If the bleeding is severe:
If the bleeding is heavy enough to fill 1 tampon or pad per hour for 2-3 hours in a row or you are feeling dizzy or lightheaded, we recommend you see your primary care provider or go to Urgent Care to ensure there is not a serious issue going on. Make sure to tell them you’re using birth control and be prepared to tell them the name of your birth control. Please let us know what they say so we can ensure we are prescribing you a safe and appropriate medication.
If the bleeding is not severe, but still annoying or concerning:
Are you experiencing breakthrough bleeding in the first 3-6 months of your birth control? Breakthrough bleeding is unscheduled bleeding during the active pills, or during the ring-in or patch-on phase of your cycle. Don’t stress! This is not abnormal. Breakthrough bleeding (anything from light brown discharge up to bleeding like your regular period) is the most common side effect for women beginning birth control. Just continue using your birth control as normal and give your body time to adjust to the birth control you are using. Breakthrough bleeding typically goes away with time and the second cycle is usually much better than the first, but it may take up to 3 full cycles for breakthrough bleeding to go away for good.
Have you missed any pills or taken any pills late?
Missed or late pills are another common cause for breakthrough bleeding. It is very important to take your birth control at the same time every day. This helps prevent breakthrough bleeding (BTB) and ensures maximal pregnancy protection from your birth control (when used perfectly, hormonal birth control is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy!). The better you are about taking your pill at the same time every day, the better it will work. Try setting a daily alarm on your phone to help remind you to take your pill at the same time each day.
Have you tried skipping your period by skipping inactive pills or skipping the ring- or patch-free week?
Unscheduled bleeding and spotting are more common when trying to skip periods. You should plan to complete the inactive pills (or take a 7-day hormone break) at the end of any pill pack or cycle in which you’ve had unscheduled bleeding. In order to prevent unscheduled bleeding when skipping periods, it’s a good idea to take a break from the active pills for 4-7 days every 2-3 months and get a period.
Have you started any new medications or supplements?
Some medications may interact with birth control to make spotting more likely. If you’ve started any new medications, make sure they do not interact with your birth control. Also, any time you receive a new prescription, you should ask the prescribing provider if it will interact with your birth control.
It has been more than 6 months with this birth control and you’re still experiencing breakthrough bleeding:
If breakthrough bleeding is only an issue when you try to skip periods, it may be a good idea to take each pack in its entirety or completing a hormone-free week to have a monthly period. Some women have breakthrough bleeding for a long time when trying to skip periods while others don’t. It all depends on your body.
If breakthrough bleeding is a persistent issue despite completing a monthly hormone-free interval, it may be time to switch to another birth control. At Nurx, we offer over a hundred brands of birth control. Just fill out a quick survey and our medical team can help you change to another birth control that may cause less spotting. Get started here.
Are you using a progestin-only pill?
Progestin-only pills are prescribed for women who have certain health conditions that prevent them from taking combination pills, such as a history of deep vein thrombosis, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or migraine with aura, to name a few. Irregular bleeding is the most common side effect of progestin-only pills (POPs). Fortunately, this side effect usually decreases or stops altogether with time (usually within about 3-6 months). Over time, POPs may reduce menstrual bleeding or stop your period altogether. If you’ve been using your POP for less than 6 months, we encourage you to stick with it as the irregular bleeding will most likely improve.
If you are interested in switching birth control brands to help reduce spotting or bleeding, our medical team can help you find the right fit. Get started here or for more answers to your healthcare questions, visit our Knowledge Center.
- What is Loestrin 20?
- How does Loestrin 20 work?
- 💡Key facts about Loestrin 20
- Who shouldn’t take Loestrin 20?
- Can I take Loestrin 20 if I’m breastfeeding?
- How do I take Loestrin 20?
- Can I take other medicines with Loestrin 20?
- What are the side effects of Loestrin 20?
- What if I get pregnant while taking Loestrin 20?
- Other people also read:
- Big step forward and downward: An OC with 10 μg of estrogen
- What is Lo Loestrin Fe?
- What is the most important information I should know about Lo Loestrin FE?
- Who should not take Lo Loestrin Fe?
- What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking Lo Leostrin FE?
- How should I take Lo Leostrin FE?
- What are the possible side effects of Lo Leostrin FE?
- General information about the safe and effective use of Lo Loestrin Fe
- How should I store Lo Loestrin FE?
- What are the ingredients in Lo Loestrin FE?
- Lo Loestrin Fe Prescribed Online
- Lo Loestrin Fe – Overview
- Lo Loestrin Fe Review
- Lo Loestrin Fe – Coupons and Dosage
- Can I Buy Lo Loestrin Fe Online?
- Lo Loestrin Fe – Side Effects
- Lo Loestrin Fe Birth Control For Acne.
What is Loestrin 20?
Loestrin 20 is a combined contraceptive pill, usually just called ‘the pill’. It contains two hormones – an oestrogen and a progestogen.
Although most often taken to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, the combined pill is sometimes also prescribed for women who have problems with particularly heavy, painful or irregular periods. Taking it usually results in lighter, less painful and more regular menstrual bleeding.
How does Loestrin 20 work?
Each Loestrin 20 tablet contains two active ingredients, ethinylestradiol 20 micrograms and norethisterone 1 mg. These are synthetic versions of the naturally occurring female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone.
