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Alesse (Levonorgestrel bp + ethinylestradiol bp)

Alesse
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  • General Info

    Description

    Alesse is a new low-dose monophasic combined oral contraceptive, which is composed of two active ingredients - Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol. Ethinyl Estradiol belongs to the drug class estrogens (female hormones) and is responsible for the development and maintenance of menstrual cycle. The key component Levonorgestrel is a synthetic progesterone (progestin), another female sex hormone.

    Contraception: both active substances work in conjunction and help to prevent pregnancy by inhibiting the secretion of gonadotropins (follicle stimulating hormone, FSH and luteinizing hormone, LH). Ethinyl Estradiol stops ovaries from releasing an egg, while Levonorgestrel does not allow sperm fertilize any egg that may have already released, stops a fertilized egg from attaching itself to womb lining.

    Other indications for taking Alesse:

    Hyperandrogenic states like like acne, hirsutism, oily skin, increased insulin resistance and blood sugar levels are significantly relieved. Alesse pills increase levels of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) - a protein substance in the blood stream that has a particular binding affinity to androgens.

    Menstrual disorders: regular taking Alesse results in reducing of menstrual disorders like dysmenorrhoea or pain during periods. Such cycle regulation is desirous in women who suffer from irregular or dysfunctional uterine bleeding out of various causes. Thus Alesse significantly relieves the PMS (premenstrual syndrome). PMS is a broad term used to label such a collection of menstrual problems (bloating, breast pain, groin aches, weak limbs, generalized fatigue, headache, mood swings and rarely visual disturbances) that present in the 3-4 day period around menses.

    Cancer prophylaxis: taking Alesse for at least 3-4 years can prevent certain types of female genital tract cancer such as ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer (womb cancer). Even after stopping Alesse, these prophylactic benefits last for up to 10 years further.

    Benign gynecological conditions like fibroids in the uterus, pelvic inflammation, endometriosis, pelvic pain, ovarian cysts, fibrocystic breast disease and iron deficiency anemia can be significantly relieved by the regular usage of Alesse.

    Alesse decreases the risk of blood clots due to the contents of second-generation progestin.

    Alesse doesn't protect you and your partner from sexually transmitted diseases (HIV and the others).

    Dosage

    Take one tablet a day orally, with food or after the meal.

    Do not crush or chew the tablet. Swallow the tablet whole with water.

    The cycle of using Alesse takes 21 days.

    Take one tablet daily for 21 days consecutively.

    To achieve maximum contraceptive effectiveness, Alesse must be taken exactly as directed and at intervals not exceeding 24 hours.

    It is recommended to take Alesse tablets at the same time each day.

    Start the cycle of Alesse according to its package directions (on the first day of your menstrual period or on the first Sunday of your menstrual period).

    After the last tablet, you should begin with the next package of Alesse on the next day.

    While taking Alesse you may experience the breakthrough bleeding. Tell your doctor if this bleeding continues or is very heavy.

    Missing a dose

    If you miss a tablet, take the dose as soon as you remember about the missing or take two tablets at the time of your next regularly scheduled dose. You do not need to use another birth control. Note, that missing a dose increases your risk of becoming pregnant.

    If you miss 2 tablets in a row during the first or second week, take two tablets each for the next two regularly scheduled doses (one missed tablet plus one regularly scheduled tablet for 2 days in a row). Use another form of birth control for at least 7 days following the missed tablets.

    If you miss 2 tablets in a row during the third week, or if you miss 3 tablets in a row during any of the first 3 weeks, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new package on the same day if you are a Day 1 starter. If you are a Sunday starter, keep taking a pill every day until Sunday.

    On Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack of pills that same day. You may not have a period that month, but this is expected. However, if you miss your period 2 months in a row, call your doctor because you might be pregnant.

    If you miss a tablet, you may become pregnant if you have sex in the 7 days after you missed it. You must use another birth control method (e.g., condoms, spermicides) as a back-up for those 7 days.

    Overdose

    If an overdose occurs and you are feeling unwell, you should seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately. Symptoms of overdose are unusual vaginal bleeding, feeling drowsy, vomiting, extreme tiredness, nausea.

    Storage

    Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F) and away from excess moisture and heat. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date. Keep out of the reach of children.

