Levlen is a birth control preparation. This preparation is intended for a pregnancy prevention by the suppression of an ovulation and egg maturation.
Indications for use
Mechanism of action
The inhibition of ovulation is the main aim of Levlen as a combined hormonal contraceptive drug. Such birth control drugs are aimed at decreasing the FSH and LH synthesis. The estrogen and progestin combination provides a synergistic effect thus magnifying the antigonadotropic and anti-ovulatory agents’ properties. Additionally, all birth control pills alter the cervical mucus thickness, cause endometrial hypoplasia and decrease the contractile force of the fallopian tubes.
Effectiveness is in many ways dependent on compliance. The frequency of pregnancy occurring within the year of application varies from 0.1% in the case of a proper regimen to 5% for violations in the mode of application.
Mode of application and dosage
Each pack of Levlen contains 28 pills (21 active pills and 7 inert pills with no medication). Take 1 pill per day starting from the first day of your period or on the first Sunday following the onset of your period. Take pills for 28 days in a row without breaks. When the package is empty, start a new one immediately. You should get your period on week 4 (when you are taking inert pills).
Your package may also contains 21 pills (only active pills). In this case, take pills according to the same schedule (1 pill per day) but once the pack is empty, you should make a 7-day break and then start a new pack. If you are using Levlen 21, then your period should begin during a no-hormone week (week 4)
Birth control pills are taken without chewing, washed down with a small amount of water. The time of reception should be the same day after day. The interval between Levlen doses should not be over 36 hours.
- High-grade sensitivity to any of the drug components;
- Impaired hepatic function;
- Inherited hyperbilirubinemia;
- Hepatic tumors (hemangioma, hepatic cancer);
- Tumors of malignant etiology (breast cancer or endometrium);
- Predisposition to any of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular dysfunction: diagnosed or observed previously in the medical history;
- Diabetes mellitus of severe state;
- Sickle-cell anemia;
- Chronic hemolytic anemia;
- Genital bleeding of unclear genesis;
- Hydatidiform moles;
- Otosclerosis with hearing dysfunctions;
- Idiopathic jaundice or itching during a previous pregnancy;
- Inherited hyperlipidemia;
- Age over 40 years.
Levlen, as a rule, is well tolerated, but there may be some not expressed side effects. There may be observed:
- mammary gland tension;
- weight changes;
- libido changes;
- depressed mood;
- breakthrough bleeding;
- discomfort when wearing contact lenses.
However, such phenomena have a temporary character disappearing within the time by themselves. In the case of a long-lasting application of Levlen, the rare evidence of chloasma is observed. Sometimes there are:
- increased blood plasma triglycerides;
- increased blood sugar;
- decreased glucose tolerance;
- increased blood pressure;
- thrombosis and thromboembolism of various locations;
- gallbladder disease;
- skin rashes;
- hair loss;
- changes in vaginal secretion;
- vaginal mycosis;
- increased fatigue;
Levlen should be used cautiously at the same time with:
- ampicillin, rifampicin, chloramphenicol (levomycetin), neomycin, penicillin B, sulfonamides, tetracyclines, dihydroergotamine, tranquilizers, phenylbutazone (these drugs can reduce the contraceptive effect, so it is recommended to use another, non-hormonal method of contraception);
- anticoagulants, coumarin or indanedione derivatives (there may be a need for determining prothrombin time and, if necessary, changing the dose of anticoagulant);
With tricyclic antidepressants, maprotiline, beta-blockers (their bioavailability may increase and because of this the toxicity of these drugs);
- oral antidiabetic drugs, insulin (it may be necessary to change their dose);
- bromocriptine (decreased efficacy);
- hepatotoxic drugs, especially with dantrolene (risk of increased hepatotoxicity, especially in women over 35 years of age).
What if I miss a dose?
If a woman skips an active pill, she should take 2 tablets when you understand this error. Then the dosage adjustment is not required.
If a woman skips 2 active pills in succession on the first or second week of the course, she should take 2 pills per day for 2 days in succession. Then the dosage adjustment is not required until the end of the course. Use additional birth control methods for at least 7 days after the missed pill is taken.
If a woman skips 2 active pills in succession on the third week of the course, she should throw away this pack and begin a new course with a new pack the same day if your course was started on the 1st day of menstruation. If you start a course on Sunday, continue applying a pill daily until Sunday. On Sunday, throw away the rest of the pack for starting a new blister that day.
If a woman skips 3 active pills in succession within the first, second and third week of the course, she should throw away this pack and begin a new course with a new pack the same day if your course was started on the 1st day of menstruation. If you start a course on Sunday, continue applying a pill daily until Sunday. On Sunday, throw away the rest of the pack for starting a new blister that day.
If a woman skips 2 or more active pills, the periods may not come this month. If the periods do not come within 2 months in succession, visit your doctor to exclude pregnancy.
Levlen and pregnancy
Levlen is contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding. There is no obvious evidence of the negative effects of birth control pills on the fetus. Every woman should weigh the possible risks and benefits for the fetus. No developmental damages were observed in newborns whose mother were taking Levlen on the early stages of the pregnancy.