Combined pills like Loestrin 20 over-ride your natural menstrual cycle and work mainly by stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation). They also increase the thickness of the natural mucus at the neck of the womb, making it more difficult for sperm to cross from the vagina into the womb, as well as thinning the womb lining (endometrium), making it more difficult for any successfully fertilised eggs to implant there.
You take one pill every day for three weeks, then have a week break before starting the next packet. During your pill-free week the levels of hormones in your blood fall and you’ll usually get a withdrawal bleed that’s like your period.
💡Key facts about Loestrin 20
- Loestrin 20 is most often prescribed for young women who don’t have any major health issues. It’s not suitable for women who have an increased risk of getting a blood clot, including women over 35 who smoke.
- Loestrin 20 is more than 99% effective when taken correctly, but missing pills, vomiting, diarrhoea and taking certain other medicines can make it less effective. See below.
- Loestrin 20 won’t protect you against sexually transmitted infections; you’ll still need to use condoms for that.
- The most common side effects of Loestrin 20 include headaches, feeling sick, breast tenderness and mood changes.
- Breakthrough bleeding, spotting and missed periods can be common in the first few months. See your doctor if this persists. If you don’t have a period for two consecutive months, do a pregnancy test before starting the next month’s packet of pills.
- Blood clots are a rare but serious side effect of the pill. See below for more details.
It’s worth noting that the advice below may differ from that in the leaflet you get with your pills. Our information and advice is the same as that given by the NHS and the Faculty of Sexual Health and Reproductive Healthcare UK, and is based on systematic reviews of the currently available evidence. If you are concerned or have any questions, talk to your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or local family planning centre.
Who shouldn’t take Loestrin 20?
Loestrin 20 is not suitable for everyone. You shouldn’t take it if you:
- are over 35 and you smoke, or you stopped smoking less than a year ago
- are very overweight (BMI more than 35)
- have ever had a blood clot in your leg (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism)
- have ever had a heart attack, angina, stroke or mini-stroke
- have very high blood pressure (hypertension) or vascular disease
- have heart valve disease or an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation
- have a blood disorder that increases your risk of blood clots, eg antiphospholipid syndrome or factor V Leiden
- have severe diabetes with complications affecting the eyes, kidneys or nerves
- suffer from migraines with aura
- have breast cancer now or have had it in the last five years
- have liver disease, eg liver cancer, severe cirrhosis
- have gallbladder disease
- have ever had jaundice, itching, a hearing disorder called otosclerosis, or a rash called pemphigoid gestationis, when pregnant or when taking the pill before
- have a rare metabolic disorder called porphyria.
Your doctor may need to weigh up the risks and benefits of taking Loestrin 20 if you have various other conditions, including those below. If two or more of these apply your doctor will usually recommend that you don’t take Loestrin 20:
- You are 35 years or older.
- You smoke.
- You are overweight.
- You have high cholesterol levels.
- You have high blood pressure (hypertension).
- You have diabetes.
- Your parent, brother or sister had a heart attack, stroke or blood clot in the leg (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism) before the age of 45.
- You use a wheelchair.
- You have a long-term condition called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
- You have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
- You have a history of migraines.
- You have an undiagnosed breast lump or gene mutations that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, eg BRCA1.
Can I take Loestrin 20 if I’m breastfeeding?
The combined pill is not the preferred method of contraception for women who are breastfeeding, because the oestrogen in it can reduce the amount of breast milk you produce. If you do decide you want to take it you shouldn’t start it until at least six weeks after the birth, when breastfeeding is fully established.
How do I take Loestrin 20?
Loestrin 20 tablets come in a calendar pack marked with days of the week. You take one pill at the same time every day for 21 days and then have a seven day break.
During your seven day break you’ll usually get a withdrawal bleed that is similar to your normal period. Start your next pack after the seven pill-free days are up, even if you are still bleeding.
If you want to delay your period you can take two packets back to back without a break. Have your seven day break at the end of the two packets and you should get your period then.
You’ll still be protected against pregnancy in your pill-free week, provided you took all the pills correctly, you start the next packet on time and nothing else happened that could make the pill less effective (eg sickness, diarrhoea, or taking certain other medicines – see below).
When can I start taking Loestrin 20?
You can start taking Loestrin 20 at any time in your menstrual cycle.
If you start it on day 1 to 5 of your period you’ll be protected from pregnancy straight away and don’t need to use any extra contraception. BUT, if you have a short menstrual cycle (if you get your period every 23 days or less), starting on days 2 to 5 may not protect you straight away, and you should use extra contraception for the first seven days.
If you start taking Loestrin 20 at any other time in your cycle, you’ll need to use extra contraception, eg condoms (or not have sex) for the first seven days of pill taking.
If you’re starting Loestrin 20 after having a baby
If you have given birth and are not breastfeeding, it may be possible to start taking Loestrin 20 on day 21 after the birth, but check with your doctor. This will protect you from pregnancy immediately so you don’t need to use extra contraception. If you start Loestrin 20 more than 21 days after giving birth, use extra contraception for the first seven days of pill taking.
If you’re starting Loestrin 20 after a miscarriage or abortion
If you start taking Loestrin 20 up to five days after a miscarriage or abortion you’ll be protected against pregnancy straight away. If you start taking it more than five days after the miscarriage or abortion, use extra contraception for the first seven days of pill taking.
