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Seasonale Warnings and Precautions

Specific Seasonale Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Seasonale include the following:
  • The medication does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Seasonale.
  • Even though you will have fewer periods while taking Seasonale (only four periods per year), many women may experience breakthrough bleeding between periods. This bleeding may be inconvenient and unpredictable. Keep taking the medication as usual, but make sure to contact your healthcare provider if the bleeding is heavy.
  • Combined oral contraceptives (including Seasonale) increase the risk of 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.
  • Smoking cigarettes greatly increases the risk of serious Seasonale 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 may also 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.
  • Sometimes, birth control pills are not the best contraceptive choice for obese women. They may be less effective in these women, and obese women may be at a higher risk for some of the serious Seasonale side effects.
  • Seasonale can interact with a number of different medications (see Seasonale Drug Interactions).
  • Oral contraceptives increase the risk of benign (noncancerous) liver tumors. In rare cases, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
  • Hormonal contraceptives such as Seasonale can make gallbladder disease worse. Therefore, if you have had a problem with your gallbladder, this may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
  • Seasonale may increase blood sugar levels, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely in this case. 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 Seasonale and other hormonal contraceptives).
  • Hormonal contraceptives (including Seasonale) can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
  • While taking Seasonale, if you experience a migraine for the first time, or if you have any changes in your migraines if you have had them before, please contact your healthcare provider.
  • The contraceptive 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 Seasonale. 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.
  • Seasonale can affect your cholesterol. Therefore, your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start the drug, 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 depression symptoms while taking Seasonale.
  • Occasionally, Seasonale (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
  • Seasonale is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that you should not use it during pregnancy (see Seasonale and Pregnancy).
  • Contraceptive hormones (such as the ones in Seasonale) 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 Seasonale and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives such as Seasonale are not usually recommended for breastfeeding women.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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