Everything you need to know before taking Loestrin is provided in the article below. Information from its active ingredients, to its uses, the procedure and dosage plus the side effects and precautions are included. Loestrin is also known as Loestrin 20.

What is Loestrin? 

Loestrin is a combined pill that uses hormones to prevent pregnancy. Loestrin contains two active ingredients: norethindrone, a progestin, and Ethinyl estradiol, an estrogen. These two hormones block the release of an egg during the menstrual cycle. Also, they make the vaginal fluid thicker to make it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg and alter the lining of the uterus to prevent attachment of a fertilised egg.

Loestrin also contains inactive pills that contain iron instead of hormones. These are meant to keep you in the habit of taking one tablet each day and not to treat iron deficiency.

Loestrin regulates your period, thus, decreasing blood loss and painful periods, decreasing the risks of ovarian cysts, and treating acne.

Loestrin is not to be used as a protection against sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea and HIV.

How Do I Use Loestrin? 

It is highly advised to read the instructions in the patient information leaflet before you start taking the Loestrin pill.

Swallow the Loestrin pill with a drink with or without food once daily. Take the medication at a time of the day to help remind you of your daily dose. 

Unlike other contraceptive pills, Loestrin does not require a 7-day pill-free break. This means it should be taken continuously as prescribed by your doctor. Take the first tablet in the pack, and follow the order for the rest of the pills. Avoid skipping any doses. You are likely to get pregnant if you miss pills, start your new pack late, or take your pill at a different time of the day.

If you had vomiting or diarrhoea within 3 to 4 hours after taking the pill, refer to the patient information leaflet section that says “What to do if you miss tablets.” Follow the instructions closely because vomiting or diarrhoea may affect the body’s absorption of the tablet.

To prevent an upset stomach or nausea, it is recommended to take this medication after the evening meal or at bedtime. You may also take the tablet at your preferred time of the day, especially if it will make it easier for you to remember. 

The pack of contraceptive pill Loestrin contains 26 pills with active medication, 24 pills with norethindrone and Ethinylestradiol, and two pills with only Ethinylestradiol. It also contains two reminder pills that have iron. Take one active pill once daily for 26 days in a row, then take one reminder pill that has iron once daily for two days thereafter or as directed by your doctor. Your period is expected during the fourth week of the cycle. Regardless of the status of your period, start the new pack immediately after the last reminder pill from the previous pack. Seek advice from your doctor if you do not get your period

Certain medications may interact with iron. Ask your doctor if the iron pills will affect certain medicines you are taking. 

If it is your first time to use a hormonal contraceptive pill, take the first tablet in the pack on the first Sunday after the first day of your menstrual period. Extra contraception, such as condoms, is necessary though for the first 7 days as Loestrin needs time to take effect. If you choose to start on the first day of your period, a back-up birth control method is not necessary.

What Are The Possible Loestrin Side Effects? 

Medicines and their possible side effects are experienced by individual users differently. Some women may experience the side effects of Loestrin 20 while others may not. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he has considered greater benefits for you than the risk of the side effects.

Loestrin may elevate your blood pressure thus it is advised to have your blood pressure checked regularly and inform your doctor when you notice an increase.

Other serious side effects may also require a doctor’s visit such as:

  • a lump in your breast 
  • mental or mood changes
  • sudden heavy bleeding 
  • unusual change in vaginal bleeding 
  • dark urine
  • jaundice or yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • severe stomach pain

On very rare occasions, Loestrin may cause problems from blood clots. Get medical help right away if you experience the following:

  • have shortness of breath or rapid breathing, 
  • chest/left arm/jaw pain
  • unusual sweating
  • dizziness or fainting or confusion
  • swelling or warmth in the groin area
  • slurred speech, sudden severe headaches, weakness on one side of the body
  • sudden vision changes.

Although allergic reactions are also rare, keep an eye for serious symptoms of allergy such as: 

  • rash, itching 
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing 
  • swelling of the face, tongue, or throat.

Get help immediately if you experience these symptoms. 

Before you start using Loestrin, inform your doctor if you are allergic to estradiol or norethindrone, iron, or to any other estrogens or any progestins, or other allergies you may have. Loestrin’s inactive ingredients may also cause allergic reactions or problems.