What should I do if I miss a pill of Loestrin 20?
If you forget to take your pill at your usual time, take it as soon as you remember. A missed pill is one that is 24 hours or more late. If you miss a pill, follow the instructions below.
One pill missed:
If you forget to take ONE pill, or start your new pack one day late, take the pill you missed as soon as possible, even if this means taking two pills at the same time. Then continue taking the rest of the pack as normal. You’ll still be protected against pregnancy and you don’t need to use extra contraception.
Two or more pills missed:
If you forget to take TWO or more pills, or start your new pack two or more days late, you won’t be protected. Take the last pill you missed as soon as possible, even if this means taking two pills at the same time. Leave out the other missed ones. Then continue to take your pills, one every day, as normal. You should either not have sex, or use an extra barrier method of contraception, eg condoms, for the next seven days.
If the pills you missed were in the last week of your pack, finish the pack as usual but then start a new pack straight away without a break. This means skipping your pill-free week.
If you had unprotected sex in the seven days before you missed pills, you may need to take the morning after pill. Get advice from your doctor, pharmacist or local family planning clinic.
If you struggle to remember to start your next pack on time you might find an every day pill like Microgynon 30 ED is better for you.
What if I have vomiting or diarrhoea?
If you vomit within two hours of taking a pill, you should take another pill as soon as you feel well enough. Then take your next pill at your usual time. You should still be protected from pregnancy. If you keep vomiting for more than 24 hours, this may make your pill less effective. Keep taking your pill at your normal time, but treat each day that you’re sick as if you had forgotten to take a pill and follow the missed pill instructions above.
If you have very severe diarrhoea for more than 24 hours, this can also make your pill less effective. Keep taking your pill at your normal time, but treat each day that you have severe diarrhoea as if you had forgotten to take a pill and follow the missed pill instructions above.
Can I take other medicines with Loestrin 20?
Before you start taking Loestrin 20, make sure you tell your doctor or pharmacist if you’re already taking any other medicines, because some medicines can make it less effective at preventing pregnancy. For instance, if you regularly take any of the medicines below Loestrin 20 probably won’t work for you, so you’ll usually need to use a different form of contraception:
- certain antiepileptic medicines, such as carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, perampanel, phenobarbital, primidone, phenytoin or topiramate
- some medicines for HIV, such as cobicistat, efavirenz, nevirapine or ritonavir
- the antifungal griseofulvin
- modafinil for narcolepsy
- the antibiotics rifabutin or rifampicin for tuberculosis
- the herbal remedy St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum).
If you’re prescribed a short course (up to two months) of any of these medicines while you’re taking Loestrin 20 this can also make it less effective, and your doctor will usually recommend that you temporarily use a different form of contraception. If you want to keep taking Loestrin 20, talk to your doctor about what to do. You’ll also need to use an extra method of contraception (eg condoms) for as long as you take the extra medicine and for at least four weeks after stopping it.
Loestrin 20 is not usually recommended if you’re taking the antiepileptic medicine lamotrigine.
While you’re taking Loestrin 20 it’s a good idea to check with your doctor or pharmacist before you take any other new medicines.
Antibiotics (other than rifampicin or rifabutin – see above) won’t make Loestrin 20 less effective, unless they give you diarrhoea or make you sick. If this happens, follow the instructions for diarrhoea and vomiting described above.
The same applies for any other medicine that makes you vomit or gives you diarrhoea – common culprits include laxatives and the weight loss medicine orlistat (brand names Alli and Xenical).
The morning-after pill ellaOne (containing ulipristal) can make Loestrin less effective. If you take this type of emergency contraception while taking Loestrin you should use extra contraception, such as condoms, for 14 days after taking it.
What are the side effects of Loestrin 20?
The following are some of the side effects that may be associated with Loestrin 20. Just because a side effect is stated here doesn’t mean that everyone taking this contraceptive pill will experience that or any side effect.
Common side effects include:
- Feeling sick.
- Abdominal pain.
- Breast pain or tenderness.
- Slight bleeding or spotting between periods in the first few months.
- Lighter periods or sometimes stopping of periods.
- Mood changes. However, there’s no evidence that the pill causes depression.
- Fluid retention. However, there’s no evidence the pill causes weight gain.
Other possible side effects include:
- Change in sex drive.
- Rise in blood pressure.
- Skin reactions.
- Increased risk of getting a blood clot in an artery, which could cause a stroke or a heart attack.
- Increased risk of getting a blood clot in a vein, such as a deep vein thrombosis (clot in the leg) or pulmonary embolism (clot in the lungs). But the risk is still small – each year between 5 and 7 women out of every 10,000 taking Loestrin 20 will get this type of blood clot, compared with 2 women out of every 10,000 not taking the pill, and 29 out of every 10,000 women who are pregnant.
The risk of getting a blood clot is temporarily increased if you’re immobile for long periods of time, for example if you have a major accident or major surgery. You’ll need to stop taking Loestrin 20 four to six weeks before planned surgery, and also if you’re confined to bed or have a leg in plaster. You shouldn’t start taking it again until at least two weeks after you are fully mobile.
The risk of blood clots is also increased if you’re travelling for long periods of time where you will be sat still (over three hours). Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice on using travel stockings, calf exercises or aspirin.
