Lo Loestrin Fe is a low-dose contraceptive pill containing 2 types of female hormones, ethinyl estradiol (estrogen) and norethindrone (progestin). When taken according to the instructions, the drug helps to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
- Contraception to prevent pregnancy;
- Severe acne treatment;
- Treatment of heavy painful periods
The hormones contained in each pill of Lo Loestrin Fe prevent ovulation (the release of eggs from the ovary). This drug also causes changes in the mucous membrane of the cervix and uterus, which complicates the penetration of sperm into the uterus and makes it more difficult for a fertilized egg to get attached to the uterus.
You need to take 1 pill of Lo Loestrin Fe at the same time every day and in the correct order (directed on the pack).
Each pack contains 26 active pills (24 pills with norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol and 2 pills with ethinyl estradiol) for weeks 1, 2, 3, and part of week 4 and 2 inactive pills with iron (just reminders without hormones). They should be taken for the last part of week 4.
You need to take pills for 28 days, without interruption. After you have used the last pill from your pack, start a new one. 2 reminder pills keep you in the habit of taking Lo Loestrin Fe every day and remind you that you need to start a new pack.
You should not use Lo Loestrin Fe if you have any of the following contraindications:
- uncontrolled high blood pressure;
- heart disease (coronary artery disease, history of a heart attack, stroke or blood clot);
- clotting disorder or blood circulation problems;
- problems with the eyes, kidneys, or blood circulation caused by diabetes;
- a history of cancer associated with hormones, such as breast or uterine cancer;
- unusual vaginal bleeding, which was not checked by a doctor;
- liver disease or liver cancer;
- severe migraine headaches (with aura, numbness, weakness, or vision changes), especially if you are over 35 years;
- a history of jaundice caused by pregnancy or birth control pills;
- if you smoke and you are over 35 years of age.
To make sure that these birth control pills are safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions:
- high blood pressure, varicose veins;
- high cholesterol or triglycerides;
- a history of depression;
- low-active thyroid gland;
- disease of the gallbladder;
- convulsions or epilepsy;
- a history of irregular menstrual cycles;
- a history of fibrocystic breast disease, lumps, nodes or an abnormal mammogram.
Stop using Lo Loestrin Fe and immediately consult a doctor if you have any of the following side effects:
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden and severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, a general bad feeling;
- sudden coughing, wheezing, rapid breathing, blood coughing;
- pain, swelling, warmth, or redness on one or both legs;
- change in the nature or severity of migraine headaches;
- nausea, pain in the upper stomach, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stool, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
- symptoms of depression (problems with sleep, weakness, fatigue, mood changes).
Less serious side effects of these birth control pills may include:
- mild nausea (especially when you start taking this medicine), vomiting, bloating, cramps in the stomach;
- tenderness of the breast or swelling, nipple;
- freckles or darkening of the facial skin, increased hair growth, hair loss on the head;
- changes in weight or appetite;
- problems with contact lenses;
- vaginal itching or discharge;
- changes in menstrual periods,
- decreased sexual desire.
This is not a complete list of side effects that may occur after taking these contraceptive pills.
Some medicines can make Lo Loestrin Fe less effective, which can lead to pregnancy. Before using this contraceptive method, tell your doctor if you are currently taking any of the following medications:
- Antibiotic or cure for tuberculosis;
- Drugs for the treatment of hepatitis C, HIV or AIDS;
- Solfoton and other barbiturates;
- St. John’s Wort;
- Tranexamic acid.
This list is not complete.
Missing a pill of Lo Loestrin Fe isn’t recommended. However, if you miss a dose by mistake, bear in mind that these pills may not be as effective if you miss any active pills, especially if you forget to take the first few or the last few active pills;
- If you miss a pill containing hormones, take it as soon as you remember. Take the next pill at your regular time. If necessary, you may take 2 active pills in 1 day;
- If you miss 2 active pills in a row in the first or second week, take 2 pills as soon as you remember and 2 pills the next day, From the 3rd day, continue taking 1 pill at your regular time;
- If you miss 3 or more active pills in a row, throw out the rest of the pills and start a new Lo Loestrin Fe pack that same day;
- If you miss inactive “reminder” pills in week 4, just throw them away. Using additional barrier contraceptive methods is not required.
Lo Loestrin Fe can cause birth defects. Do not use this medication if you are pregnant. Immediately notify your doctor if you get pregnant or if you miss two menstrual cycles in a row. If you have recently given birth to a child, wait at least 4 weeks before taking these pills. The hormones contained in this drug (ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone) can penetrate into breast milk and can harm a baby. This drug can also slow the production of breast milk. Do not use these contraceptive tablets if you are breastfeeding.