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Loestrin is a birth control preparation by Warner Chilcott containing estrogen, ethinyl estradiol and the progestin, norethindrone acetate in doses that prevent the release of the ovum from an ovary. Each pill contains 20mcg estrogen, the lowest level approved by the Food and Drug Administration for effective birth control. The low dose is considered safer and has fewer side effects than higher doses of the hormone. Side effects include headaches, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea and breast tenderness.

Loestrin is also claimed to thicken the mucous surrounding the cervix, making it more difficult for sperm to navigate the way to the uterus as well as keeping the egg from attaching to the walls of the uterus. The manufacturer claim the pills help to shorten the menstrual period of 85% of women who use it properly as well as preventing pregnancies over 99% of the time. The flow is also said to be lighter.

Information you should know

The use of contraceptives should always be consulted with a gynecologist. Contraindicated for the use of Loestrin are pregnancy, lactation, imminent major surgery, prolonged bed rest, hypertension, abnormal vaginal bleeding or other bleeding disorders, circulation problems, liver disease, history of stroke or blood
clot and hormone-related cancers such as breast cancer.

Interactions with some drugs have been observed that makes Loestrin 24 Fe less effective, and may require the use of additional contraception methods, such as condom use to prevent pregnancy. These drugs include antibiotics using penicillin and tetracycline as well as barbiturates. HIV medicines are observed to have a deleterious effect on the efficacy of Loestrin. It may also be advisable to inform the doctor of any over-the-counter medications being used such as vitamins and herbal products.

Smoking increases the risk of blood clots, heart attack and stroke associated with birth control pills, so they should be avoided while taking Loestrin.

Directions for taking Loestrin

Loestrin 24 Fe must be taken precisely as prescribed by the doctor. When beginning a new pack, the first pill is usually taken on the first Sunday after the period begins. One pill is taken every 24 hours and it is recommended that it be taken at the same time every day. At night is probably the best time to alleviate some of the side effects that may accompany the hormone intake such as nausea and headaches.

Once the pack is used up, throw it out and use a new pack the following day.
It may be necessary to use another birth control method such as a spermicide in conjunction with Loestrin during the first week of the new pack.

As much as possible, do not miss taking a pill. If one pill is missed, take two pills at the next scheduled dose and use an alternative birth control method for the next seven days. If you miss more than two pills in a row, throw away the whole pack and start a new pack seven days after the last pill taken if you get your period
within that period. If not, take a pregnancy test.


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