In 2013, the manufacturer of Loestrin 24 Fe
decided to stop making this medication and replace it with Minastrin™ 24 Fe
, which comes in exactly the same strengths but is chewable.
An Overview of Loestrin 24 Fe and Pregnancy
24 Fe (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is a birth control pill
, also known as an oral contraceptive
. As with all oral contraceptives, Loestrin 24 Fe should not be used knowingly during pregnancy. Although it is "common knowledge" that taking birth control pills during early pregnancy is very dangerous, in reality, doing so is unlikely to cause any serious problems. However, there is no benefit to using birth control pills during pregnancy.
Loestrin 24 Fe and Pregnancy Category X
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category X is given to medications that should not be used during pregnancy, usually due to serious problems such as birth defects or miscarriages.
Even though Loestrin 24 Fe is a pregnancy Category X medication, it will probably not cause any problems if accidentally used during early pregnancy. Numerous different studies have shown no increased risk of birth defects when birth control pills were accidentally taken in early pregnancy. Often, women are concerned that the "female" hormones in birth control pills can harm male babies. However, it's important to remember that all male fetuses are exposed to very high levels of natural female hormones during pregnancy. Even though the risk appear to be small, it is important to note there is absolutely no reason for using birth control pills. They will not prevent or cause a miscarriage.
If you miss your period while taking Loestrin 24 Fe, you may want to consider making sure you are not pregnant (an over-the-counter pregnancy test
should be sufficient), especially if you have missed any pills or taken them incorrectly. If you miss two periods in a row, you should definitely make sure you are not pregnant. Keep in mind that if you take Loestrin 24 Fe correctly (without missing any pills), the risk of pregnancy while taking Loestrin 24 Fe is quite low.
If you accidentally used Loestrin 24 Fe for a while before you realized you were pregnant, this probably will not cause any problems (although you should discuss this with your healthcare provider). If you are pregnant, you should stop using Loestrin 24 Fe right away. If you think you may be pregnant, you should contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.