|(ETH in il es tra DYE ole & LEE
voe nor jes trel)|
|Alesse™; Levlen®; Levlite®; Levora®; Nordette®; PREVEN™; Tri-Levlen®; Triphasil®|
|Foreign Brand Names|
|Microgynon® (Mexico); Nordet (Mexico); Nordiol (Mexico)|
|What key warnings should I know about before taking this
- You should not smoke while taking birth control pills. Cigarette
smoking increases the risk of serious heart and blood related side effects. This
risk increases with age (greater than 35 years of age) and with heavy smoking
(15 or more cigarettes per day). Birth control pills do not prevent the spread
of HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted
|Reasons not to take this medicine|
- If you have an allergy to ethinyl estradiol, levonorgestrel, or any
other part of the medicine.
- If you have any of the following conditions: Vaginal bleeding of an
unknown cause, breast cancer, a history of blood clots, a tumor where estrogen
makes it grow.
- If you are pregnant or think you may be
|What is this medicine used for?|
- This medicine is commonly used to prevent pregnancy.
- Other uses include treatment of acne in girls older than 15, treatment
of endometriosis, painful periods, unusual uterine bleeding, and female
|How does it work?|
- The ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel combination prevents
pregnancy by preventing ovulation (egg release). It causes a variety of hormonal
changes. This medicine either prevents or delays ovulation (egg
|How is it best taken?|
- Take with food at a similar time every day or as directed by
- Follow directions given by healthcare provider or read the package
- Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit
|What do I do if I miss a dose?|
- Take a missed dose as soon as possible and then return to your regular
- Missed dosing information can be found in the package insert given to
you or call healthcare provider for more
|What are the precautions when taking this
- Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix
well with other medicines.
- Limit alcohol intake (includes wine, beer, and liquor). Routine use
may increase risk of breast cancer.
- Avoid cigarette smoking. Persons older than 35 years of age and/or
smoking more than 15 cigarettes per day are at risk for heart disease.
- Limit caffeine (for example, tea, coffee, cola) and chocolate intake.
Use with this medicine may cause nervousness, shakiness, rapid heartbeats, and
- Use caution if you have kidney disease, heart disease (including high
blood pressure), liver disease, circulation problems (including history of blood
clot in leg, arm, or lung). Talk with healthcare provider.
- Do not use if you have a history of breast or endometrial cancer or a
strong family history (sister, mother) of breast cancer. Talk with healthcare
- If you are on a blood thinner (warfarin), talk with healthcare
- Remind surgeons and other healthcare providers you are taking this
- Do not use over-the-counter products that increase blood pressure.
These include cough or cold remedies, diet pills, stimulants, ibuprofen or like
products, and certain herbs or supplements. Talk with healthcare provider.
- Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make
sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling
about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of
face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
- Use caution if you are HIV positive. You may need another form of
birth control if you are on certain antiviral medicines.
- Oral contraceptives do not prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted
diseases. Take measures to prevent the spread of these diseases. Talk with
healthcare provider if help is needed in choosing a method.
- Do not use in pregnancy and do not get pregnant. Follow the directions
in the package insert if doses are missed.
- Tell healthcare provider if you are
|What are the common side effects of this
- Headache. Mild pain medicine may help.
- Belly pain and cramps.
- Swelling and bloating.
- Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking
hard candy, or chewing gum may help.
- Breast enlargement or tenderness.
- Vaginal bleeding (breakthrough bleeding, spotting) may
|What should I monitor?|
- Periodic breast (monthly self-exams) and gynecologic exams are
- Check blood pressure regularly.
- Follow up with healthcare provider at least every year.
- If you miss 2 menstrual periods in a row then do a pregnancy test
before starting a new dosing cycle.
|Reasons to call healthcare provider
- Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing;
tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits;
swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Severe headache.
- Unusual vaginal bleeding. This includes lots of bleeding, spotting, or
bleeding between cycles.
- Severe nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
- Swelling/pain of a leg or arm, sudden shortness of breath, difficulty
breathing, chest pain.
- A lump in the breast.
- Any rash.
- A positive pregnancy
|How should I store this medicine?|
- Store in a tight container at room
- Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
- Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements,
vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider
(doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
- Read the package insert for more details (given with the medicine).
- Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine,
including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs,
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