Loestrin 24 Fe Uses

Loestrin 24 Fe is used for preventing pregnancies. It is an oral contraceptive that contains a lower dose of hormones than some of the older birth control pills. Occasionally, healthcare providers may also recommend the drug for off-label uses. Common off-label Loestrin 24 Fe uses include the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), acne, and polycystic ovarian syndrome(PCOS).

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. 

What Is Loestrin 24 Fe Used For?

Loestrin 24 Fe (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill, also known as an oral contraceptive. Like most birth control pills, Loestrin 24 Fe offers the following benefits:
  • Very effective, relatively easy-to-use birth control
  • Regular, predictable menstrual cycles
  • Decreased risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus)
  • Lighter menstrual bleeding (which decreases the risk of anemia)
  • Less menstrual pain and cramping.
Compared to older birth control pills, Loestrin 24 Fe offers a lower dose of hormones. It also has fewer days of "inactive" pills (with no active ingredients) per cycle, which usually causes lighter, shorter periods. It also provides a little iron, which can help prevent anemia.
There are a variety of different birth control options available today. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and no particular birth control method is right for all women. Some of the most commonly used birth control methods include:
  • Combined hormonal contraceptives (which contain a progestin and an estrogen) -- Most birth control pills, patches, and rings
  • Progestin-only contraceptives -- Some birth control pills ("mini-pills"), injections, and implants
  • Periodic abstinence, sometimes known as natural family planning or the rhythm method -- Avoiding intercourse during the fertile phase of your menstrual cycle
  • Withdrawal -- Removing the penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation
  • Barrier contraceptives -- Condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and various other methods that physically block the sperm from entering the uterus
  • Spermicides -- Foams, jellies, gels, suppositories, inserts
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs) -- Implanted devices that are both very effective and reversible
  • Surgical sterilization -- Tubal ligation (getting your "tubes tied") or vasectomy (for men).
Loestrin 24 Fe falls into the category of combined hormonal contraceptives, as it contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (norethindrone).
Combined hormonal contraceptives may increase the risk of blood clots and other problems, and not all women should take combined hormonal contraceptives (see Loestrin 24 Fe Warnings and Precautions for more information). As with almost all methods of birth control, combined hormonal contraceptives must be used correctly and consistently. More importantly, Loestrin 24 Fe does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many situations, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Loestrin 24 Fe (to prevent transmission of STDs).
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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