Alesse Oral Contraceptive
Alesse is an oral contraceptive consisting of two female hormones, estrogen, and progestin. It prevents pregnancy by causing changes to your cervical mucus and uterine lining making it harder for sperm to reach and fertilize the egg.
Before using Alesse, inform your doctor about if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or nursing; if you have diabetes, liver or kidney related problems or severe high blood pressure; if you are allergic to any ingredients in Alesse; if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine.
Important Information about Alesse
It is recommended that a backup be used for the first month of taking Alesse as it may not protect you as effectively during the first cycle.
Taking hormones can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack, especially if you smoke and are older than 35.
Do not use Alesse if you have
- a history of a stroke or blood clot;
- circulation problems (especially if caused by diabetes);
- hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer;
- abnormal vaginal bleeding;
- severe migraine headaches;
- a history of jaundice caused by birth control pills.
Before using Alesse, tell your doctor if you have
- heart disease, congestive heart failure, angina, or a history of heart attack;
- high cholesterol or if you are overweight;
- a history of depression;
- gallbladder disease;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- a history of irregular menstrual cycles;
- varicose veins.
Alesse Side Effects
Serious side effects that require immediate medical attention: 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, 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: 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 information is advisory only. It does not contain all information about this medication. If you have any questions about Alesse, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.