A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.
Loestrin is a combination hormonal medication sometimes called the pill or the contraceptive pill. Usually, Loestrin or Ethinylestradiol is used to reduce the risk of pregnancy in unprotected sex. It serves this purpose by using two hormones, oestrogen and progestin to affect the ovulation and menstrual cycle.
As well as preventing the release of an egg in a woman using Loestrin, the substance also helps to thicken vaginal fluids and reduce the risk of sperm reaching an egg. However, while Loestrin can prevent pregnancy from unprotected intercourse, it cannot prevent the transmission of sexual infections or disease.
What is Loestrin?
As a combination contraceptive pill, Loestrin contains both progesterone and in the form of norethisterone and ethinylestradiol, which are synthetic versions of the naturally occurring substances in the female body, responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle. By synthesizing versions of natural hormones, Loestrin can override the natural menstrual cycle and stop the ovaries from releasing eggs for ovulation. Although this medication is most commonly used for preventing pregnancy, it has other purposes too.
When is Loestrin used?
Loestrin and other combined contraceptive pills can sometimes be used to reduce problems with acne in younger women and decrease the risk of ovarian cysts in some people. Additionally, doctors may prescribe Loestrin for people who suffer from irregular or painful periods. Taking a combination contraceptive pill can align periods to a more regular schedule. Loestrin is often recommended for women who have no prior history of hormonal problems, blood clotting, or breast cancer. Additionally, it's ideal for women who do not smoke and women under the age of 35.
How do you use Loestrin?
Loestrin, as with any treatment, must be taken according to the instructions provided by your doctor, or the directions given on your patient leaflet. If you have any questions about how you should be taking this medication, speak to your doctor immediately. You can take Loestrin by mouth, and will do so once a day, preferably at the same time each day. Taking this medication at the exact same time each day will improve its efficacy. If you are taking Loestrin after switching from another birth control pill, you will need to speak to your doctor about how you can transition from one pill to another. Additionally, it's important to speak to your doctor if you are taking Loestrin after being pregnant or having a miscarriage.
It's crucial to follow the instructions on your packet when taking Loestrin to improve the chances of avoiding pregnancy. Loestrin is less likely to be effective if you miss pills, take a pill at a different time than you usually do, or suffer from diarrhea or vomiting. Because vomiting and diarrhea can stop your pill from working, you may need to use back-up contraceptive methods. If you suffer from stomach upset or other issues caused by this medication, your doctor may recommend taking it with an evening meal or at bedtime. However, you do not need to take Loestrin with food for it to be effective.
What dosages are available?
Your combination contraceptive pill will be available in only one dose, although the way that you take it may differ. A packet of Loestrin includes 21 pills with active medication. This medication includes a combination of synthetic hormones designed to prevent pregnancy.
In some cases, your Loestrin pills may also include 7 tablets which have no medication in them. These are placebo tablets which can make it easier for people who have trouble sticking to a schedule to make sure that they're taking their tablets at the right time each day. If you're taking the pills with no placebo tablets, you'll need to take a seven day break between each packet, during which time you might experience some withdrawal bleeding that is similar to having a period. If you're taking the pills with 7 placebo pills, you will be able to take a pill every day, just make sure that you do not mix the active pills up with the tablets that include no medication. If you forget to take a pill, follow the instructions in your medication's patient leaflet. If you forget to take more than one Loestrin pill, contact your doctor.
What are the side effects of Loestrin?
Like any other form of medication, combination contraceptive pills like Loestrin can sometimes cause side-effects. Some of the most common symptoms include tenderness of the breasts, bloating or water retention, and headaches. Some people also suffer from headaches, vomiting and nausea.
It's possible that you may notice some irregular bleeding between periods when taking Loestrin, and some patients report feeling issues with irritation and discomfort of the vagina. If you notice that you're missing multiple periods, contact your doctor and have a pregnancy test carried out. In some cases, Loestrin may increase your blood pressure, which may mean that your doctor asks you to have your blood pressure tested regularly. Though serious side effects are rare with Loestrin, contact your doctor immediately if you notice any changes to your mood, including depression, lumps in your breast, or severe pain in your stomach or abdomen. If you see dark urine or yellowing skin or eyes, contact your doctor.
This medication can rarely cause problems with blood clotting, which may lead to pulmonary embolism, heart attacks, deep vein thrombosis, and stroke. If you notice side effects like chest, jaw, or pain in your left arm, contact your doctor.
