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Loestrin 24 Fe Warnings and Precautions

Specific Precautions and Warnings for Loestrin 24 Fe

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Loestrin 24 Fe include the following:
  • Combined oral contraceptives (including Loestrin 24 Fe) increase the risk of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. These risks are quite small 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. Smoking cigarettes greatly increases the risk of these serious Loestrin 24 Fe side effects. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
  • Loestrin 24 Fe does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Loestrin 24 Fe.
  • Hormonal contraceptives (including Loestrin 24 Fe) can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
  • Loestrin 24 Fe can interact with a number of different medications (see Loestrin 24 Fe Drug Interactions for more information).
  • Combined oral contraceptives may slightly increase the risk of 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 (non-cancerous) liver tumors. Very rarely, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
  • Hormonal contraceptives (such as Loestrin 24 Fe) may make gallbladder disease worse. If you have had a problem with your gallbladder, Loestrin 24 Fe may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
  • Loestrin 24 Fe may increase blood sugar, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely. 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 Loestrin 24 Fe and other hormonal contraceptives).
  • Loestrin 24 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 Loestrin 24 Fe. 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.
  • Loestrin 24 Fe can affect your cholesterol. Your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start Loestrin 24 Fe, especially if you already have high cholesterol.
  • Sometimes, hormonal contraceptives may make depression worse. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop new or worsening depression symptoms.
  • Occasionally, Loestrin 24 Fe (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
  • Loestrin 24 Fe is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be used during pregnancy (see Loestrin 24 Fe and Pregnancy).
  • Contraceptive hormones (such as the ones in Loestrin 24 Fe) pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Loestrin 24 Fe and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives (such as Loestrin 24 Fe) are usually not recommended for breastfeeding women.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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