Lybrel

Generic Name: Levonorgestrel

  • What is Lybrel?

    Lybrel is a birth control pill that is taken every day.

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

    Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects (such as blood clots, heart attacks, and stroke) when combined with oral contraceptives such as Lybrel. This risk increases with age and with heavy smoking (≥15 cigarettes per day) and is significantly increased in women >35 years of age. Women who use oral contraceptives should be strongly advised not to smoke.

    Lybrel does not protect against transmission of HIV (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, and syphilis.

    The use of oral contraceptives runs a risk of blood clots and blockage of blood vessels causing serious side effects. If you take an oral contraceptive and you need surgery, need to be bedridden for a prolonged period, or recently delivered a baby, you may be at risk of developing blood clots.

    If you wear contacts, tell your doctor if you notice any vision changes or if you are unable to wear your contacts.

    Oral contraceptives can cause fluid retention with swelling of the fingers or ankles and also raise blood pressure. If you notice any unusual swelling, contact your doctor.

    Like other oral contraceptives, users may be at risk for gallbladder disease, liver tumors (which are benign but can rupture and cause internal bleeding), breast cancer, increased cholesterol and triglycerides, and vision problems. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following: sharp chest pains, coughing up blood, sudden shortness of breath, pain in the calf, severe headache, vomiting, dizziness, fainting, partial or complete vision loss, breast lumps, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, insomnia, lack of energy, or severe pain or tenderness of the stomach.

  • Who should not take Lybrel?

    Do not use Lybrel if you have any of the following conditions: history of heart attack or stroke; blood clots in the legs, lungs, or eyes; history of blood clots in the deep veins of your legs; hereditary or acquired blood clotting disorders; chest pain; known or suspected breast cancer or cancer of the lining of the uterus, cervix, or vagina, or certain hormonally sensitive cancers; unexplained vaginal bleeding (until a diagnosis is reached by your doctor); liver tumors (benign or cancerous) or active liver disease; yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice) during pregnancy or during previous use of birth control pills; known or suspected pregnancy; a need for surgery with prolonged bedrest; heart valve or heart rhythm disorders that may be associated with formation of blood clots; diabetes affecting your circulation; headaches with neurological symptoms such as aura; uncontrolled high blood pressure; or allergy or hypersensitivity to any of the components of Lybrel.

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

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Lybrel. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have ever had breast nodules; fibrocystic disease of the breast; an abnormal breast x-ray or mammogram; diabetes; elevated cholesterol or triglycerides; high blood pressure; a tendency to form blood clots; migraine or other headaches; epilepsy; depression; gallbladder, liver, 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: The daily dosage is 1 tablet, which contains 90 micrograms (mcg) of levonorgestrel and 20 mcg of ethinyl estradiol.

  • How should I take Lybrel?

    Take 1 tablet of Lybrel at the same time every day at intervals not exceeding 24 hours. Take the first pill during the first 24 hours of your period. When you finish a pack, start the next pack on the day after your last pill.

  • What should I avoid while taking Lybrel?

    Do not skip days between packs. Avoid smoking cigarettes while taking Lybrel.

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

    Certain drugs may interact with birth control pills and make them less effective in preventing pregnancy or may cause unscheduled bleeding. If Lybrel 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 Lybrel with acetaminophen, antibiotics, antifungals, antiseizure drugs, ascorbic acid, atorvastatin, barbiturates, carbamazepine, clofibric acid, corticosteroids, cyclosporine, felbamate, griseofulvin, HIV medications, lamotrigine, modafinil, morphine, oxcarbazepine, phenylbutazone, phenytoin, primidone, rifabutin, rifampin, ritonovir, salicylic acid, St. John's wort, temazepam, theophylline, and topiramate.

  • What are the possible side effects of Lybrel?

    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: breast lumps, unusual or irregular vaginal bleeding, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, breast pain, hair loss, high blood pressure, increased blood sugar, vaginal yeast infections, fluid retention, liver problems, enlargement of benign tumors of the uterus

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

    Lybrel should not be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Contact your doctor if you suspect you may be pregnant.

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

    If you missed 1 pill, take the pill as soon as you remember, then take the next pill at the regular time. This means you take 2 pills the same day.

    If you missed 2 pills and remembered on the day of the second missed pill, take 2 missed pills on the day you remember. The following day you are back on schedule to take 1 pill a day.

    If you missed 2 pills and remembered on the day after the second pill is missed, take 2 missed pills on the day you remember. The next day you take 2 pills. The following day you are back on schedule to take your pills.

    If you missed 3 or more pills, contact your healthcare provider for further assistance. Keep taking 1 pill every day until you talk with your healthcare professional. Do not take the missed pills.

    You could become pregnant if you have sex during the 7 days after you restart your pills. You must use a nonhormonal birth control method (such as condoms and/or spermicide) as a backup for those 7 days.

  • How should I store Lybrel?

    Store at room temperature.

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I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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