Alesse (Ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel) is a contraceptive combination of female hormones that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary).  It affects the cervical mucus and uterine lining so that it is difficult for a sperm to reach the uterus as well as prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

 If you opt to take Alesse, bear in mind that you must not have the following conditions: uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart disease, a blood-clotting disorder, circulation problems, diabetic problems with your eyes or kidneys, unusual vaginal bleeding, liver disease or liver cancer, severe migraine headaches, if you smoke and are over 35, or if you have ever had breast or uterine cancer, jaundice caused by birth control pills, a heart attack, a stroke, or a blood clot.

When you take hormones, you increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack, especially if you smoke and are older than 35. Smoking increases your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack caused by Alesse.

Alesse will not help protect you from sexually transmitted diseases--including HIV and AIDS. The only way to protect yourself from these diseases is by using a condom.

For first time users or if you miss a dose, you may need to use additional backup such as condoms or a spermicide.  A pill that is missed increases the risk of getting pregnant so take note of the instructions when you forget to take an Alesse pill.  Better yet, follow your doctor's/s instructions.
When you miss a dose, follow the instructions provided with your medicine. If you miss one active pill, take two pills on the day that you remember. Then continue taking one pill per day for the rest of the pack.

If two or more pills are missed, there is a strong chance you may not have a period during the month. And if you miss a period for two months consecutively, check with the doctor because you just might be pregnant.

If a reminder pill is missed, simply discard it and take one reminder pill per day until the pack is empty. No need for back-up birth control if a reminder pill is missed.

Symptoms of overdose may include nausea, vomiting, and vaginal bleeding.

Antibiotics, hepatitis C medications, HIV/AIDS medications, seizure medications, or barbiturate sedatives are drugs that prevent Alese’s effectiveness so you must inform your doctor about the other medications you are taking.

Be warned that Alesse can cause birth defects so tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant, or if you miss two menstrual periods in a row. If you’ve had a baby recently, wait at least 4 weeks before taking Alesse. Alesse’s hormones can be passed into breast milk, harming a nursing baby. This medication may also slow breast milk production so do not use Alesse if you are breast feeding.

For safety precautions, make sure to tell your doctor if you have any of the conditions listed below: 

·         High blood pressure, varicose veins;
·         High cholesterol or triglycerides, or if you are overweight;
·         A history of depression;
·         Underactive thyroid;
·         Gallbladder disease;
·         Diabetes;
·         Seizures or epilepsy;
·         A history of irregular menstrual cycles;
·         Tuberculosis; or
·         a history of fibrocystic breast disease, lumps, nodules, or an abnormal mammogram.

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