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Levlen ED 84 Tablets/Pack
0.15mg levonorgestrel and 0.03mg ethinylestradiol
Oral contraceptive (oestrogen plus progestogen)
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Levlen ED general information
What is Levlen ED used for?
Levlen ED (also known as Nordette and Levora) is a low dose combined oral contraceptive pill and is used as an effective means of birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Levlen ED contraceptive pills contain a combination of two hormones at low doses in a single pill. Each pack of Levlen ED contains one month’s supply of pills of which there are 21 hormone-containing pills and 7 placebo (non-hormonal) pills, to allow each monthly cycle to end with a withdrawal bleed. When using Levlen ED for contraception, you will probably find that your periods become more regular and you may also experience lighter, less painful menstruation and an improvement in pre-menstrual symptoms, like bloating, swelling or weight gain related to fluid retention; Levlen ED also helps improve skin problems like acne and reduces greasiness of the skin and hair.
How does Levlen ED work?
Levlen ED contraceptive pills contain a combination of two hormones, ethinyloestradiol, a synthetic oestrogen, and levonorgestrel, a synthetic progestogen, which work together to protect against unwanted pregnancy. Preparation for pregnancy depends on a complex interaction between the female sex hormones produced by the ovaries; oestrogen, which stimulates ovulation, and progesterone which prepares the endometrium (lining of the uterus) for implantation of an embryo; as well as other regulating hormones, produced by the hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland. Levlen ED combined hormonal contraception works by disrupting the normal menstrual cycle, preventing egg maturation and suppressing ovulation, as well as preventing development of the endometrium, so that a fertilised egg would not be able to implant and grow. Another contraceptive action of Levlen ED pills is that the cervical mucus, which normally changes consistency at ovulation to become thinner, remains thick, forming a physical barrier to sperm. Some synthetic progestogens have androgenic activity, but levonorgestrel in Levlen ED, has very weak androgenic activity, which has a beneficial effect on androgen-related skin disorders such as acne and hirsutism (unwanted hair).
What does Levlen ED contain?
Levlen ED contraceptive pills contain the active ingredient combination of two hormones, ethinyloestradiol (0.03 mg), a synthetic oestrogen, and levonorgestrel (0.15 mg), a synthetic progestogen, which work together to protect against pregnancy. They also contain lactose monohydrate, maize starch, povidone 25 000, talc, magnesium stearate, sucrose, povidone 700 000, macrogol 6000, calcium carbonate, glycerol 85%, titanium dioxide, ferric oxide pigment yellow, montanglycol wax. In each pack there are 21 hormone-containing pills and 7 placebo (non-hormonal) pills.
Taking Levlen ED for contraception
Levlen ED contraceptive pills contain a combination of two hormones, ethinyloestradiol, a synthetic oestrogen, and levonorgestrel, a synthetic progestogen, which work together to provide effective birth control by protecting against pregnancy. Levlen ED contraceptive pills work by preventing egg maturation and suppressing ovulation, as well as preventing development and thickening of the endometrium (lining of the uterus) in preparation for implantation, so that a fertilised egg would not be able to implant and grow. You must take your Levlen ED contraceptive pills continually to ensure effective contraception, with 21 days of hormonal pills followed by 7 days non-hormonal pills, during which time you will have a menstrual bleed, which may be light and less painful than usual.
Can you get pregnant if you miss a Levlen ED pill?
Levlen ED contraceptive pills provide effective contraception when taken correctly and have a failure rate of approximately 1% per year. The failure rate may increase if you miss a pill and may result in an unwanted pregnancy. To prevent this ensure that you take your Levlen ED contraceptive pills correctly and continually.
What are the side effects of Levlen ED?
The most frequently reported side effects when taking Levlen ED contraceptive pills are: breast tenderness, breast pain, abdominal pain, nausea, oedema, and headache, skin rash and itching, insomnia and depression. Less common side effects include: migraine, fluid retention, changes in body weight and changes in libido.
When should Levlen ED not be used?
You should not use Levlen ED if you:
- are allergic to ethinyloestradiol or levonorgestrel or any of the ingredients in Levlen ED contraceptive pills
- have a past or family history of carcinoma of the breast, endometrial carcinoma or liver disease
- have high blood pressure, lipid disorders or migraine
- have had deep venous thrombosis, thromboembolic disorders, heart attack or stroke
- have diabetes with changes to the blood vessels
- abnormal genital bleeding of unknown cause
- are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
- are diabetic and taking Levlen ED contraceptive pills your glucose tolerance may be affected and you may need to discuss using other antidiabetic drugs with your doctor
- are taking other medications that may interact with Levlen ED, such as anticonvulsants like phenytoin and carbamazepin, barbiturates, anti-infectives like rifampicin, rifabutin, nevirapine, the antifungal griseofulvin, antibiotics like penicillin, preparations containing St John's Wort
What medicines interact with Levlen ED?
Some medications interact with Levlen ED contraceptive pills and prevent them working effectively, increasing your risk of becoming pregnant. If you are taking any of the following you may need to take other contraceptive precautions:
- anticonvulsants like phenytoin and carbamazepin
- anti-infectives like rifampicin, rifabutin, nevirapine, griseofulvin
- antibiotics like penicillin
- preparations containing St John's Wort
What are the health risks of Levlen ED?
Combination contraceptive pills like Levlen ED can increase risk of thrombosis (blood clots), which can have serious consequence depending on where the clot forms. There is also an increased risk of breast cancer.
How should Levlen ED be taken?
Each pack of Levlen ED contraceptive pills contains 28 pills for a complete monthly cycle and should be taken continually to ensure effective contraception. The first 21 pills contain the contraceptive hormones and the last 7 pills are a placebo, which do not contain any hormones. While you are taking these placebo pills you will have a menstrual bleed. When you have finished one pack, start a new one the next day. If you have gastrointestinal problems like vomiting or diarrhoea within 3-4 hours of taking your hormonal pill, this is the same as missing a pill and you should take other contraceptive precautions for the next 7 days.
How long should you take Levlen ED?
Each pack Levlen ED contraceptive pills contains 28 pills for a complete monthly cycle and should be taken continually to ensure effective contraception. You should take Levlen ED contraceptive pills for as long as your doctor recommends.
Missed dose of Levlen ED
If you miss a dose of Levlen ED follow these guidelines to help you decide what to do:
Weeks 1 to 3 (small beige hormonal pills)
- If you are less than 12 hours late in taking your pill, take it as soon as you remember and take the next one at your usual time. You are still protected against pregnancy.
- If you are more than 12 hours late in taking your pill, take the last tablet as soon as you remember and take the next one at your normal time, which may mean taking 2 tablets in one day. Contraceptive protection may be reduced and you are at risk of becoming pregnant, unless you take other contraceptive precautions for the next 7 days.
Week 4 (large white non-hormonal pills)
- Take the next pill as usual and discard the missed pill. You are not at risk of becoming pregnant.
How should Levlen ED be stored?
Keep your Levlen ED contraceptive pills in their calendar pack until use. Store at room temperature below 25°C.