Other serious symptoms to watch for include:
- Fainting or dizziness
- Pain or swelling in the groin
- Calf swelling
- Shortness of breath
- Slurred speech
- Rapid breathing
- Unusual headaches or migraines
- Unusual sweating
- Weakness on one side of your body
- Vision changes
It's unusual for patients to experience severe allergic reactions when taking Loestrin, however, if you notice rashes, itching, or swelling then contact your doctor. Watch out for severe dizziness and trouble breathing too.
When shouldn't you use Loestrin?
Your doctor will conduct a complete medical assessment to determine whether Loestrin could be the right treatment for you.
However, it's important not to take this medication if:
- You have an allergy to Loestrin or any of the ingredients included in these tablets, including norethindrone or estradiol.
- If you have ever had any problems with blood clots, breast cancers, or other cancers where hormones can have an impact on the growth of tumors. Make sure your doctor knows if there is a history of breast, uterus or ovarian cancer in your family
- If you have ever had any issues with chest pain, heart disease or problems caused by blood clots such as strokes or heart attacks. You should contact your doctor if your family has a history of these issues too.
- If you have ever had liver disease, or liver tumors
- You regularly suffer from headaches or migraines
- You have a diabetic issue that affects your blood flow
- You've ever been diagnosed with irregular vaginal bleeding, cancer of the cervix, or endometrial cancer
- You will be having surgery and need to be on best rest - which means you can't move around as often
- You're pregnant or trying to get pregnant
- You are breast-feeding or planning to breast feed
Does Loestrin interact with any other medications?
Before you take any new medications including Loestrin, it's important to tell your pharmacist or doctor if you are taking any other drugs. This includes any medications prescribed to you by your doctor, medicines you can get over the counter, and herbal substances or supplements. Loestrin can interact negatively with other substances and make them less effective. Additionally, there are drugs that can make Loestrin less effective too.
For instance, if you take any of these medicines, Loestrin may not work for you:
- St John's Wort or herbal products that include this substance
- Antibiotics for tuberculosis like rifampicin
- Antifungal drugs like griseofulvin
- Narcolepsy medications like modafinil
- Medicines for HIV like efavirenz and cobicistat
- Medication for epilepsy like primidone, carbamazepine, and phenytoin
Loestrin may be less effective when even taking a short course of the substances above, which means your doctor may suggest additional forms of contraception to protect you against pregnancy. Other than the antibiotics used for tuberculosis, most antibiotics will not make Loestrin less effective unless they make you sick or give you diarrhea. Your doctor will check to make sure you do not take any medication that interacts with the contraceptive before prescribing.
A version of the morning-after pill used to reduce the risk of pregnancy after unprotected sex may make Loestrin less effective. If you take the ellaOne morning after pill, while also taking Loestrin then you may need to use additional forms of contraception for up to fourteen days after using the morning after pill.
Where can you buy Loestrin?
Loestrin can be purchased online with a prescription from a licensed doctor or nurse. Importantly, these pills should only be bought from reputable pharmacies, and you should ensure that you learn as much as you can about the company selling Loestrin before you purchase your contraceptive pills from them. Additionally, avoid any pharmacies that claim they can offer Loestrin without a prescription from your doctor.
Can you get Loestrin without a prescription?
Loestrin can be purchased online, but you will have to make sure that you have a prescription from your doctor first. Your doctor will need to conduct a medical examination and look into your history to make sure that Loestrin is the right contraceptive pill for you. Make sure that you talk to your doctor before trying to get Loestrin online.
Allergan USA. (2017). Lo Loestrin Fe. [online] [Accessed on 18th of June 2019], Available at: https://www.loloestrin.com/Content/PDFs/LoLoestrinFe_PatientBrochure.pdf
FPA. (2017). Your guide to the combined pill. [online] [Accessed on 18th of June 2019], Available at: https://www.fpa.org.uk/sites/default/files/the-combined-pill-your-guide.pdf
Galen Ltd. (2010). UK, Loestrin 20, [Accessed on 18th of June 2019], Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/1060/smpc
Galen Ltd. (2017). Package leaflet: Information for the user: Loestrin 20 tablets, Loestrin 30 tablets. EMC. [online] [Accessed on 18th of June 2019], Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.351.pdf