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Alesse

When and How to Use Alesse

General considerations for when and how to use the medication include the following:
  • Alesse comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth once a day.
  • Each pack of Alesse contains 28 pills. Be sure to take them in order. Once you finish a pack, start a new one right away. You will probably start your period during the last seven days of the pack.
  • You can take Alesse with or without food. If the medication bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
  • It is important that you take it every day and at the same time each day. Try to pick a time that will be easy to remember, such as at bedtime or breakfast. If you have trouble remembering, please talk with your healthcare provider, as missing pills increases your risk of pregnancy.
  • Make sure you know exactly what to do if you miss any pills. In some circumstances, you may need to use a backup method of contraception, such as condoms, for a week.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.

Dosing Information

There is only one standard dose of Alesse, regardless of your age, weight, or medical conditions. As with any medication, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
(Click Alesse Dosage for more information.)

Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Alesse. However, not everyone who uses the contraceptive will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of Alesse include, but are not limited to:
  • Acne
  • Nausea (with or without vomiting)
  • Breakthrough bleeding or spotting between periods
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches.
(Click Alesse Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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