❗ Stop taking Loestrin 20 and see a doctor immediately if you get symptoms of a blood clot such as: stabbing pains and/or unusual swelling in one leg, pain on breathing or coughing, coughing up blood, sudden breathlessness, sudden severe chest pain, migraine or severe headache, sudden disturbance in vision, hearing or speech, sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, or if you collapse.
As with other hormonal contraceptives, it’s possible that taking the combined pill may slightly increase your risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Research into this is still ongoing, but the risk doesn’t go up the longer you take the pill, and goes back to normal ten years after you stop taking the pill.
Women who take the pill for longer than five years may also have a small increase in the risk of being diagnosed with cervical cancer, which again goes back to normal ten years after you stop taking it.
You should discuss the risks and benefits of the pill (which include reduced risks of cancer of the ovary, womb and colon) with your doctor before you start taking it.
Read the leaflet that comes with your pills, or talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you want any more information about the possible side effects or risks of Loestrin 20. If you think you have experienced a side effect, did you know you can report this using the yellow card website?
What if I get pregnant while taking Loestrin 20?
It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll get pregnant if you take Loestrin 20 correctly every day. But, if this does happen, there’s no evidence that the pills you have taken will harm the baby.
Other people also read:
Healthy tips for a happy sex life: We’ve got all your sexual queries covered!
7 reasons you could be bleeding during sex: We ask the experts
Womens health: Essential information and advice on matters affecting women
Last updated 18.09.2018
Big step forward and downward: An OC with 10 μg of estrogen
Correction: Drug dosage, Editorial, April 2011
The subcutaneous dosage of terbutaline given in the “Checklist” on page 8 is incorrect. The dosage of terbutaline should be given as 0.25 mg.
We regret this editing error. The corrected “Checklist” appears at
Let’s be honest, OK? The original estrogen-progestin oral contraceptives (OCs) contained far too much estrogen. True, they were effective—yielding a reliable pattern of uterine withdrawal bleeding—but those high, high-dose estrogen formulations, such as Enovid, also carried an excessive rate of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). In the 1960s, many women turned away from OCs because they had a justifiable fear of side effects.
We’ve come a long way from the 1960s, when OCs that delivered a daily dose of 150 μg of mestranol (mestranol is 3-methoxy ethinyl estradiol) or 50 μg of ethinyl estradiol were widely prescribed. Now, effective low-dose OCs routinely deliver a daily dose of 20 to 30 μg of ethinyl estradiol. With that decrease in the dosage of estrogen, we have clearly observed a decrease in serious side effects, such as DVT and PE.
Now, Lo Loestrin FE (Warner Chilcott), which delivers a daily dose of 10 μg of ethinyl estradiol, represents the next big step in the historic march to an ever-lower dose of estrogen (see “The ultra-low estrogen formulation,” on this page). This is truly an extraordinary advance.
The ultra-low estrogen formulation
Lo Loestrin Fe comprises 28 tablets in this order:
- 24 blue tablets, each containing 10 mg of ethinyl estradiol and 1 mg of norethindrone acetate
- 2 white tablets, each containing 10 mg of ethinyl estradiol but no norethindrone acetate
- 2 brown tablets, each containing 75 mg of ferrous fumarate only
How does the estrogen-progestin contraceptive work?
The principal mechanism of estrogen-progestin OCs is suppression of ovulation. They also work by altering endometrial development and reducing sperm transport from the vagina into the upper reproductive tract.
Estrogen-progestin pills that contain 30 to 35 μg of ethinyl estradiol have an ovulation suppression rate of 98%; those that contain 15 to 20 μg of ethinyl estradiol have an ovulation suppression rate of 99%. In contrast, progestin-only OCs (i.e., no estrogen) have an ovulation suppression rate of only 67%.1
Estrogen-progestin OCs likely work to suppress ovulation by decreasing hypothalamic kisspeptin activity. That decrease reduces gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion, in turn 1) decreasing pituitary luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and 2) blocking development of a dominant ovarian follicle. In addition, estrogen-progestin contraceptives directly block LH and FSH release at the level of the pituitary.
In the absence of a dominant ovarian follicle, no LH surge occurs, and ovulation cannot occur.
The impact of 26 days of hormone-active pills
The standard estrogen-progestin OC has 21 active (containing hormone) tablets and 7 tablet days without hormonal treatment. The 7-day hormone-free interval is associated with increased LH and FSH secretion and increased ovarian follicle activity.
Adding estrogen-progestin pills or estrogen-only pills to the standard 7-day hormone-free interval (as Lo Loestrin Fe does) decreases both secretion of LH and FSH and ovarian follicle activity.2,3 By adding hormone treatment to the standard 7-day hormone-free interval, therefore, the daily dose of hormones can be decreased without reducing contraceptive efficacy. Lo Loestrin Fe takes advantage of this phenomenon by having 26 days of hormone treatment in every 28-day cycle. Instead of only 21 estrogen-progestin pills, Lo Loestrin Fe contains 24 estrogen-progestin pills and two estrogen-only pills.
20 μg or less of ethinyl estradiol: Benefits and side effects
In a clinical trial, women taking a higher dose (35 μg) of ethinyl estradiol (in a tricyclic preparation) were approximately 50% more likely to report bloating, breast tenderness, and nausea, compared with women taking a lower dose (20 μg) (in a monophasic formulation).4 It’s conceivable that an ultra-low estrogen pill will be associated with even fewer episodes of bloating, breast tenderness, and nausea than an OC containing a higher dose.
