Seasonale

DRUG DESCRIPTION

Seasonale® (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol tablets) is an extended-cycle oral contraceptive consisting of 84 pink active tablets each containing 0.15 mg of levonorgestrel, a synthetic progestogen and 0.03 mg of ethinyl estradiol, and 7 white inert tablets (without hormones).

The chemical formula of levonorgestrel USP is 18,19-Dinorpregn-4-en-20-yn-3-one, 13-ethyl-17-hydroxy-, (17?)-, (-)-, and the chemical formula of ethinyl estradiol USP is 19-Norpregna-1,3,5(10)-trien-20-yne-3,17-diol, (17?)-. The structural formulas are as follows:

Seasonale®
  (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol tablets)  Structural Formula Illustration

Each pink active tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: anhydrous lactose NF, FD&C blue no. 1, FD&C red no. 40, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose USP, microcrystalline cellulose NF, polyethylene glycol NF, magnesium stearate NF, polysorbate 80 NF, and titanium dioxide USP. Each white inert tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: anhydrous lactose NF, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose USP, microcrystalline cellulose NF, and magnesium stearate NF.

What are the possible side effects of ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Jolessa, LoSeasonique, Quasense, Seasonale, Seasonique)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden headache, confusion, pain behind the eyes, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling,...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Seasonale »

What are the precautions when taking levonorgestrel, ethinyl estradiol (Seasonale)?

See also Warning section.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to ethinyl estradiol or levonorgestrel; or to other estrogens or progestins; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this product, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: history of stroke or other blood clots (e.g., in the legs, eyes, lungs), severe high blood pressure, abnormal breast exam, cancer (especially endometrial and breast cancer), diabetes that has caused kidney/eye/nerve/blood vessel disease, severe headaches, history of...

Read All Potential Precautions of Seasonale »


Seasonale Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, headache, stomach cramping/bloating, dizziness, vaginal discomfort/irritation, increased vaginal fluids, or breast tenderness/enlargement may occur. Acne may improve or get worse. Vaginal bleeding between periods (spotting) may occur, especially during the first few months of use. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor promptly.

You should not have your period during the 3 months that you are taking the active pills. Instead, you will have your period once every 3 months during the week that you are taking the inactive pills. This effect is normal with this product. However, if you do not have your period while taking the inactive pills, contact your doctor for a pregnancy test.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: changes in vaginal bleeding (e.g., continuous spotting, sudden heavy bleeding, missed periods while taking the inactive pills), problem wearing contact lenses, dark patches on the skin (melasma), unwanted facial/body hair, swelling of the ankles/feet, weight changes (gain or loss).

This medication may rarely cause serious (sometimes fatal) problems from blood clots (e.g., pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack). Seek immediate medical attention if you experience: sudden shortness of breath, chest/jaw/left arm pain, confusion, coughing up blood, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, tingling/weakness/numbness in the arms/legs, headaches that are different from those you may have experienced in the past (e.g., headaches with other symptoms such as vision changes/lack of coordination, existing migraines becoming worse, sudden/very severe headaches), slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, vision problems/changes.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: lumps in the breast, severe stomach/abdominal/pelvic pain, mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, suicidal thoughts, persistent trouble sleeping), unusual tiredness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: See also Warning section.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to ethinyl estradiol or levonorgestrel; or to other estrogens or progestins; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this product, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: history of stroke or other blood clots (e.g., in the legs, eyes, lungs), severe high blood pressure, abnormal breast exam, cancer (especially endometrial and breast cancer), diabetes that has caused kidney/eye/nerve/blood vessel disease, severe headaches, history of heart disease (e.g., heart attack, chest pain), heart valve disease, liver problems (e.g., liver tumor, active liver disease), current or suspected pregnancy, recent major surgery, long periods of sitting or lying down (e.g., immobility such as being bedridden), history of yellowing eyes/skin (jaundice) during pregnancy or while using birth control pills, unexplained vaginal bleeding, heavy tobacco use (especially if 35 or over).

Before using this product, tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglyceride (blood fat) levels, depression, diabetes, swelling (edema), gallbladder problems, kidney disease, migraine, obesity, irregular/missed/very light periods, recent pregnancy, thyroid problems.

Do not smoke cigarettes or use tobacco. Hormonal birth control (e.g., pills, injections, devices) combined with smoking significantly increases your risk for stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure, and heart attacks, especially in women older than 35. For more details, ask your doctor or pharmacist, or consult the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this product.

If you have diabetes, this medication may make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Monitor your blood sugar regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor the results and any symptoms such as increased thirst/urination. Your anti-diabetic medication or diet may need to be adjusted.

Notify your doctor beforehand if you will be having surgery or will be confined to a chair/bed for a long time (e.g., a long plane flight). You may need to stop the medication for a time or take special precautions.

This medication may cause blotchy, dark areas on your skin (melasma). Sunlight may worsen this effect. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, sunlamps, and tanning booths. Use a sunscreen, and wear protective clothing when outdoors.

If you are nearsighted or wear contact lenses, you may develop vision problems or trouble wearing your contact lenses. Contact your eye doctor if these problems occur.

It may take longer for you to become pregnant after you stop taking birth control pills. Consult your doctor.

This medication must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. If you have just given birth or had a pregnancy loss/abortion after the first 3 months, talk with your doctor about reliable forms of birth control, and find out when it is safe to start using birth control that contains a form of estrogen, such as this medication.

This medication passes into breast milk. This may affect how much milk you make and may also have undesirable effects on the nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Seasonale Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Jolessa, LoSeasonique, Quasense, Seasonale, Seasonique

Generic Name: ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (extended-cycle) (Pronunciation: ETH in ill ess tra DYE ol and lee voe nor JESS trel)

  • What is ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Seasonale)?
  • What are the possible side effects of ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Seasonale)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Seasonale)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Seasonale)?
  • How should I take ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Seasonale)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Seasonale)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Seasonale)?
  • What should I avoid while taking ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Seasonale)?
  • What other drugs will affect ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Seasonale)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Seasonale)?

Ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle contains a combination of female hormones that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medication also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.

Ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle are used as contraception to prevent pregnancy.

Ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Seasonale)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden headache, confusion, pain behind the eyes, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches;
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet; or
  • symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps;
  • breast pain, tenderness, or swelling;
  • freckles or darkening of facial skin;
  • increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair;
  • changes in weight or appetite;
  • problems with contact lenses;
  • vaginal itching or discharge;
  • changes in your menstrual periods, decreased sex drive; or
  • headache, nervousness, dizziness, tired feeling.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Seasonale)?

Do not use ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle if you are pregnant or recently had a baby.

Do not use this medication if you have: a history of stroke or blood clot, circulation problems, breast or uterine cancer, abnormal vaginal bleeding, liver disease or liver cancer, severe high blood pressure, migraine headaches, a heart valve disorder, or a history of jaundice caused by birth control pills.

You may need to use back-up birth control when you first start using this medication.

Taking hormones can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack, especially if you smoke and are older than 35.

Some drugs can make birth control pills less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use.

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