Do not use this medication if you smoke cigarettes/use tobacco and are over 35 years old. Smoking raises your risk of stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and high blood pressure from hormonal birth control (such as the pill, patch, ring). The risk of these serious problems increases with age and with the number of cigarettes you smoke. Do not smoke or use tobacco.Who should not take Lessina?
This combination hormone medication is used to prevent pregnancy. It contains 2 hormones: levonorgestrel (a progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen). It works mainly by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) during your menstrual cycle. It also makes vaginal fluid thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg (fertilization) and changes the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this product and each time you get a refill. The leaflet contains very important information on when to take your pills and what to do if you miss a dose. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Pick a time of day that is easy for you to remember, and take your pill at the same time each day.
It is very important to continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the package instructions to find the first tablet, start with the first tablet in the pack, and take them in the correct order. Do not skip any 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.
Taking this medication after your evening meal or at bedtime may help if you have stomach upset or nausea with the medication. You may choose to take this medication at another time of day that is easier for you to remember. No matter what dosing schedule you use, it is very important that you take this medication at the same time each day, 24 hours apart.
If you have vomiting or diarrhea within 4 hours after taking your tablet, read the Patient Information Leaflet section 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.
Your pill pack contains 28 pills with active medication. Take one active pill (with hormones) once daily for 28 days in a row. After taking the last tablet in your old pack, start a new pack the next day. There is no break between packs, and there are no "reminder" tablets (tablets without medication). Most women do not have regular periods while taking this medication. You may have some bleeding or spotting. If this happens, do not stop taking your pills.
If this is the first time you are using this medication, and you are not switching from another form of hormonal birth control (such as patch, other birth control pills), take the first tablet in the pack on the first day of your period. If your doctor directs you to start this medication on any other day, use an additional form of non-hormonal birth control (such as condoms, spermicide) for the first 7 days to prevent pregnancy until this medication has enough time to work. If you start on the first day of your period, you do not need to use back-up birth control the first week.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about how to switch from other forms of hormonal birth control (such as patch, other birth control pills) to this product. If any information is unclear, consult the Patient Information Leaflet or your doctor or pharmacist.
Nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal cramps/bloating, breast tenderness, swelling of the ankles/feet (retaining fluid), or weight change may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Many women will not have regular periods while taking this medication. This is normal. Vaginal bleeding/spotting is likely to occur, especially during the first few months of use. If bleeding is unusually heavy or lasts for more than 7 days in a row, contact your doctor promptly.
This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: lumps in the breast, mental/mood changes (such as new/worsening depression), unusual changes in vaginal bleeding (such as continuous spotting, sudden heavy bleeding), severe pain in the stomach/abdomen/pelvis, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
This medication may rarely cause serious (sometimes fatal) problems from blood clots (such as deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke). Get medical help right away 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, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes.
In the US -
See also Warning section.
Before taking levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to any estrogens (such as ethinyl estradiol, mestranol); or to any progestins (such as norethindrone, desogestrel); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood clots (for example, in the legs, eyes, lungs), blood clotting disorders (such as protein C or protein S deficiency), high blood pressure, abnormal breast exam, cancer (especially endometrial and breast cancer), high cholesterol or triglyceride (blood fat) levels, depression, diabetes, family medical history (especially 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 problems (including tumors), stroke, swelling (edema), thyroid problems, unexplained vaginal bleeding, obesity.
If you have diabetes, this medication may make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Tell your doctor if you just had or will be having surgery or if you will be confined to a bed or chair for a long time (such as a long plane flight). These conditions increase your risk of getting blood clots, especially if you are using hormonal birth control. You may need to stop this medication for a time or take special precautions.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This medication may cause blotchy, dark areas on your skin (melasma). Sunlight may worsen this effect. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, sunlamps, and tanning booths. Use a sunscreen, and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
If you are nearsighted or wear contact lenses, you may develop vision problems or trouble wearing your contact lenses. Tell your eye doctor if these problems occur.
It may take longer for you to become pregnant after you stop taking birth control pills. Consult your doctor for more information.
This medication must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. If you have just given birth or had a pregnancy loss or abortion after the first 3 months, talk with your doctor about reliable forms of birth control, and find out when it is safe to start using birth control that contains a form of estrogen, such as this medication.
This medication may decrease breast milk production. A small amount passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: aromatase inhibitors (such as anastrozole, exemestane), ospemifene, tamoxifen, tizanidine, tranexamic acid, a certain combination product used to treat chronic hepatitic C (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir/dasabuvir).
Some drugs may cause hormonal birth control to work less well by decreasing the amount of birth control hormones in your body. This effect can result in pregnancy. Examples include griseofulvin, modafinil, rifamycins (such as rifampin, rifabutin), St. John's wort, drugs used to treat seizures (such as barbiturates, carbamazepine, felbamate, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate), HIV drugs (such as nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir), among others.
Tell your doctor when you start any new drug, and discuss if you should use additional reliable birth control. Also tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your birth control is not working well.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (such as blood tests for clotting factors, thyroid), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this medication.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe nausea and vomiting, sudden/unusual vaginal bleeding.
Do not share this medication with others.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments. You should have regular complete physical exams including blood pressure, breast exam, pelvic exam, and screening for cervical cancer (Pap smear). Follow your doctor's instructions for examining your breasts, and report any lumps immediately. Consult your doctor for more details.
Missed dose advice is different depending on the brand used and the number of doses missed. Refer to the product package information for advice on missed doses. You may need to use back-up birth control (such as condoms, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
If you often forget to take the pill as directed, contact your doctor to discuss switching to another form of birth control.
Information last revised June 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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