast, mental/mood changes (such as new/worsening depression), severe stomach/abdominal pain, unusual changes in vaginal bleeding (such as continuous spotting, sudden heavy bleeding, missed periods), dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.

This medication may rarely cause serious (sometimes fatal) problems from blood clots (such as deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke). Get medical help right away if any of these side effects occur: chest/jaw/left arm pain, confusion, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, slurred speech, sudden shortness of breath/rapid breathing, unusual headaches (including headaches with vision changes/lack of coordination, worsening of migraines, sudden/very severe headaches), unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, vision problems/changes (such as double vision, partial/complete blindness).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.

 

 What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.

 

 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.

 

 What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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