  • Safety Information

    Side effects

    The most common side effects associated with Alesse are:

    • migraine
    • lightheadedness
    • vomiting
    • scalp hair loss
    • pain of the breast
    • nausea
    • vaginal itching
    • increasing of hair growth
    • stomach cramps
    • weight changes
    • problems with menstrual period
    • dark face
    • appetite changes
    • tiredness
    • problems with sexual life
    • nervousness
    • contact lenses problems

    The most common side effects associated with Alesse are:

    • migraine
    • lightheadedness
    • vomiting
    • scalp hair loss
    • pain of the breast
    • nausea
    • vaginal itching
    • increasing of hair growth
    • stomach cramps
    • weight changes
    • problems with menstrual period
    • dark face
    • appetite changes
    • tiredness
    • problems with sexual life
    • nervousness
    • contact lenses problems

    Less common side effects include:

    • allergic reactions (urticaria, breathing difficulties, rash, and eruption)
    • stomach pain
    • yellowing eyes or skin
    • breast lump
    • problems with vision
    • chest pain
    • problems with appetite
    • sudden numbness
    • clay-colored stools
    • sudden weakness
    • dark urine
    • depression
    • sudden migraine
    • sweating
    • confusion
    • problems with speech
    • pain which spreads to the shoulder or arm
    • problems with balance

    Side effects occurrence does not only depend on the medication you are taking, but also on your overall health and other factors.

    Contraindications

    Do not take Alesse if you are allergic to its components.

    Do not take Alesse if you are using another oral contraception.

    Do not take Alesse if you are pregnant, plan to have a baby, or during lactation.

    Do not take Alesse if you suffer from or have a history of jaundice; liver disease; stroke; breast, liver or uterine cancer; unusual vaginal bleeding; blood clot; heart valve disorder; problems with circulation; severe high blood pressure.

    Do not smoke while taking Alesse because it can cause heart attack, stroke or blood clots.

    Alesse can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. So, try to protect your skin.

    Do not take Alesse if you are taking antibiotics: amoxicillin (e.g., Augmentin), ampicillin (e.g., Omnipen), doxycycline (e.g., Vibramycin, Doryx), griseofulvin (e.g., Grifulvin V, Fulvicin PG, Grisactin), minocycline (e.g., Minocin), penicillin (e.g., Bicillin, Veetids, Pen-Vee K), rifampin (e.g., Rifadin), rifabutin (e.g., Mycobutin), tetracycline (e.g., Robitet, Sumycin, Achromycin).

    Do not take Alesse if you are also taking barbiturates: barbiturate (e.g., Amytal), butabarbital (e.g., Butisol), mephobarbital (e.g., Mebaral), secobarbital (e.g., Seconal) or phenobarbital (e.g., Solfoton, Luminal).

    Do not take Alesse if you are also taking ascorbic acid (e.g., Vitamin C) or acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol).

    Do not take Alesse if you are also taking HIV medicines: amprenavir (e.g., Agenerase), atazanavir (e.g., Reyataz), tipranavir (e.g., Aptivus), indinavir (e.g., Crixivan), saquinavir (e.g., Invirase), ritonavir (e.g., Kaletra), fosamprenavir (e.g., Lexiva), ritonavir (e.g., Norvir) or nelfinavir (e.g., Viracept).

    Do not take Alesse if you are also taking phenylbutazone (e.g., Butazolidin, Azolid).

    Do not take Alesse if you are also taking seizure medicines: phenytoin (e.g., Dilantin), carbamazepine (e.g., Tegretol), felbamate (e.g., Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (e.g., Trileptal), topiramate (e.g., Topamax), or primidone (e.g., Mysoline).

    Do not take Alesse if you are also taking St. John's Wort.

    Be careful with Alesse if you suffer from or have a history of asthma, chest pain, heart condition, gallbladder or fibrocystic breast diseases, irregular menstrual periods, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lumps, nodules, congestive heart failure, diabetes, epilepsy, depression.

    Be careful with Alesse if you are going to have a surgery (dental or other).

    Do not consume alcohol while taking Alesse, as it may cause excessive drowsiness, calmness, minor side effects.

    Alesse doesn't protect you and your partner from sexually transmitted diseases (HIV and the others). Keep Alesse away from children and don't give it to other people for using.

  • F.A.Q.

    Q: What is Alesse?

    A: Alesse is a birth control medication used for long-term oral contraception. The medication also regulates the menstrual period, treats hyperandrogenic disorders like polycystic ovarian disorder and hirsutism. As a contraceptive, Alesse works by protecting the ovary from the egg release and not allowing the sperm fertilize an egg.

    Q: Can I smoke while taking Alesse?

    A: Do not smoke cigarettes while taking Alesse because it can cause heart attack, stroke or blood clots.

    Q: What should I do if I overdose?

    A: If an overdose occurs and you are feeling unwell, you should seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately. Symptoms of overdose are unusual vaginal bleeding, feeling drowsy, vomiting, extreme tiredness, nausea.

    Q: How does Alesse work?

    A: Contraception: both active substances work in conjunction and help to prevent pregnancy by inhibiting the secretion of gonadotropins (follicle stimulating hormone, FSH and luteinizing hormone, LH). Ethinyl Estradiol stops ovaries from releasing an egg, while Levonorgestrel does not allow sperm fertilize any egg that may have already released, stops a fertilized egg from attaching itself to womb lining.

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