Levonorgestrel- ethinyl estradiol is the generic name of Alesse. Alesse is a combination of two hormones- estrogen and progestin. Basically it is a contraceptive medicine.
Aviane, Cryselle, Enpresse, Jolessa, Lessina, Levlen, Levlite, Levora, Lo/Ovral, LoSeasonique, Lutera, Lybrel, Nordette, Ovral, Portia, Preven, Quasense, Seasonale, Seasonique, Sronyx, Tri-Levlen, Triphasil, Trivora, Triphasil-21, Triphasil-28, Trivora-28.
What is Alesse composed of?
Alesse is composed of levonorgestrel-0.10 mg, a completely synthetic progesterone and ethinyl estradiol- 0.02 mg. The pack contains 21 active pink-colored tablets.
This combination drug is used to stop pregnancy. The medicine works by preventing ovulation (release of egg) during menstrual cycle. It also thickens the vaginal fluid so that sperm doesn’t reach the egg (fertilization) and alters the uterine lining to stop the addition of a fertilized egg. When the fertilized egg is not added on the uterine membrane, then it has to be removed out from the body.
Procedure to use Alesse
This medication is orally taken generally once daily. Try to take the medication at the same time every day. It is very important to take this medicine according to the doctor’s prescription. The amount of progestin and estrogen in each pill with some brands of contraceptives differ at various times in the cycle. Thus, it is necessary to carefully follow the instructions on the package to find the first pill and then take them in the right order.
Headache, nausea, bloating, vomiting, swollen feet/ankles, weight alteration or breast tenderness may occur. Vaginal Bleeding during irregular/missed periods or (spotting) periods may occur mainly during the initial use. If 2 periods are missed in a row, then consult the physician for a pregnancy test. Many people taking this drug do not show any severe side-effects. But alesse can cause hypertension. Thus blood pressure should be checked regularly. Consult the doctor if any of these following extreme side-effects are observed:
- Severe stomach-ache
- Unusual variation in vaginal bleeding
- Lumps found in the breast
- Dark urine
- Yellowing skin/eyes
- Blood clots
- Sudden fainting/dizziness
- Slurred speech
- Weakness on either side of body
- Abnormal sweating
- Vision problems
- Unusual head-aches
Contraindications of Alesse
If you are allergic to any progestins (like desogestrel or norethindrone) or any estrogens (like mestranol, ethinyl estradiol) then tell your pharmacist or doctor before taking this medicine. This drug may contain some inactive substances which may cause allergies. Let the doctor know your medical history before the intake of alesse, mainly of: blood coagulation disorders, hypertension, and unusual breast exam, blood clots (in eyes, legs, lungs), gallbladder issues, heart disorders, high triglyceride or cholesterol level, liver disease, stroke, thyroid problems, abnormal vaginal bleeding and edema (swelling). If the person is diabetic, then it creates difficulty in regulating the blood sugar.
Alesse in Pregnancy
This medicine should not be taken during pregnancy. Tell your doctor immediately if you think you are pregnant or may conceive in future. This drug reduces the production of breast milk. A small quantity may pass into the breast milk and may have abnormal effects on nursing baby.
It has been found that Alesse is 99 per cent effective in birth control. Alesse has natural hormones that prevent the ovary from releasing eggs and also blocks the sperms from entering the uterus.
Coming in tablet form, Alesse is taken orally. Normally the first tablet should be taken on the Sunday after the periods begin. The pill should be taken daily and you have to see that you take it the same time. It is advised to take the pill early morning or before bedtime. For women who are on a 28-day cycle, they should have to go for a second pack. If a woman has 21 day cycle, she have to take the pill continuously or 21 days and after that do no take it for 7 days. These seven days you will be having your periods and on the 8th day, you can continue with Alesse.
You should always keep in mind not to miss the drug. Always take care that you do not miss the first and the last pink pills. If you miss pills there are chances that you have slight bleeding.
It is better to take Alesse after consulting the doctor. You have to consult with him your medical history. You have to check at least once a year with your physician.
When taking Alesse, you should have to avoid smoking as it increases the risk of heart attack, blood clot and stoke.
You have to be cautious if you have angina, high blood pressure, heart disease, blood clotting disorder, have liver disease, have history of jaundice, have breast/uterine or any other hormone related cancer.
The drug is in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that studies conducted in animals or human beings have shown fetal abnormalities. So it is better not to take the drug if you are pregnant or likely to conceive. Alesse should also not be used when breast-feeding as the drug passes into the milk.