What is Lo Loestrin Fe ?
This hormone combination medication is used to prevent pregnancy. It has two hormones in it: norethindrone (a progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen). Inactive tablets taken during the fourth week contain a small amount of iron (ferrous fumarate). Hormones are not present in the inactive pills. These tablets are only intended to get you into the habit of taking one tablet per day and do not contain enough iron to treat iron deficiency. Birth control pills, in addition to preventing pregnancy, may make your periods more regular, reduce blood loss and painful periods, reduce the risk of ovarian cysts, and treat acne. This medication provides no protection against sexually transmitted diseases for you or your partner (such as HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia).
How to use Lo Loestrin Fe ?
Before you begin taking this product and each time you get a refill, read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist. The leaflet includes critical information about when to take your pills and what to do if you miss a dose. If you have any concerns, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
As directed by your doctor, take this medication by mouth with or without food once daily. Choose an easy-to-remember time of day and take your pill at the same time every day.
It is critical that you continue to take this medication exactly as directed by your doctor. The amount of estrogen and progestin in each active tablet of certain brands of birth control pills varies throughout the cycle. To find the first tablet, follow the package instructions. Begin with the first tablet in the pack and take them in the correct order. There should be no missed doses. Pregnancy is more likely if you miss pills, start a new pack late, or take your pill at a different time of the day than usual.
If you experience vomiting or diarrhea within 3 to 4 hours of taking your tablet, read the section of the Patient Information Leaflet titled “What to Do if You Miss Tablets.”Follow the instructions as if you had missed your dose because vomiting/diarrhea can stop the tablet from working.
If you experience stomach upset or nausea while taking this medication, taking it after your evening meal or at bedtime may help. You may choose to take this medication at a different time of day that is more convenient for you. It is critical that you take this medication at the same time each day, 24 hours apart, regardless of the dosing schedule you use.
Your pill pack includes 26 pills containing active medication (24 pills with norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol, 2 pills with only ethinyl estradiol). It also includes 2 iron reminder pills. Take one active pill (containing hormones) once a day for 26 days. Take one reminder pill (with iron) once daily for two days after the last active pill, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Your period should arrive during the fourth week of the cycle. After you’ve finished the last reminder tablet in the pack, start a new pack the next day, even if your period is still going on or you don’t have one. Consult your doctor if you are not getting your period.
If you are taking certain medications that can interact with iron (such as cefdinir, levodopa, penicillamine, quinolones such as ciprofloxacin, tetracyclines), consult your doctor about throwing away the reminder pills (iron tablets) each day rather than taking them. Iron can reduce the effectiveness of these medications.
If you are using this medication for the first time and are not switching from another form of hormonal birth control (such as a patch or other birth control pills), take the first tablet in the pack on the first Sunday after the start of your menstrual period or on the first day of your period. If your period starts on a Sunday, start taking this medication on that day. Use an additional form of non-hormonal birth control (such as condoms or spermicide) for the first 7 days of use only to prevent pregnancy until the medication has had enough time to work. You don’t need to use backup birth control the first week if you start on the first day of your period.
Inquire with your doctor or pharmacist about how to transition from other forms of hormonal birth control (such as patches or birth control pills) to this product. If you have any questions, please consult the Patient Information Leaflet or your doctor or pharmacist.
What side effects can Lo Loestrin Fe cause?
It is possible to experience nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal cramps/bloating, breast tenderness, swelling of the ankles/feet (retaining fluid), or weight change. Vaginal bleeding (spotting) or missed/irregular periods are possible, especially during the first few months of use. Inform your doctor or pharmacist right away if any of these side effects persist or worsen. Contact your doctor for a pregnancy test if you miss two periods in a row (or one period if the pill was not used properly).
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you outweighs the risk of side effects. Many people who take this medication have no serious side effects.
This medication may cause an increase in your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure on a regular basis and notify your doctor if it is high.
If you experience any serious side effects, such as a lump in your breast, mental/mood changes (such as new/worsening depression), unusual changes in vaginal bleeding (such as continuous spotting, sudden heavy bleeding), dark urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain, or yellowing eyes/skin, contact your doctor right away.
