Alesse is a medication which uses ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel as the main ingredients. It also contains a mix of hormones found in females. It is used to prevent a woman from ovulating.
The medication can also affect the cervical mucus of a woman, as well as the lining of the uterus. This serves to prevent sperm from getting to an egg and fertilizing it.
This drug is also used as a form of contraception.
If you are currently with child or have been recently, it is not recommended that you use this medication.
Do not take this drug if you suffer from high blood pressure that isn’t under control, heart disorders, blood clotting issues, problems with circulation, diabetic side effects on the eyes or kidneys, vaginal bleeding aside from menstrual blood, liver diseases and cancer, migraines, if you smoke, if you have had breast cancer or uterine cancer, jaundice, heart attacks and strokes.
It is always best to use an alternative contraceptive method, preferably of the barrier kind, such as a condom or spermicide, just in case you miss a dose.
Interactions with certain drugs can cause Alesse to have less effect on the risk of pregnancy. These include antibiotics, Hep-C medication, HIV and AIDS medication, seizure medication and barbiturates.
Alesse has also been known to cause children to be born with birth defects. If you are pregnant or if you plan on it, do not take Alesse without telling your doctor first.
The hormones that are found in Alesse have been seen to pass into breast milk. This can adversely affect a nursing child. It can also impact the production rate of the milk.
When taking Alesse, use it exactly as a doctor has told you to on your prescription. Never take it in bigger or smaller doses than you have been instructed to.
The first pill is usually taken on the first day of your menstrual period, or on the first Sunday after it has begun. When you first start taking it, it may still be necessary to use alternative contraceptive methods.
You must take no more than a single pill every 24 hours. Do not miss a single pill, as you may get pregnant. Refill your prescription before you run out.
The pack is made to last for 28 days. 7 of the pills are reminders, which do not have any hormones. These will allow your menstrual cycle to take place regularly.
During the first 3 months of taking Alesse, you may experience bleeding. If the bleeding is heavy or doesn’t stop, contact your doctor immediately.
If you have severe nausea and vomiting, use alternative methods of contraception. If you are going in for surgery, make sure the doctors and surgeons know you are taking this drug.
Missed doses and overdose
Missing even a single dose of Alesse can cause pregnancy, so make sure you don’t. If you happen to miss a day of active Alesse doses, take two the next day.
Continue with the single pill daily till the pack is over. In the first two weeks, if you miss 2 pills, take 2 a day for 2 days consecutively. Make sure you use alternative contraception for at least a week after missing pills.
In the event that you miss two pills consecutively in the 3rd week, stop taking the pills in that pack. Buy a new one and start it the next day, or on the next Sunday.
When you miss more than two doses of Alesse, you may miss your monthly period. If this occurs two months in a row, you may be pregnant.
Missing the reminder pills (which is marked as such) does not put you at risk of pregnancy. You will not have to use alternative birth control methods in this situation.
If you overdose, call your local poison hotline immediately and seek emergency medical attention.
Common side effects include:
Loss or overgrowth of hair
Changes in menstrual cycle
More severe side effects include:
Pain in legs
Call your doctor immediately if you experience these side effects.
Stop taking Alesse immediately if you notice the symptoms of an allergic reaction to the medication.