On the other hand, an ultra-low estrogen pill may be associated more often than a high-estrogen pill with abnormal patterns of bleeding. In a systematic review, contraceptives that contained 20 μg or less of ethinyl estradiol were associated with an increased risk of bleeding irregularities—including infrequent bleeding, prolonged or frequent bleeding, and unscheduled bleeding or spotting—than contraceptives that contained more than 20 μg of ethinyl estradiol.5
How potent a progestin is norethindrone acetate?
A widely used method of assessing the potency of a synthetic progestin in women is the so-called delay of menses test, based on the principle that surgical removal of a corpus luteum any time after ovulation results in uterine bleeding within 48 hours because of the withdrawal of progesterone support.
What is Lo Loestrin Fe?
Lo Loestrin Fe is a birth control pill. It contains two female hormones, an estrogen called ethinyl estradiol, and a progestin called norethindrone acetate.
How well does Lo Loestrin Fe work?
Your chance of getting pregnant depends on how well you follow the directions for taking your birth control pills. The better you follow the directions, the less chance you have of getting pregnant.
Based on the results of one clinical study, about 2 to 4 out of 100 women may get pregnant during the first year they use Lo Loestrin Fe.
Women with a BMI above 35 kg/m2 were not studied in the clinical trial, so it is not known how well Lo Loestrin Fe protects against pregnancy in such women. If you are overweight, discuss with your healthcare provider whether Lo Loestrin Fe is the best choice for you.
The following chart shows the chance of getting pregnant for women who use different methods of birth control. Each box on the chart contains a list of birth control methods that are similar in effectiveness. The most effective methods are at the top of the chart. The box on the bottom of the chart shows the chance of getting pregnant for women who do not use birth control and are trying to get pregnant.
What is the most important information I should know about Lo Loestrin FE?
Warning to Women who Smoke
Do not use Lo Loestrin Fe if you smoke cigarettes and are over 35 years old. Smoking increases your risk of serious cardiovascular side effects (heart and blood vessel problems) from birth control pills, including death from heart attack, blood clots or stroke. This risk increases with age and the number of cigarettes you smoke.
What else should I know about taking Lo Loestrin Fe?
Birth control pills help to lower the chances of becoming pregnant when taken as directed. They do not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Do not skip any pills, even if you do not have sex often.
If you have vomiting or diarrhea, your birth control pills may not work as well. Use another birth control method, like a condom and spermicide, until you check with your healthcare provider.
If you are scheduled for any laboratory tests, tell your healthcare provider that you are taking birth control pills. Certain blood tests may be affected by birth control pills.
If you miss a period, you could be pregnant. However, some women miss periods or have light periods on birth control pills, even when they are not pregnant. Contact your healthcare provider for advice if you:
- Think you are pregnant
- Miss one period and have not taken your birth control pills every day
- Miss two periods in a row
Birth control pills should not be taken during pregnancy. However, birth control pills taken by accident during pregnancy are not known to cause birth defects.
You should stop Lo Loestrin Fe at least four weeks before you have surgery and not restart it until at least two weeks after the surgery, due to an increased risk of blood clots.
If you are breastfeeding, consider another birth control method until you are ready to stop breastfeeding. Birth control pills that contain estrogen, like Lo Loestrin Fe, may decrease the amount of milk you make. A small amount of the pill’s hormones pass into breast milk.
What should I know about my period when taking Lo Loestrin Fe?
When you take Lo Loestrin Fe you may have bleeding and spotting between periods, called unscheduled bleeding. Approximately half of the women who use Lo Loestrin Fe have unscheduled bleeding or spotting in the first months of use, and about one-third of users continue to have unscheduled bleeding or spotting after one year of use. If the unscheduled bleeding or spotting is heavy or lasts for more than a few days, you should discuss this with your healthcare provider.
What if I miss my scheduled period when taking Lo Loestrin Fe?
It is not uncommon to miss your period. However, if you go two or more months in a row without a period, or you miss your period after a month where you did not take all your pills correctly, call your healthcare provider because you may be pregnant. Also notify your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of pregnancy such as morning sickness or unusual breast tenderness. Stop taking Lo Loestrin Fe if you are pregnant.
What if I want to become pregnant?
You may stop taking the pill whenever you wish. Consider a visit with your healthcare provider for a pre-pregnancy checkup before you stop taking the pill.
Who should not take Lo Loestrin Fe?
Your healthcare provider will not give you Lo Loestrin Fe if you have:
- Ever had blood clots in your legs (deep vein thrombosis), lungs (pulmonary embolism), or eyes (retinal thrombosis)
- Ever had a stroke
- Ever had a heart attack
- Certain heart valve problems or heart rhythm abnormalities that can cause blood clots to form in the heart
- An inherited problem with your blood that makes it clot more than normal
- High blood pressure that medicine can’t control
- Diabetes with kidney, eye, nerve, or blood vessel damage
- Ever had certain kinds of severe migraine headaches with aura, numbness, weakness or changes in vision
- Ever had breast cancer or any cancer that is sensitive to female hormones
- Liver disease, including liver tumors
- Take any Hepatitis C drug combination containing ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir. This may increase levels of the liver enzyme “alanine aminotransferase” (ALT) in the blood.
