Lo Loestrin Fe Warnings and Precautions

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Lo Loestrin Fe

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this birth control pill include the following:
  • This contraceptive does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Lo Loestrin Fe.
  • Smoking cigarettes greatly increases the risk of serious Lo Loestrin Fe side effects, such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
  • Combined oral contraceptives (including Lo Loestrin Fe) increase the risk for blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. These risks are minimal for healthy, young nonsmokers. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or chest pain.
  • Combined oral contraceptives may also slightly increase the risk for breast cancer or cervical cancer, although this is an unresolved and controversial issue. However, combined oral contraceptives seem to help protect women against ovarian and uterine cancer.
  • Oral contraceptives increase the risk of benign (noncancerous) liver tumors. In rare cases, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you have any sudden vision changes, as this may be a sign of a blood clot in the eyes (a possible side effect of Lo Loestrin Fe and other hormonal contraceptives).
  • Hormonal contraceptives can make gallbladder disease worse. If you have ever had a problem with your gallbladder, this medication may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
  • Lo Loestrin Fe may increase blood sugar levels, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely in this case.
  • Hormonal contraceptives can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
  • If you experience a migraine for the first time (or any changes in your migraines if you have had them before) while taking Lo Loestrin Fe, contact your healthcare provider.
  • Lo Loestrin Fe can change your menstrual bleeding patterns. Some women have breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between periods), while others may not have a period at all. It is normal to have shorter and lighter periods while using this contraceptive. However, if you notice any unusual changes in your bleeding patterns, let your healthcare provider know. If you miss a period, you should make sure you are not pregnant.
  • Lo Loestrin Fe can affect your cholesterol. Therefore, your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start the medication, especially if you already have high cholesterol.
  • Sometimes, hormonal contraceptives can make depression worse. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop new or worsening symptoms of depression while taking Lo Loestrin Fe.
  • Occasionally, Lo Loestrin Fe (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
  • Lo Loestrin Fe is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be used during pregnancy (see Lo Loestrin Fe and Pregnancy).
  • Contraceptive hormones (such as the ones in Lo Loestrin Fe) pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the contraceptive (see Lo Loestrin Fe and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives are not usually recommended for women who are breastfeeding.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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