What is Loestrin?
Loestrin is a combination hormone medication used to prevent pregnancy. Loestrin has two active ingredients: norethindrone, a progestin, and ethinyl estradiol, an estrogen. The combination of the two hormones prevent the release of an egg during the menstrual cycle, makes the vaginal fluid thicker to prevent the sperm from reaching an egg, and changes the lining of the uterus to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg.
Loestrin contains a small amount of iron in inactive tablets taken during the fourth week. The inactive pills do not contain hormones but are meant to keep you in the habit of taking one tablet each day and do not have enough iron to treat iron deficiency.
Loestrin also makes your period more regular, decrease blood loss and painful periods, decrease the risks of ovarian cysts, and treat acne.
The use of Loestrin does not protect you and your partner against sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea and HIV.
How does Loestrin work?
Loestrin works mainly by preventing the release of an egg during the menstrual cycle. It also makes vaginal fluid thicker, which helps prevent sperm from reaching an egg. It changes the lining of the uterus to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg.
What are the benefits of using Loestrin?
Loestrin is beneficial to prevent pregnancy by preventing the release of an egg during the menstrual cycle, making the vaginal fluid thicker to help sperm from reaching an egg, and changing the lining of the uterus to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg.
Loestrin is also beneficial in making your period more regular, decrease blood loss, and painful periods. Loestrin helps in decreasing the risk of ovarian cysts. It is beneficial in the prevention of acne.
How do I use Loestrin?
Read the instructions in the patient information leaflet that is provided to you by your pharmacist or by the product’s manufacturer before you start taking Loestrin.
Take Loestrin by mouth with or without food once daily. Take the medication at a time of the day that is easy for you to remember. Taking the pills at the same time each day will help you to remember taking the dose.
This medication should be taken continuously as prescribed by your doctor. Take the first tablet in the pack, then take the rest of the pills in proper order. Do not skip any doses. Pregnancy is likely to occur if you miss pills, start your new pack late, or take your pill at a different time of the day.
If you experience vomiting or diarrhoea within 3 to 4 hours after taking the pill, read in the section in the patient information leaflet the title “What to do if you miss tablets.” Follow the instructions like you have missed a dose because vomiting or diarrhoea can stop the tablet from working.
Take this medication after the evening meal or at bedtime to help you prevent stomach upset or nausea with the medication. You may choose to take the tablet at any other time of the day that will be easier for you to remember. Regardless of your dosing schedule, it is important that you take this medication at the same time each day, at 24 hours apart.
Your pack of pills contains 26 pills with active medication, 24 pills with norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol, and two pills with only ethinyl estradiol. It contains two reminder pills with iron. Take one active pill once daily for 26 days in a row. After taking the last active pill, take one reminder pill with iron once daily for two days in a row or as directed by your doctor. You should expect your period during the fourth week of the cycle. After taking the last reminder pill in the pack, start the new pack immediately on the following day even if your period is still continuing or if you do not have your period. If you do not get your period, consult your doctor.
There are certain medications that interact with iron. Ask your doctor if you should throw away the iron pills because iron can decrease the effects of these medications. Check with your doctor if any of the medications you are currently taking fall under this category.
If you are using Loestrin for the first time and you are not switching from another hormonal birth control pills, take the first tablet in the pack on the first Sunday following the beginning of your menstrual period. For the first cycle of the pills only, use an additional form of non-hormonal birth control for the first 7 days to prevent pregnancy until Loestrin has enough time to work. If you start on the first day of your period, there is no need for a back-up birth control method.
Loestrin pack contains 26 pills with active medications and two reminder pills. Take the pills one a day continuously until you finish all the active and reminder pills. Start a new pack of medication the following day.
Side effects & precautions
Medicines and their possible side effects affect individual users differently. Not everyone who uses Loestrin will experience the possible side effects. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he deemed that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
Loestrin may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and inform your doctor when the results are high.
Inform your doctor immediately if you have any serious side effects, such as lump in your breast, mental or mood changes, sudden heavy bleeding, unusual change in vaginal bleeding, dark urine, yellowing of the eyes or skin, and severe stomach or abdominal pain.
Loestrin may cause, in a very rare case, problems from blood clots. Get medical help right away if you have shortness of breath or rapid breathing, chest/left arm/jaw pain, unusual sweating, confusion, dizziness or fainting, swelling or warmth in the groin, slurred speech, sudden severe headaches, weakness on one side of the body, and sudden vision changes.
A very serious allergic reaction can rarely result from the use of this medicine, Get medical help immediately if you experience the symptoms of allergic reactions such as rash, itching, severe dizziness, trouble breathing, and swelling of the face, tongue, or throat.
Before you start using Loestrin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to estradiol or norethindrone, iron, or to any other estrogens or any progestins, or if you have any other allergies. Loestrin may contain inactive ingredients that cause allergic reactions or problems.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor about your medical history, as well as your family history.
If you are diabetic, this medication may affect your blood sugar. You should regularly check your blood sugar once you start taking Loestrin. Report to your doctor any symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst or urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication.
Tell your doctor if you will undergo surgical procedures or if you will have to be confined to bed or chair for a long time. These conditions may increase your risk of getting blood clots.
Tell your doctor or dentist about all medications you are taking before you have any surgery.
This medication may cause dark, blotchy areas on your face and skin. Exposure to sunlight may worsen this effect. Limit your exposure to the sun and use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when going outdoors.
This medication should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think that you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.
Loestrin may decrease the production of breast milk. A small amount of this medication may pass into the breast milk and may have undesirable effects on the nursing infant.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk of serious side effects. Share with your doctor a list all the current medications you are taking or have recently taken. Your doctor can give you advice about possible interactions with your medications and Loestrin.