What Is Lo Loestrin Fe? Lo Loestrin Fe (norethindrone acetate, ethinyl estradiol, and ferrous fumarate) is a 28-day oral tablet birth control regimen. It works to prevent ovulation and causes changes to the cervical mucus and endometrial lining,
Lo Loestrin Fe (norethindrone acetate, ethinyl estradiol, and ferrous fumarate) is a 28-day oral tablet birth control regimen. It works to prevent ovulation and causes changes to the cervical mucus and endometrial lining, blocking sperm penetration and reducing the chance of implantation.
Generic Name: Norethindrone Acetate, Ethinyl Estradiol, and Ferrous Fumarate
Brand Name(s): Lo Loestrin Fe
Administration Route(s): Oral
Drug Availability: Prescription
Therapeutic Classification: Combination oral contraceptive
Available Generically: No
Controlled Substance: N/A
Active Ingredient: Norethindrone Acetate, Ethinyl Estradiol, and Ferrous Fumarate
Dosage Form(s): Tablet
Lo Loestrin Fe is a form of birth control that comes in a blister pack of 28 tablets. The tablets within the blister pack contain different combinations of ethinyl estradiol (a female estrogen hormone), norethindrone acetate (a progestin female hormone), and an iron supplement.
Each blister pack contains the following tablets in the following order:
The combination of norethindrone acetate, ethinyl estradiol, and ferrous fumarate can also be used to treat moderate acne vulgaris, a common form of acne that mainly develops on the face and upper trunk.
To be most effective at preventing pregnancy, Lo Loestrin Fe must be taken exactly as directed. It is best to take one tablet by mouth at the same time every day. Take the tablet in the order directed on the blister pack. Do not skip tablets or take tablets at intervals exceeding 24 hours unless directed otherwise.
You can take Lo Loestrin Fe with or without food. If you miss a pill or if you vomit or have diarrhea within three to four hours after taking a blue or white (active) pill, please follow the following instructions:
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using Lo Loestrin Fe. Grapefruit can increase the concentration of Lo Loestrin Fe in your body. The more Lo Loestrin Fe in your body, the greater likelihood that you will have unwanted side effects.
Store this Lo Loestrin Fe in a closed container at room temperature (68 degrees to 77 degrees Fahrenheit), away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Norethindrone acetate, ethinyl estradiol, and ferrous fumarate can also be used off-label for health conditions that it is has shown to be beneficial in treating. However, these uses are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
This medication is sometimes recommended off-label for:
If you start your pack on the first day of your period, you do not need to use backup contraception, like condoms. However, if you start taking the pill on any day other than the first day of your period, you should use backup contraception for the first seven days.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A medical professional can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a medical professional. You may report side effects to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.
Common side effects of Lo Loestrin Fe include:
You may have spotting or light vaginal bleeding or feel nauseated during the first few months of taking Lo Loestrin Fe. Try not to stop taking the pill, even if you have these mild side effects. If these side effects become too bothersome or do not go away, ask your provider about another method of birth control that may work better for you.
Severe side effects of Lo Loestrin Fe and their symptoms can include:
You should not smoke while taking Lo Loestrin Fe, as this can increase your risk for serious cardiovascular events. Please report and seek emergency medical care for signs or symptoms of serious cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke, venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and retinal vein thrombosis.
Always notify your primary care provider if you develop any serious side effects to Lo Loestrin Fe.
This birth control may also cause skin discoloration. Use sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
Lo Loestrin Fe may cause the following problems:
Lo Loestrin Fe may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
Your doctor may ask you to begin your dose on the first day of your menstrual period (called Day 1 Start), on the fifth day (called Day 5 start), or on the first Sunday after your menstrual period starts (called Sunday Start). When you begin on a certain day it is important that you follow that schedule, even if you miss a dose. Do not change your schedule on your own. If the schedule that you use is not convenient, check with your doctor about changing it. For the Day 5 start and Sunday start, you need to use another form of birth control (eg, condom, diaphragm, spermicide) for the first 7 days.
This medicine has specific instructions on what to do if you miss a dose. You should always use a second form of birth control for the next seven days after you miss a dose. The missed dose instructions are as follows:
Light bleeding or spotting can occur if you do not take a pill on schedule. Unfortunately, the more pills you miss, the more likely you are to have bleeding. If you miss a pill or change your schedule, you may not have a period that month. Tell your healthcare provider if you miss your period two months in a row, because you may be pregnant.
There are no reports of severe effects from overdosing on oral birth control pills. However, taking too much Lo Loestrin Fe can cause nausea and withdrawal bleeding.
If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Lo Loestrin Fe, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).
If someone collapses, has a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t wake up after taking Lo Loestrin Fe, call 911 immediately.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may also be needed to check for unwanted effects. These visits will usually be every 6 to 12 months, but some doctors require them more often.
Although you are using this medicine to prevent pregnancy, you should know that using this medicine while you are pregnant could harm the unborn baby. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Do not use this medicine together with medicine to treat hepatitis C virus infection, including ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir (Technivie®, Viekira Pak®).
Vaginal bleeding of various amounts may occur between your regular menstrual periods during the first 3 months of use. This is sometimes called spotting when slight, or breakthrough bleeding when heavier.
Check with your doctor right away if you miss a menstrual period. Missed periods may occur if you skip one or more active tablets and have not taken your pills exactly as directed. If you miss two periods in a row, talk to your doctor. You might need a pregnancy test.
If you suspect that you may be pregnant, stop using this medicine immediately and check with your doctor.
Do not use this medicine if you smoke cigarettes or if you are over 35 years old. If you smoke while using birth control pills, you increase your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot. Your risk is even higher if you are over age 35, if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or if you are overweight. Talk with your doctor about ways to stop smoking. Keep your diabetes under control. Ask your doctor about diet and exercise to control your weight and blood cholesterol level.
Using this medicine may increase your risk of having heart attack, stroke, or blood clots. Check with your doctor right away if you have pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves, difficulty with breathing, a sudden, severe headache, slurred speech, a sudden, a sudden loss of coordination, or vision changes while using this medicine.
Check with your doctor immediately if you have trouble wearing contact lenses or if blurred vision, difficulty with reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want your eyes to be checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
Check with your doctor before refilling an old prescription, especially after a pregnancy. You will need another physical examination and your doctor may change your prescription.
Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or certain medical tests.
This medicine may cause skin discoloration. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.
People with the following conditions should not take Lo Loestrin Fe:
Certain antibiotics and other drugs may cause oral contraceptives to be less effective, and backup contraception may be necessary. Consult healthcare professionals prior to starting new medications.
The following list contains some drugs that tend to make birth control less effective:
If you do not know if your current medications may interact with your birth control, talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Lo Loestrin Fe is an oral form of birth control. It is used to prevent pregnancy.
Lo Loestrin Fe works to prevent pregnancy primarily by preventing ovulation. It also causes changes to the cervical mucus and endometrial lining that block sperm penetration and reduce the chance of implantation
It is important to know that Lo Loestrin Fe will not protect you from getting HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Remember to practice safe sex techniques to reduce your risk of getting an STI if you are sexually active while taking Lo Loestrin Fe.
It may take a few months for your body to adjust to taking Lo Loestrin Fe daily. If you develop any side effects that you are uncomfortable with or that can lead to life-threatening issues, please notify your healthcare provider to discuss if Lo Loestrin Fe is the right birth control for you.
Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare professional. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.