Seasonale, which is generically prescribed as ethinyl estradiol and levenorgestrel, is commonly used to prevent pregnancy by introducing female hormones into the system. The hormones in Seasonale prevent ovulation if the egg, changes cervical mucous and uterine lining making it more difficult for the sperm to reach the egg, and more difficult for a fertilized egg to attach itself and grow into a fetus.
Seasonale is not appropriate for everyone. A thorough medical history should be assessed prior to prescribing this medication. Patients with a medical history which includes blood clot, stroke, blood circulation problems, hormone related cancers, abnormal vaginal bleeding, liver disease, liver cancer, severe high blood pressure, severe migraine headaches, heart valve disorder, jaundice, heart disease, congestive heart failure, angina, heart attack, high cholesterol, obesity, depression, gall bladder disease, diabetes, seizures, epilepsy, irregular menstrual cycles, fibrocystic breast disease, lumps, or abnormal mammograms may not be able to take Seasonale or may require careful monitoring while undergoing drug therapy with this medication, depending on the condition and the severity of the condition.
The American Food and Drug Administration rated Seasonale as a pregnancy risk category C. Seasonale has been proven to cause harm or birth defects in unborn babies. This medication has also been proven to pass through the mother’s breast milk and affect a nursing baby. The prescribing physician should avoid prescribing this medication to pregnant or nursing women, or to women with a high likelihood of becoming pregnant. Women who have recently given birth should wait at least 4 weeks before taking Seasonale, or 6 weeks if the new mother has chosen to breast feed.
There is a risk of side effects associated with Seasonale, some of which are severe. A patient who is experiencing a serious side effect or an allergic reaction should seek immediate emergency medical attention. An allergic reaction will present with side effects such as facial swelling, including swelling of the lips, mouth, throat, or tongue, hives, and difficulty breathing. Other serious side effects which require immediate emergency medical attention include symptoms such as sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, sudden headaches, confusion, pain behind the eyes, problems with speech, balance, or vision, chest pain or heaviness in the chest which spreads down the arm, changes in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches, nausea, stomach pain, low fever, dark urine, clay colored stools, jaundice, loss of appetite, swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet, or symptoms of depression.
Less serious side effects typically do not require emergency medical attention but should be reported to the prescribing physician. Patients should be encouraged to report all side effects. Less serious side effects include symptoms such as mild nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps, breast pain, swelling, or tenderness, 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 the menstrual cycle, decreased sex drive, headaches, nervousness, dizziness, or fatigue. Less serious side effects can often be reduced to a tolerable level by reducing the dosage of Seasonale.
Seasonale should be taken exactly as it has been prescribed by the physician. If the patient misses a dose, the dose should be taken as soon as it is remembered. There are special dosing directions for each week of dosing Seasonale. Patients should be instructed to follow the dosing directions in the event of a missed dose. However, the patient should never take a double dose of this medication. If an overdose is suspected, the patient should seek immediate emergency medical attention. An overdose will present with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and vaginal bleeding.
There is a potential risk of negative drug interactions associated with Seasonale. A thorough medical history should be understood prior to prescribing this medication. Patients should be urged to inquire with the prescribing physician before taking any new medications, including over the counter medications and herbal remedies. Medications with a known negative drug interactions with Seasonale include St. John’s wort, antibiotics, acetaminophen, phenylbutazone, prednisolone, theophylline, seizure medication, barbiturates, and HIV medication.
Seasonale has the following structural formula:
|Seasonale available : 0.15-0.03mg tablets disp pack|
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