ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (cont.)
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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel?
This medication can cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant, or if you miss two menstrual periods in a row. If you have recently had a baby, wait at least 4 weeks before taking birth control pills (6 weeks if you are breast-feeding).
Do not use this medication if you have:
Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have:
The hormones in birth control pills can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. This medication may also slow breast milk production. Do not use if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel?
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. You will take your first pill on the first day of your period or on the first Sunday after your period begins (follow your doctor's instructions).
You may need to use back-up birth control, such as condoms or a spermicide, when you first start using this medication. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Some 28-day birth control packs contain seven "reminder" pills to keep you on your regular cycle. Your period will usually begin while you are using these reminder pills.
Breakthrough bleeding may occur, especially during the first 3 months. Tell your doctor if this bleeding continues or is very heavy.
Take one pill every day, no more than 24 hours apart. When the pills run out, start a new pack the next day. You may get pregnant if you do not use this medication regularly.
If you need to have any type of medical tests or surgery, or if you will be on bed rest, you may need to stop using this medication for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using birth control pills.
Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Women's Health Resources
- Your Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
- What to Know Before You Get Pregnant
- Birth Control and Insurance FAQ
- Symptoms of a Severe Allergic Reaction
- Breast Cancer Treatment Options
- Is Your Body Ready for Pregnancy?