Also, do not take birth control pills if you:
- Smoke and are over 35 years old
- Are or suspect you are pregnant
- Are allergic to anything in Lo Loestrin Fe
Birth control pills may not be a good choice for you if you have ever had jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) caused by pregnancy, also called cholestasis of pregnancy.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had any of the above conditions (your healthcare provider may recommend another method of birth control).
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking Lo Leostrin FE?
Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines and herbal products that you take. Some medicines and herbal products may make birth control pills less effective, including:
Consider using another birth control method when you take medicines that may make birth control pills less effective.
Birth control pills may interact with lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant used for epilepsy. This may increase the risk of seizures, so your healthcare provider may need to adjust the dose of lamotrigine.
How should I take Lo Leostrin FE?
- Take one pill every day at the same time. If you miss pills you could get pregnant. This includes starting the pack late. The more pills you miss, the more likely you are to get pregnant.
- You may have spotting or light bleeding, or may feel sick to your stomach during the first few months of taking Lo Loestrin Fe. If you have spotting or light bleeding or feel sick to your stomach, do not stop taking the pill. The problem will usually go away. If it doesn’t go away, check with your healthcare provider.
- Missing pills can also cause spotting or light bleeding, even when you take these missed pills later. On the days you take 2 pills to make up for missed pills, you could also feel a little sick to your stomach.
- If you have trouble remembering to take Lo Loestrin Fe, talk to your healthcare provider about how to make pill-taking easier or about using another method of birth control.
- If you have vomiting or diarrhea (within 3 to 4 hours after you take your pill), you should follow the instructions for “What to do if you miss pills”.
- If you have any questions or are unsure about the information in this leaflet, call your healthcare provider.
Before you start taking Lo Loestrin Fe
1. Decide what time of day you want to take your pill. It is important to take it at the same time every day.
2. Look at your pill pack: The Lo Loestrin Fe pill pack has 24 “active” blue pills (with hormones) and 2 “active” white pills (with hormones) for Weeks 1, 2, 3 and part of Week 4. The pill pack also has 2 “reminder” brown pills (without hormones) for the last part of Week 4.
- Where on the pack to start taking pills,
- In what order to take the pills (follow the arrows), and
- The week numbers as shown in the picture above
4. Have ready at all times:
- Another kind of birth control (such as a condom and spermicide) to use as a back-up in case you miss pills
- An extra pill pack
When to start the first pack of Lo Loestrin Fe
- Take the day label strip that starts with the first day of your period. (This is the day you start bleeding or spotting, even if it is almost midnight when the bleeding begins.)
- Place the day label strip on the tablet dispenser over the area that has the days of the week (starting with Sunday) printed on the plastic.
- Take the first blue pill of the first pack during the first 24 hours of your period.
- You will not need to use a back-up method of birth control, because you are starting the pill at the beginning of your period. However, if you start Lo Loestrin Fe later than the first day of your period, or if you start after having a baby and you have not yet resumed your periods, you should use another method of birth control (such as a condom and spermicide) as a back-up method until you have taken 7 blue pills.
When You Switch from a Different Method of Hormonal Contraception
- When you switch from another birth control pill, start Lo Loestrin Fe on the first day you would have started your previous birth control pack.
- When you switch from a vaginal ring or skin patch, finish the 21 days of use, and wait 7 days after removal of the ring or patch before starting Lo Loestrin Fe.
- When you switch from a progestin-only pill, start Lo Loestrin Fe the next day.
- When you switch from an implant, start Lo Loestrin Fe on the day of implant removal.
- If you switch from an injectable contraceptive, start Lo Loestrin Fe on the day on which the next injection would be due.
- If you switch from an IUD, discuss with your healthcare provider when to start Lo Loestrin Fe.
What to do during the month
- Take one pill at the same time every day until the pack is empty.
- Do not skip pills even if you are spotting or bleeding between monthly periods or feel sick to your stomach (nausea).
- Do not skip pills even if you do not have sex very often.
- When you finish a pack of Lo Loestrin Fe, start the next pack on the day after your last brown “reminder” pill. Do not skip any days between packs.
What to do if you miss pills
Birth control pills may not be as effective if you miss any blue or white pills, especially if you miss the first few or the last few blue pills in a pack.
If you miss ONE blue pill, follow these steps:
- Take it as soon as you remember. Take the next pill at your regular time. This means you may take two pills in 1 day.
- You do not need to use a back-up birth control method if you have sex.
If you miss TWO blue pills in a row in Week 1 or Week 2 of your pack, follow these steps:
- Two pills on the day you remember and two pills the next day.
- One pill a day until you finish the pack.
- You could become pregnant if you have sex during the first 7 days after you restart your pills. You MUST use a non-hormonal birth control method (such as a condom and spermicide) as a back-up for those 7 days.
If you miss TWO pills (blue or white) in a row in Week 3 or Week 4 of your pack, follow these steps:
- Throw out the rest of the pill pack and start a new pack that same day.
- You may not have your period this month but this is expected. However, if you miss your period 2 months in a row, call your healthcare provider because you might be pregnant.
- You could become pregnant if you have sex during the first 7 days after you restart your pills. You MUST use a non-hormonal birth control method (such as a condom and spermicide) as a back-up for those 7 days after you restart your pills.
If you miss THREE or MORE pills (blue or white) in a row at any time, follow these steps:
- Throw out the rest of the pill pack and start a new pack that same day.
