What are Alesse
contains a combination of hormones that is used to prevent
ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). The pills
contain a form of estrogen and a form of progesterone, which
are both female hormones involved in conception.
also have other effects that inhibit pregnancy. They cause
the cervical mucous to thicken, which makes it harder for
sperm to move toward the uterus, and they prevent the attachment
of an egg to the uterus.
is used to prevent pregnancy.
may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this
General medical information about Alesse
Take your pill at the same time every day. Each dose
should come no more than 24 hours after the last dose.
Avoid smoking cigarettes while taking Alesse. Smoking greatly
increases the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or blood
another form of birth control if you miss several doses (see
the package insert) or if you are taking drugs that decrease
the effectiveness of Alesse (see the section of this leaflet
titled "what other drugs will affect Alesse?").
What you should find out before taking
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if
- have high blood pressure, angina, or heart
- have had a stroke;
- have a bleeding
or blood-clotting disorder;
- have breast, uterine,
or another hormone-related cancer;
- have liver disease
or a history of jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
caused by use of birth control in the past;
undiagnosed, abnormal vaginal bleeding;
- have migraines;
- have asthma; or
- have seizures or epilepsy.
You may not be able to take Alesse, or you may require
a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you
have any of the conditions listed above.
in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that Alesse
will cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Hormonal changes
during pregnancy can have very serious negative effects
on a developing baby. Do not take Alesse if you are pregnant
or if you think you might be pregnant.
in Alesse pass into breast milk and may decrease milk production.
Do not take Alesse without first talking to your doctor
if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should take Alesse Take Alesse exactly as directed by your doctor. If
you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist,
nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
first pill in a package on the first Sunday after your period
begins (unless otherwise directed by your doctor).
Take one pill every day, no more than 24 hours after your
last dose. Try to take the pills at a time that you will
remember every day--for example just before bed, with a
meal, or first thing in the morning.
pill at night may help to reduce any nausea or headache
that you may experience because of the hormones.
If you are on a 28-day cycle, take one pill every day. When
the pack runs out, throw it away. Begin a new pack the following
day. The 28-day cycle contains seven pills that are either
placebos (with no active ingredients) or iron supplements.
These are "reminder" pills to keep you on your
regular cycle. They are taken while you are menstruating.
If you are on a 21-day cycle, take one pill every
day for 21 days, then do not take any pills for 7 days.
You should have your period during the 7 days with no pills.
Resume your pills on the 8th day with a new package.
Follow your doctor's instructions about using a second form
of birth control when you first start taking Alesse, when
you are taking antibiotics, or if you miss a pill. If you
are unsure what to do in any of these cases, talk to your
pharmacist, nurse, or doctor about how to ensure that you
will not become pregnant.
Store Alesse at room temperature
away from moisture and heat.
If you miss a dose: Missing a pill increases the risk of becoming pregnant.
Follow the exact directions on your package information
insert concerning missed doses. If you do not have a package
information insert, call your pharmacist, doctor, or nurse
to find out what to do.
miss one dose, take it as soon as you remember or take two
pills at the time of your next regularly scheduled dose.
There is little likelihood that ovulation will occur. You
may, however, want to use a second method of birth control
such as a condom or a spermicidal cream, jelly, or foam
for at least seven consecutive days following the missed
tablet to ensure protection from pregnancy.
miss two tablets in a row, take the two missed tablets as
soon as you remember or with your next regularly scheduled
dose (three total). Or, you may take two tablets each for
the next two regularly scheduled doses (one missed tablet
plus one regularly scheduled tablet for 2 days in a row).
Chances are much greater that you may ovulate so you must
use another form of birth control for at least 7 days following
the missed tablets. It is even better to use a second method
of birth control until your next period.
If you miss
three tablets in a row, throw away the package and start
a new package on the 7th day after the last day you took
a pill. Use another method of birth control until you have
taken a pill for 7 days in a row. Your period should occur
during the 7 days without pills. If it doesn't, have a pregnancy
test before beginning a new package of pills.
all of the information in your package information insert.
It may have slightly different instructions in the case
of missed pills. Talk to your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor
if you have any questions.
What happens if you overdose: Death is not likely to occur from an overdose of
Alesse. Consult a doctor, an emergency room, or a poison
control center for advice.
Symptoms of an overdose
include nausea, vomiting, and menstrual bleeding.
Avoid while taking Alesse Avoid smoking. Smoking greatly increases your risk
of a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot formation.
Alesse do not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases--including
HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to protect
yourself from these diseases.
Possible side effects of Alesse If you experience any of the following serious side
effects, stop taking Alesse and seek emergency medical attention:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing
of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face;
- a blood clot in the lung (shortness
of breath or pain in the chest);
- a blood clot in
an arm or leg (pain, redness, swelling, or numbness of an
arm or leg);
- high blood pressure (severe headache,
flushing, blurred vision); or
- liver damage (yellowing
of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort,
unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue).
less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue
to take Alesse and talk to your doctor if you experience
- headache or dizziness;
- nausea, vomiting,
- breakthrough bleeding; or
These side effects may disappear
or be less noticeable after 3 to 6 months of birth control
use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you find
any side effect very bothersome.
The side effects
listed below generally occur very rarely and are not considered
serious. If you experience any of the following, talk to
- changes in weight
- vaginal yeast infection,
changes in your menstrual cycle,
- oily skin or acne,
- changes in your sex drive,
- lethargy or
- changes in your skin
- changes in your blood sugar.
effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk
to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual
or that is especially bothersome.
What other drugs will affect Alesse Some drugs may decrease the effectiveness of Alesse,
which may result in pregnancy. Use a second form of birth
control if you are taking
- a penicillin antibiotic
such as amoxicillin (Amoxil, Polymox, Trimox, Wymox, Utimox,
A-Cillin, Larotid, Augmentin, others), ampicillin (Principen,
Omnipen, Penamp, Polycillin, Amplin, Amcill, Totacillin,
others), bacampicillin (Spectrobid), carbenicillin (Geocillin),
cloxacillin (Cloxapen, Tegopen), dicloxacillin (Dynapen,
Dycill, Pathocil), nafcillin (Nafcil, Nallpen, Unipen),
oxacillin (Bactocill, Prostphlin), or penicillin (Veetids,
Pen Vee K, Bicillin, Permapen, others);
- a tetracycline
antibiotic such as demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline
(Doryx, Doxy, Vibramycin, Vibra-Tabs, others), minocycline
(Minocin), or tetracycline (Sumycin, Teracyn, Achromycin,
Robitet, Panmycin, others);
- a barbiturate such
as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital
(Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal,
- rifampin (Rifadin);
- carbamazepine (Tegretol); or
griseofulvin (Grisactin, Grifulvin V, Fulvicin PG).
other than those listed here may also interact with Alesse.
Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription
or over-the-counter medicines.