Generic name: Ethinyl estradiol, Levonorgestrel
Brand names: Alesse
Alesse is a combination of progestin (levonorgestrel) and estrogen (ethinyl estradiol), it is a birth control pill. This pill is prescribed for women who want to prevent pregnancy. The components of this remedy work by preventing ovulation and causing changes in the mucus of the cervix, which make it difficult for sperm to penetrate and for an egg to attach to the uterus. This medicine can also be prescribed for other purposes, for example to treat acne in females 14 years of age and older or to help regulate the menstrual cycle.
You should not take this remedy if you recently had a baby or if you are pregnant.
Use condoms or a spermicide, if you take this drug for the first time.
Please be aware that taking hormones can increase the risk of stroke, blood clots or heart attack. The risk may be higher if you are older than 35 or if you smoke.
Your doctor may prescribe this remedy for other purposes. Contact your physician if you need to learn more information about this drug.
Don’t stop treatment with Alesse earlier than it was prescribed by your doctor even if you notice improvements of your condition. Stopping the medication too early may worsen your condition. Be careful about doing dangerous tasks, driving, operating machinery or climbing until you are aware how this drug affects you. Don’t drink alcohol. Always contact a medic before giving Alesse to a child.
What symptoms or conditions should I report to a doctor before I take this medicine?
You should not take this remedy if you have or had the following conditions:
- high blood pressure
- abnormal vaginal bleeding
- liver cancer or liver disease
- a heart valve disorder
- blood or stroke clot
- a history of jaundice caused by birth control pills
- migraine headaches
- circulation problems (especially if caused by diabetes)
- a hormone-related cancer (uterine, breast cancer)
Consult your medical assistant concerning all medicines you are taking, as well as minerals and herbal products, vitamins.
Before taking Alesse, inform your physician if you have:
- uterine fibroid tumors
- irregular menstrual cycles
- heart disease, high blood pressure, history of heart attack, congestive heart failure
- angina (chest pain)
- epilepsy or seizures
- if you are overweight
- high cholesterol level
- a history of depression
- gallbladder disease
- a history of fibrocystic breast disease, lumps, nodules, or an abnormal mammogram
- breast-feeding or pregnancy
How do I take this medicine?
Note: This remedy was prescribed to you only. Do not share this medicament with others. Follow strictly your doctor’s prescription. Do not take more or longer than your doctor recommended. Take Alesse regularly, otherwise you may get pregnant.
You may need to stop taking Alesse in some situations. Consult your doctor. Any healthcare professional or surgeon who treats you should know that you are taking Alesse.
What should I do if I miss the dose?
Remember: missing a dose increases the chance of getting pregnant.
Ask your physician any questions you may have about how to use Alesse.
Taking any medicine in large doses you can have serious consequences for your health. If you feel an overdose, contact your health care professional instantly.
In large doses, this remedy may cause the following conditions: vaginal bleeding, vomiting and nausea.
Alesse will not protect you from venereologic diseases including AIDS and HIV. The only way to protect yourself is to use condoms.
Contact your doctor if you experience any of the signs of allergy: difficulty breathing; hives; swelling of your lips, face, throat or tongue.
Don’t take Alesse and contact the healthcare professional immediately if you have any of the following serious side effects:
- severity of migraine headaches, a change in the pattern
- swelling in your feet or hands
- confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance, sudden headache, pain behind the eyes
- stomach pain, dark urine, nausea, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), loss of appetite
- sudden weakness or numbness, especially on one side of the body
- symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes)
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling
Less serious side effects:
- problems with contact lenses
- freckles or darkening of facial skin
- changes in your menstrual periods, decreased sex drive
- vomiting, stomach cramps, mild nausea, bloating
- breast pain, tenderness, or swelling
- changes in weight or appetite
- increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair
- vaginal itching or discharge
- dizziness, headache, tired feeling, nervousness
This list of side effects may be not complete, others may occur. Inform your medical practitioners about all side effects you experience.
What other medications will affect Alesse?
- theophylline (Theo-Dur, Respbid)
- seizure drugs
- HIV or AIDS medications
- prednisolone (Orapred)
- St. John’swort
- a barbiturate sedative such as secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton)
- acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
- cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf)
- an antibiotic
This list of interactions may be not complete. Provide your medical practitioners entire list of medicines, herbs, dietary supplements or non-prescription drugs you take. Moreover tell them whether you drink alcohol, use illegal drugs or smoke. Particular items may interact with your drug.
How Alesse should be stored?
Store Alesse at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Alesse out of the reach of kids and away from domestic animals.