This medication may occasionally cause serious (and sometimes fatal) blood clot problems (such as deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke). If you have shortness of breath/rapid breathing, chest/jaw/left arm pain, unusual sweating, confusion, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, sudden/severe headaches, trouble speaking, weakness on one side of the body, or sudden vision changes, seek medical attention right away.
It is uncommon for this drug to cause a severe allergic reaction. However, seek medical attention immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms of a severe allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
This is not an exhaustive list of potential side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any other side effects not listed above.
Also see the Warning section.
If you are allergic to estradiol, norethindrone, or iron, or to any estrogens (such as mestranol) or progestins (such as desogestrel), or if you have any other allergies, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication. Inactive ingredients in this product may cause allergic reactions or other problems. For more information, consult your pharmacist.
Before using this product, inform your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history, particularly of: blood clots (for example, in the legs, eyes, or lungs), blood clotting disorders (such as protein C or protein S deficiency), high blood pressure, abnormal breast exam, cancer (especially breast or endometrial cancer), high cholesterol or triglyceride (blood fat) levels, depression, diabetes, family or personal history of a certain swelling disorder (angioedema), gallbladder problems, severe headaches/migraines, heart problems (such as heart valve disease, irregular heartbeat, previous heart attack), history of yellowing eyes/skin (jaundice) during pregnancy or while using hormonal birth control (such as pills, patch), kidney disease, liver disease (including tumors), stroke, swelling (edema), thyroid problems, unexplained vaginal bleeding, obesity.
This medication may have an effect on your blood sugar if you have diabetes. Check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis and share the results with your doctor. If you experience symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst or urination, contact your doctor right away. Your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet may need to be adjusted by your doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have recently had or will soon have surgery, or if you will be confined to a bed or chair for an extended period of time (such as on a long plane flight). These conditions increase your risk of blood clots, particularly if you use hormonal birth control. You may need to discontinue this medication for a period of time or take special precautions.
Inform your doctor or dentist about all of the products you use before having surgery (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This medication may result in blotchy, dark spots on your skin and face (melasma). This effect may be exacerbated by sunlight. Limit your exposure to the sun. Sunlamps and tanning booths should be avoided. When going outside, use sunscreen and wear protective clothing.
If you are nearsighted or wear contact lenses, you may experience vision problems or difficulty wearing them. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your eye doctor.
After you stop taking birth control pills, it may take you longer to become pregnant. Consult your doctor.
This medication should not be taken while pregnant. Inform your doctor right away if you become pregnant or suspect you are pregnant. If you have recently given birth or had a pregnancy loss/abortion after the first three months, consult your doctor about reliable forms of birth control and when it is safe to begin using birth control containing a form of estrogen, such as this medication.
This medication has the potential to reduce breast milk production. A small amount enters breast milk and may have an adverse effect on a nursing infant. Before breast-feeding, consult your doctor.
Drug interactions can alter the way your medications work or put you at risk for serious side effects. This document does not include every possible drug interaction. Maintain a list of all the products you use (including prescription and nonprescription drugs, as well as herbal supplements) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medications without first consulting your doctor.
Aromatase inhibitors (such as anastrozole, exemestane, and letrozole), dimercaprol, ospemifene, tamoxifen, tranexamic acid, and certain combination products used to treat chronic hepatitis C (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir with or without dasabuvir). Inform your doctor whenever you begin a new medication and discuss whether you should use additional reliable birth control. Inform your doctor if you notice any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, as these could indicate that your birth control isn’t working properly.
Call 911 if someone has overdosed and is experiencing serious symptoms such as passing out or difficulty breathing. Otherwise, contact a poison control center immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe nausea and vomiting, sudden/unusual vaginal bleeding.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
The advice for missed doses varies depending on the brand and the number of missed doses. For information on missed doses, consult the product package. To avoid pregnancy, you may need to use backup birth control (such as condoms or spermicide). If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
If you frequently forget to take your pills as directed, speak with your doctor about switching to another form of birth control.
How should Lo Loestrin Fe be stored ?
Store away from light and moisture at room temperature. Keep out of the bathroom. Keep all medications out of the reach of children and pets.
Unless otherwise directed, do not flush medications or pour them down the drain. When this product has expired or is no longer needed, properly dispose of it. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.