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Levonorgestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol

USES

This medication contains progestin and estrogen, two forms of female hormones. It is mainly used to prevent pregnancy and ovulation.

This hormone combination medicine is also used to treat the ailments listed below:

  • Hypogonadism (low level of female hormones in the body)
  • PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
  • Endometriosis
  • Heavy/irregular periods
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Premenstrual condition
  • Unexplained uterine bleeding

IUPAC name: Levonorgestrel- (8R,9S,10R,13S,14S,17R)-13-ethyl-17-ethynyl-17-hydroxy-1,2,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,14,15,16-dodecahydro cyclopenta[a]phenanthren-3-one

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Ethinyl Estradiol(8R,9S,13S,14S,17R)-17-ethynyl-13-methyl-7,8,9,11,12,14,15,16-octahydro-6H-cyclopenta[a]phenanthrene-3,17-diol

Product type: Birth control pill

Drug class: Hormonal contraceptive, progestin/estrogen

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This combination works by preventing ovulation, which reduces the amount of ovarian cysts and the hormone-related symptoms of PCOS.

Side effects

  • nausea/vomiting
  • bloating
  • vaginal irritation/itching
  • spotting
  • dizziness
  • breast tenderness
  • unexplained changes in vaginal bleeding
  • weight gain
  • headache
  • stomach cramps
  • weakness in hands/feet/ankles
  • mood changes (depression, anxiety)
  • rash/acne/spots on skin

Precaution

Take the following precautions before using this drug and notify your doctor:  

  • If you are allergic to estrogen (mestranol, ethinyl estradiol) or to progestin (norgestrel, desogestrel, norethindrone), or if you have any other kind of allergy, consult your doctor.
  • If you are taking any other medications (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),
  • If you have or ever had a medical history of signs of blood clots, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, cardiac disease, renal disease, hepatic disease, high cholesterol, breast or uterus cancer, migraines, edema, unusual vaginal bleeding, high blood sugar, or obesity
  • Avoid smoking if you are taking this medication as it will increase the risk of stroke, blood clots, or heart attacks.
  • It may cause melasma. Avoid going out in the sun. Always wear sunscreen.
  • It may take a longer time to get pregnant after you stop taking this pill.
  • Use of this medication may decrease milk production during breastfeeding.
  • This medication should be avoided during pregnancy.

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