- You may not have your period this month but this is expected. However, if you miss your period 2 months in a row, call your healthcare provider because you might be pregnant.
- You could become pregnant if you have sex on the days when you missed pills or during the first 7 days after restarting your pills. You must use a non-hormonal birth control method (such as a condom and spermicide) as a back-up the next time you have sex and for the first 7 days after you restart your pills.
If you forget either of the 2 brown “reminder” pills in Week 4, follow these steps:
- Throw away the pills you missed.
- Keep taking one pill each day until the pack is empty.
- You do not need to use a back-up method of birth control.
If you are still not sure what to do about the pills you have missed:
- Use a back-up method of birth control anytime you have sex.
- Keep taking one pill each day until you can reach your healthcare provider.
What are the possible side effects of Lo Leostrin FE?
The most serious risks of taking Lo Loestrin FE are:
Like pregnancy, birth control pills increase the risk of serious blood clots, especially in women who have other risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, or age greater than 35. It is possible to die from a problem caused by a blood clot, such as a heart attack or a stroke.
Some examples of serious blood clots are blood clots in the:
- Legs (deep vein thrombosis)
- Lungs (pulmonary embolus)
- Eyes (loss of eyesight)
- Heart (heart attack)
- Brain (stroke)
A few women who take birth control pills may get:
- High blood pressure
- Gallbladder problems
- Rare cancerous or noncancerous liver tumors
All of these events are uncommon in healthy women.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have:
- Persistent leg pain
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Sudden blindness, partial or complete
- Severe pain or pressure in your chest
- Sudden, severe headache unlike your usual headaches
- Weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, or trouble speaking
- Yellowing of the skin or eyeballs
What are the common side effects of birth control pills?
The most common side effects of birth control pills are:
- Spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods
- Breast tenderness
These side effects are usually mild and usually disappear with time.
Less common side effects are:
- Less sexual desire
- Bloating or fluid retention
- Blotchy darkening of the skin, especially on the face
- High blood sugar, especially in women who already have diabetes
- High fat (cholesterol, triglyceride) levels in the blood
- Depression, especially if you have had depression in the past. Call your healthcare provider immediately if you have any thoughts of harming yourself
- Problems tolerating contact lenses
- Weight gain
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider if you develop any side effects that concern you. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
No serious problems have been reported from a birth control pill overdose, even when accidentally taken by children.
Do birth control pills cause cancer?
Birth control pills do not seem to cause breast cancer. However, if you have breast cancer now, or have had it in the past, do not use birth control pills because some breast cancers are sensitive to hormones.
Women who use birth control pills may have a slightly higher chance of getting cervical cancer. However, this may be due to other reasons such as having more sexual partners.
General information about the safe and effective use of Lo Loestrin Fe
Your healthcare provider prescribed Lo Loestrin Fe for you. Please do not share Lo Loestrin Fe with anyone else. Keep Lo Loestrin Fe out of the reach of children.
If you have concerns or questions, ask your healthcare provider. You may also ask your pharmacist for a more detailed label written for healthcare professionals.
How should I store Lo Loestrin FE?
Store at 25º C (77º F); excursions permitted to 15 – 30º C (59 – 86º F).
Keep this drug and all drugs out of the reach of children.
What are the ingredients in Lo Loestrin FE?
Active ingredients: norethindrone acetate, ethinyl estradiol
Inactive ingredients: mannitol; cellulose, microcrystalline; FD&C blue no. 1; sodium starch glycolate type a potato; magnesium stearate; povidone; alpha-tocopherol; lactose monohydrate
Active ingredient: ethinyl estradiol
Inactive ingredients: mannitol; cellulose, microcrystalline; sodium starch glycolate type a potato; magnesium stearate; povidone; alpha-tocopherol; lactose monohydrate
Inactive ingredients: ferrous fumarate; mannitol; povidone; cellulose, microcrystalline; sodium starch glycolate type a potato; magnesium stearate; sucralose; spearmint
Source: National Library of Medicine. Last updated August 15, 2017.
Lo Loestrin Fe Prescribed Online
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Lo Loestrin Fe – Overview
Lo Loestrin Fe is a combination oral contraceptive medication indicated for use by women to prevent pregnancy. Women who need a Lo Loestrin Fe prescription can connect with a medical provider through Push Health who can prescribe Lo Loestrin Fe when appropriate and safe to do so.
Lo Loestrin Fe Review
Lo Loestrin Fe, like Junel Fe is a combination oral contraceptive medication containing norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol. Lo Loestrin Fe is organized into a blister package containing 28 tablets for easier administration. The Lo Loestrin Fe package consists of 24 blue tablets of the combination of medicines, 2 white tablets containing ethinyl estradiol 10 mcg, and 2 brown tablets containing 75 mg ferrous fumarate that have no role as a birth control medication. Lo Loestrin Fe differs from Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo and Sprintec in that it contains norethindrone acetate instead of norgestimate as a progestin.
Lo Loestrin Fe – Coupons and Dosage
Lo Loestrin Fe coupons are sometimes available online to help cover any out-of-pocket costs associated with the medication. Lo Loestrin Fe is expensive and has a cash price of $5 per Lo Loestrin FE 1mg/10mcg tablet in a 28 tablet package. Some insurance plans may cover the cost of a Lo Loestrin Fe prescription, reducing the cost. Lo Loestrin Fe must be taken exactly as directed to maximize the chance that it is effective. Lo Loestrin Fe is generally prescribed as one tablet by mouth taken daily at the same time in the order specified on the blister pack. Lo Loestrin Fe tablets should not be skipped when being used for contraception.
