Loestrin is a birth control pill and is used to prevent pregnancy. It contains two female sex hormones – an estrogen and a progestin. Birth control pills work in two ways, by inhibiting the release of an egg by the ovaries and by changing the mucus produced by the cervix which slows the movement of the sperm through the mucus and the uterus. A complete medical examination and family history is necessary before birth control pills are prescribed. A physical examination should include measuring blood pressure and examining the breasts, abdomen, pelvic organs, and limbs. A second visit to your doctor should take place three months or sooner after starting birth control pills. During this visit, any side effects should be evaluated and your blood pressure checked again. Afterward, an annual examination similar to the first visit is recommended. A Pap smear is usually taken before starting birth control pills and then at intervals recommended by your doctor.
Loestrin is manufactured by Galen and comes from United Kingdom. It contains two active ingredients norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol. Loestrin is available as tablets in the dosage forms of 1/20 mcg and 1.5/30 mcg. Each 1/20 mcg white tablet contains 1 mg norethindrone acetate and 20 mcg ethinyl estradiol, and each 1.5/30 mcg green tablet contains 1.5 mg norethindrone acetate and 30 mcg ethinyl estradiol. All the brown tablets contain 75 mg ferrous fumarate.
Stop taking Loestrin and call your doctor at once if you have one of these serious side effects:
• Blood clots in the legs, lungs, heart, eyes, or brain
• Breast cancer
• Gall bladder disease
• Liver tumor
Less serious side effects include tenderness of breasts, nausea and vomiting, weight gain or weight loss, unexpected vaginal bleeding or spotting, changes in usual menstrual period, growth of pre-existing fibroid tumors of uterus, mental depression, liver problems with jaundice, increase or decrease in hair growth, sex drive or appetite, skin pigmentation, headache, rash, vaginal infections. Please call your doctor if you have any further concerns or questions.
Take Loestrin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Decide with your doctor or clinic what is the best day for you to start taking your first pack of pills. Your pills may be either a 21-day or 28-day type. With 21-day type, you are 21 days on pills with seven days off pills. You must not be off the pills for more than seven days in a row. With 28-day type, you take 21 pills, which contain hormones and seven pills, which contain no hormones. Do not take Loestrin if you are have unusual vaginal bleeding that has not yet been diagnosed, have blood clots in the legs, lungs, eyes or elsewhere, have or had a stroke, heart attack or chest pain (angina pectoris), have known or suspected cancer of the breast or sex organs, liver tumor associated with the use of the pill or other estrogen-containing products, jaundice or liver disease, are pregnant or suspected to be pregnant. Loestrin may interact with, medications such as rifampin (anti-tuberculosis medication), anticonvulsants such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, carbamazepine, troglitazone (an anti-diabetic), antibiotics such as ampicillin, tetracycline, and griseofulvin, atorvastatin (cholesterol-lowering drug), ascorbic acid, acetaminophen, prednisolone (a corticosteroid), theophylline (used to treat asthma), cyclosporine (used to prevent organ rejection after transplant).
Before taking Loestrin, inform your doctor have breast conditions, a strong history of breast cancer, breast disorders including pain, discharge from the nipples, thickenings, or lumps, diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal levels of fats in the bloodstream (high cholesterol or triglycerides), smoke cigarette, suffer from migraine headaches, have a heart or kidney disease, epilepsy, mental depression, fibroid tumors of the uterus, gallbladder or pancreatic disease, have any plans for forthcoming surgery, have a history of jaundice or other liver disease, have a family history of blood clots, heart attacks or strokes.