Levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol is a combination pill containing the hormones estrogen and progestin that work together to guard against pregnancy. This hormone combination prevents ovulation and fertilization by causing changes to the cervical mucus and the lining of the uterus. These changes make it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and for fertilized eggs to attach to the uterine wall. Levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol is prescribed in varying doses. Nurx carries Amethia, which contains levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol in 0.15 mg and 0.03 mg doses, for as low as $0 with insurance or as little as $45 without insurance and the generic Lutera in the lower dose levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol of 0.1 mg and 0.02 m, for as low as $0 with insurance or as little as $15 without insurance.
How Is Levonorgestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol Used?
Levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol comes in a blister pack of 21 active pills containing the dual hormone combination, plus seven placebo tablets to halt the release of hormones during menses. The placebo pills also help keep you in the habit of taking a pill each day so you don't forget your medication. A new pack of levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol is started after the previous pack is completed. Store levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol in a cool, dry place where you'll remember to take it every day.
Is Levonorgestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol Easy to Get?
Levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol is available by prescription and is carried by most pharmacies. Your insurance may cover all or part of the cost of your medication. Check with your provider to find out if your medication is covered. Here at Nurx, we carry several generic versions that may cost less and still be covered by your insurance.
What Precautions Should I Take Before Starting Levonorgestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol?
Levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol can have an effect on blood sugar if you are diabetic. Tell your doctor about any health issues and check your sugar regularly while taking levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol.
Allergic reactions to levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol are rare. Seek medical attention if you have signs of allergic reaction like hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face or throat.
Are There Any Known Side Effects?
Side effects from oral contraceptives are fairly common and usually nothing to be concerned about. Common side effects are breakthrough bleeding/spotting, headache, and breast tension and tenderness. Most side effects dissipate with regular use and over time.
More serious side effects might include abdominal cramps or distension, changes to the breast (lumps/enlargement), or changes to mood. While most side effects are not a cause for concern, talk to your doctor if you have any lingering side effects.
Can I Take Levonorgestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol With Other Medications?
Levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol can interact with over-the-counter products such as acetaminophen and supplements like St. John's Wort. Levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol can interfere with some medications that treat hepatitis C as well as some HIV medications. These interferences can reduce the effectiveness of both medications. Talk to your doctor about the drugs or supplements you are taking to be sure levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol is right for you.
Does Levonorgestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol Treat Acne?
Yes! In the case of either inflammatory and noninflammatory acne, levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol has been shown to improve conditions and help clear skin. Keep in mind that you might have to take your medication for a few weeks before the medicine fully works and you see improvement in your skin's appearance.
Will Levonorgestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol Stop My Period?
Typically, no. When you first start taking levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol, you may experience fluctuations in your normal cycle while your body adjusts to the medication. After a while, your periods should resume a regular cycle. Remember that one of the benefits of levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol are lighter and less painful periods.
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