Can I Buy Lo Loestrin Fe Online?
Lo Loestrin Fe is a prescription medication in the US. One cannot just buy Lo Loestrin Fe online or get it over-the-counter from a pharmacy. The first step to getting Lo Loestrin Fe is to get a prescription from a licensed medical provider. Women who need a Lo Loestrin Fe prescription can connect with a medical provider through Push Health who can prescribe Lo Loestrin Fe when appropriate.
Lo Loestrin Fe – Side Effects
Lo Loestrin Fe can cause side effects when used. Side effects from Lo Loestrin Fe use include nausea, vomiting, headache, abnormal bleeding, abdominal pain and mood changes. Lo Loestrin Fe can cause weight gain and acne. Lo Loestrin Fe and alcohol use should be avoided. There are a number of other situations in which Lo Loestrin Fe should not be used and women who plan to use Lo Loestrin Fe should discuss their medical history and potential side effects with their pharmacist and medical provider before using the medication.
More Lo Loestrin Fe Information
Last updated October 15, 2019. Given the evolving nature of medicine and science, this information might not be accurate and should not be construed as medical advice or diagnosis / treatment recommendations. Please consult a licensed medical provider if you have additional questions.
Lo Loestrin Fe Birth Control For Acne.
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Nov. 20, 2002 — Weight gain may be the biggest deterrent for women wanting to join the more than 18 million American women who take the Pill. But according to some believers, one oral contraceptive may actually make you thinner.
Yasmin, manufactured by Berlex Labs, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in May of 2001. According to Berlex spokesperson Kim Schillace, sales have increased steadily since it first hit the market. And some health-care providers say they’ve seen a number of requests for it specifically.
“The talk about Yasmin is it’s the pill that helps to reduce weight, and it’s the pill that helps reduce PMS,” says Leah McKinnon-Howe, a nurse practitioner at Northeastern University in Boston. “So some people do come in and ask for Yasmin by name.”
Adds Northeastern University student Gina Patterson: “I’ve seen Yasmin in different magazines like Cosmo and Marie Claire. It’s supposed to be a weight-loss pill, but also a birth control pill at the same time.”
But health-care providers say not so fast. Despite the buzz, there is little solid evidence to back it up, says Dr. Nancy Snyderman on Good Morning America.
Behind the Buzz
What sets Yasmin apart from other oral contraceptives is that it uses a different form of the hormone progestin, called drospironone. This hormone, according to the Yasmin Web site, may “work with your body chemistry by affecting the excess sodium and water in your body.”
In other words, it may act as a diuretic and counteract bloating, a side-effect experienced by many women who take birth control pills. The only weight women can expect to lose by taking Yasmin is water.
“On a standard birth control pill, I think the average woman might expect to gain a pound or two. On Yasmin, I think the average woman might expect to lose a pound or two,” says Dr. Bob Barbieri, chief of OBGYN at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “I think it would be very unusual for a woman to lose 20 pounds when they’re on Yasmin.”
The interest in this contraceptive seems to have been sparked in large part by a study conducted by the drug’s manufacturers. The study, published in Contraception magazine, followed 300 women who lost about two pounds after six months of taking the pill.
The effects, however, were not long lasting. After a about a year, the weight came back.
Despite this evidence and the widespread perceptions about its slimming effects, Berlex denies that the pill is being marketed as a way for women to lose weight.
Dr. Marie Foegh, vice president of clinical development at Berlex says, “Yasmin is an oral contraceptive and should not be viewed as a weight loss pill. We would not want any woman to think of it as that. There is a proactive effort going on from our sales force to encourage physicians to educate patients on this.”
Different Pills For Different Folks
“I believe Yasmin has probably become popular because of ads in the lay press, direct pharmaceutical consumer advertising; I also think word-of-mouth from student to student,” says McKinnon Howe. “You know, one person may be on it, say, ‘Gee I didn’t gain any weight with this pill.’ They’ll tell their friend, they’ll come in and think this may be the pill for me.”
According to Barbieri, Yasmin may indeed be a good option for some women, but others may need to stick with what works for them.
“For the woman who claimed that she gained 10 or 20 pounds when she took an ordinary pill, I think that woman should definitely think about trying Yasmin if she wanted to continue on a birth control pill,” he says. “For a woman who is on a pill who feels perfectly fine, I would urge that person to continue using that pill if they continue to need contraceptive protection.”
Indeed, Yasmin is not for everyone. According to the manufacturers, the elimination of excess water and sodium that drospironone accomplishes may raise potassium levels in some women. It is recommended that those with kidney or liver disease should not take Yasmin.
Aside from a few risks that may be specific to one pill formulation or another, all oral contraceptives carry the risk of rare, but serious complications like blood clots. Cigarette smoking has been shown to increase these risks.
“Birth control pills are different, formulations are different and every individual reacts differently,” says McKinnon-Howe. “One person may have no problem with the pill and others may gain five to 10 pounds. That’s why it’s important for people who take birth control pills to have an ongoing relationship with their health-care provider, so these side effects can be addressed and those pill changes can be made to fix the problem.”