Loestrin 24 Fe

Loestrin 24 Fe is an oral contraceptive that contains a lower dose of hormones than older birth control pills. It is available by prescription and primarily works by stopping ovulation. The first 24 tablets in each pack of Loestrin 24 Fe contain estrogen and progestin, while the last 4 contain iron. Potential side effects of this form of contraception include menstrual cramps, headaches, and nausea.

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?

Loestrin® 24 Fe (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription oral contraceptive (commonly known as a birth control pill). It provides a low dose of hormones, compared with older birth control pills. Typically, women who take Loestrin 24 Fe have shorter, lighter periods.
(Click Loestrin 24 Fe Uses for more information on what it is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Loestrin 24 Fe?

The medication is made by Warner Chilcott Company, Inc.

How Does It Work?

Loestrin 24 Fe is a combined oral contraceptive, which means that it is a birth control pill that contains two different types of hormones. It contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (norethindrone). Most importantly, the hormones in Loestrin 24 Fe prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also works to prevent pregnancy in two other, less important ways. Loestrin 24 Fe changes the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Lastly, it alters the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
Most birth control pills contain 21 active tablets (with the hormones), followed by seven inactive tablets (with no active ingredients). However, as the name suggests, there are 24 active tablets in Loestrin 24 Fe, three more than usual (with only four inactive tablets). Having fewer hormone-free days usually results in lighter, shorter periods. The last four tablets (which contain no hormones) contain iron. The chemical symbol for iron is Fe. Taking these iron tablets may help prevent anemia due to blood loss during your period.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
Pregnancy and Pain