Altavera

Generic Name: Levonorgestrel

  • What is Altavera?

    Altavera is a birth control pill used to prevent pregnancy. Altavera contains the hormones estradiol and progestin.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Altavera?

    Cigarette smoking can increase your risk of serious side effects on your heart and blood vessels, including heart attack, blood clots, or stroke. This risk increases with age, especially if you are >35 years and if you smoke ≥15 cigarettes a day. Do not smoke if you are taking Altavera.

    Altavera can increase your risk of heart attack, clotting disorders, stroke, gallbladder disease, or liver tumors. These risks increase if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, tendency to form blood clots, or obesity. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience sharp chest pain, coughing of blood, sudden shortness of breath, pain in your calf, sudden severe headache or vomiting, dizziness or fainting, disturbances of vision or speech, weakness or numbness in your arm or leg, loss of vision, abdominal pain or tenderness, or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes) accompanied by fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, dark-colored urine, or light-colored bowel movements.

    Altavera can increase your risk of developing cancer of your breasts or reproductive organs. Ask your doctor to show you how to examine your breasts. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice breast lumps.

    You can experience breakthrough bleeding or spotting while you are taking birth control pills, especially during the first 3 months of use. You may also have irregular periods. If you have missed more than two periods in a row, use a pregnancy test to determine if you are pregnant. Do not use Altavera if you are pregnant.

    Altavera is intended to prevent pregnancy. It does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Who should not take Altavera?

    Do not take Altavera if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients. Also, do not take Altavera if you have had a heart attack or stroke; blood clots in your legs, lungs, or eyes; known or suspected breast cancer, cancer of the lining of your uterus, cervix or vagina, or certain hormonally sensitive cancers; liver disease, including liver tumors; chest pain; unexplained vaginal bleeding; jaundice during pregnancy or during previous use of the pill; known or suspected pregnancy; heart disorders; diabetes; or uncontrolled high blood pressure.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Altavera?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Altavera. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you or a family member has ever had breast nodules or any disease of the breast; certain hormonally sensitive cancers; diabetes; high triglycerides or cholesterol; high blood pressure; a tendency to form blood clots; migraines or other headaches; seizures; depression; gallbladder, heart, or kidney disease; or a history of scanty or irregular menstrual periods.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults and adolescents ≥16 years: Take the first "active" peach tablet on the Sunday after your period begins, even if you are still bleeding. Take one peach tablet a day for 21 consecutive days, followed by 1 white tablet a day for 7 days.

  • How should I take Altavera?

    Before you start taking Altavera, be sure to read the directions. Take Altavera at the same time every day, preferably after your evening meal or at bedtime, until the pack is empty. Start the next pack on the day after your last white "reminder" pill. Do not wait any days between packs. To achieve the maximum birth control effectiveness, you must take Altavera exactly as prescribed by your doctor, and at intervals not exceeding 24 hours.

    Please follow the instructions on the patient handout that comes with your prescription.

  • What should I avoid while taking Altavera?

    Do not smoke or become pregnant while you are taking Altavera.

    Do not skip pills even if you are spotting or bleeding between periods, feel sick to your stomach, or if you do not have sex very often.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Altavera?

    If Altavera is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Altavera with the following: certain anti-HIV medications (such as indinavir or ritonavir), certain antibiotics (such as ampicillin, penicillin, rifampin, tetracycline, or troleandomycin), seizure medications (such as lamotrigine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, or topiramate), or St. John's wort.

  • What are the possible side effects of Altavera?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: allergic reactions, breast tenderness, change in appetite, change in vision, depression, dizziness, edema (swelling), headache, inability to wear your contact lenses, irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting, loss of scalp hair, nausea, nervousness, rash, spotty darkening of your skin

  • Can I receive Altavera if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Do not take Altavera if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Altavera?

    If you miss 1 peach "active" pill, take it as soon as you remember. Take the next pill at your regular time. This means you can take 2 pills in 1 day. You do not need to use a back-up birth control method if you have sex. If you miss 2 peach pills or more, consult the patient information that accompanied your prescription or call your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

  • How should I store Altavera?

    Store at room temperature.