What is Loestrin 24 Fe?

Loestrin 24 Fe contain a combination of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary).
Loestrin 24 Fe also have other effects that help prevent pregnancy. They cause the cervical mucous to thicken, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus, and they keep the egg from attaching itself to the uterus.
Loestrin 24 Fe is used as contraception to prevent pregnancy.
Loestrin 24 Fe may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide

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What is the most important information I should know about Loestrin 24 Fe?

Do not use Loestrin 24 Fe if you are pregnant, if you need major surgery or will be on bed rest for a period of time, or if you have any of the following: severe high blood pressure, circulation problems, a bleeding disorder, abnormal vaginal bleeding, liver disease, a history of stroke or blood clot, or a hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer. Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, past or present.
Take your pill at the same time every day. Each dose should come no more than 24 hours after the last dose.
You may need to use a backup birth control method, such as condoms or a spermicide, during the first week when you start a new pack of Loestrin 24 Fe. You may also need to avoid getting pregnant during the first few months after you stop using Loestrin 24 Fe. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Do not smoke while you are using Loestrin 24 Fe, especially if you are older than 35. Smoking can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack caused by birth control pills.
Missing a pill increases your risk of becoming pregnant. Loestrin 24 Fe will come with patient instructions for what to do if you miss a dose. Follow these directions carefully. If you do not have the patient instruction sheet, call your doctor or pharmacist and ask what to do if you miss a dose.
Some drugs can make Loestrin 24 Fe less effective, which may result in pregnancy. You may need to use a back-up birth control method if you are using certain drugs. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

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How should I take Loestrin 24 Fe?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor.
When you start a new birth control pack, take the first pill on the first Sunday after your period begins (unless your doctor tells you otherwise).
Take one pill every day, no more than 24 hours after your last dose. Try to take the pills at the same time every day--for example, just before bed, with a meal, or first thing in the morning.
Taking your pill at night may help to reduce any nausea or headache the hormones may cause.
The 28-day birth control pack contains seven pills that are either iron tablets or placebos (also called sugar pills). The 24-day pack contains four iron pills. These are "reminder" pills to keep you on your regular cycle. Your period will usually begin while you are using these reminder pills.
If you are using a 28-day or 24-day birth control pack, take one pill every day. When the pack runs out, throw it away. Begin a new pack the following day.
The 21-day birth control pack contains no reminder pills. Take one pill every day for 21 days, then do not take any pills for 7 days. You should have your period during the 7 days with no pills. Start a new pack of pills at the end of the 7 days.
You may need to use a backup birth control method, such as condoms or a spermicide, during the first week when you start a new pack of Loestrin 24 Fe. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Your doctor will need to see you on a regular basis while you are using Loestrin 24 Fe. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
Store Loestrin 24 Fe at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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What other drugs will affect Loestrin 24 Fe?

Some drugs can make Loestrin 24 Fe less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Use a back-up birth control method if you are using any of the following drugs:
  a penicillin antibiotic such as amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin), ampicillin (Omnipen, Totacillin), bacampicillin (Spectrobid), carbenicillin (Geocillin), cloxacillin (Cloxapen, Tegopen), dicloxacillin (Dynapen, Pathocil), nafcillin (Nafcil, Unipen), oxacillin (Bactocill, Prostphlin), or penicillin (Veetids, Pen Vee K, Bicillin);
  a tetracycline antibiotic such as demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin), minocycline (Minocin), or tetracycline (Sumycin, Achromycin, Robitet);
  a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);
  HIV medicines such as amprenavir (Agenerase), tipranavir (Aptivus), indinavir (Crixivan), saquinavir (Invirase, Fortovase), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), ritonavir (Norvir), atazanavir (Reyataz), or nelfinavir (Viracept);
  St. John's wort;
  rifampin (Rifadin);
  phenytoin (Dilantin);
  carbamazepine (Tegretol); or
  griseofulvin (Grisactin, Grifulvin V, Fulvicin PG).
There may be other drugs not listed that can affect Loestrin 24 Fe. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
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