Alesse is an oral contraceptive commonly prescribed to prevent pregnancy. This combination of hormones, ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel, works by preventing the release of eggs from the ovaries and altering the cervical mucus to make it difficult for sperm to reach the uterus. Alesse is a highly effective birth control method when used correctly and consistently. It is important to discuss any personal medical history or concerns with a healthcare provider before starting Alesse.
Avoiding Risks with Alesse
Alesse should not be used in certain situations due to potential risks and complications. Contraindications include:
- Presence or history of blood clots
- Severe liver disease
- Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding
- Certain types of cancer
- Known or suspected pregnancy
- Allergy to any components of Alesse
Possible Side Effects
Like any medication, Alesse may cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Breast tenderness
- Changes in menstrual flow
- Mood changes
In rare cases, more serious side effects may occur, such as:
- Severe allergic reactions
- High blood pressure
- Migraine headaches
- Changes in vision or speech
- Signs of blood clotting disorders
If any of these side effects occur or persist, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
The recommended dosage for Alesse is one pill taken orally every day at the same time, preferably after the evening meal or at bedtime. It is important to follow the prescribed schedule and not miss any doses. If a dose is missed:
- If less than 24 hours have passed since the missed dose, take the pill as soon as remembered and continue with the regular schedule.
- If more than 24 hours have passed since the missed dose and it is the first week of the pack, follow the instructions provided by the healthcare professional.
- For missed doses in the third week of the pack, it is advised to start a new pack immediately and skip the placebo pills.
In case of an overdose, individuals may experience nausea, vomiting, and vaginal bleeding. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if an overdose is suspected.
What to Watch Out For
Alesse may interact with other medications, which can affect its effectiveness or increase the risk of side effects. It is important to inform healthcare providers about all current medications, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements. Some common drugs that may interact with Alesse include:
|Antibiotics (e.g., rifampin)||May decrease the effectiveness of Alesse|
|Anticonvulsants (e.g., phenytoin)||May decrease the effectiveness of Alesse|
|Antifungal medications (e.g., griseofulvin)||May decrease the effectiveness of Alesse|
|St. John’s wort||May decrease the effectiveness of Alesse|
Can Alesse be used as an emergency contraceptive?
Alesse is not intended for use as an emergency contraceptive. It should be taken daily as prescribed to provide effective contraception.
Is Alesse effective in preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
No, Alesse does not protect against STIs. It is important to use additional barrier methods, such as condoms, to reduce the risk of STI transmission.
What should I do if I experience breakthrough bleeding while taking Alesse?
Breakthrough bleeding may occur during the first few months of Alesse use. If it persists or is bothersome, consult a healthcare provider for further evaluation.
Can Alesse be used while breastfeeding?
It is generally not recommended to take Alesse while breastfeeding. It is advisable to discuss alternative methods of contraception with a healthcare provider.
What should I do if I vomit shortly after taking Alesse?
If vomiting occurs within 2 hours of taking Alesse, there is a chance that the medication may not have been fully absorbed. It is recommended to take another pill as soon as possible and use backup contraception for the next 48 hours.