What is Alysena?
Alysena or levonorgestrel – ethinyl estradiol is a progestin and estrogen combination contraceptive pill.
What are the uses of Alysena?
Alysena is a birth control pill. The hormones estrogen and progestin in this pill prevent pregnancy by:
- Preventing ovulation (release of the egg) during the menstrual cycle.
- Making the vaginal fluid thicker to prevent sperm from reaching the egg.
- Altering the uterine lining, preventing attachment of the fertilized egg.
Alysena may also help to regularize periods, treat acne, decrease blood loss during periods, and lower the risk of ovarian cysts.
How do you use Alysena?
Alysena 21 comes as a pack of 21 pills, one pill to be taken daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by a break of 7 days. Then start with the new pack.
Alysena 28 comes as a pack of 28 pills. Take the medication pill for 21 days, followed by a reminder pill for seven days. Then start with the new pack.
Here are certain directions for taking this medicine:
- Take it once daily as directed by your doctor, preferably at the same time every day.
- Follow the directions as mentioned on the Patient Information Leaflet
- Use a back-up contraceptive method such as condoms in case of diarrhea and vomiting.
- It is better to take the pill at bedtime or after the evening meal, especially if you face nausea or an upset stomach with the medication.
- It is essential to take this pill the same time every day, 24 hours apart.
If it is the first time you are taking this pill, start the pill on the first Sunday after the menstrual period or on the first day of the cycle. In the Sunday method, for the first cycle, use another non-hormonal birth control method for the first seven days to allow the medication to work and prevent pregnancy.
However, if you start taking pills on the first day of the period, you do not need other forms of contraception.
If you are switching from other forms of hormonal contraceptive, consult your doctor on how you can switch. Also, in case of any doubts, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Of note, missing a pill increases the risk of pregnancy. Here is what you can do in case of a missed dose:
- If you miss one pill, take it as soon as you remember and take the next pill at its regular time. (You might take two tablets in one day)
- If you miss two pills (during the first two weeks), take them on the day you remember. Take two pills the next day. Later continue as usual until you finish all the pills. Use a back-up birth control method if you have sex in the week you missed the tablets.
- If you forget three or more pills or missed two pills during the third week
- For the Sunday method, take one pill daily until Sunday. On Sunday, discard the rest of the pills and start with a new pack. You should also use back-up non-hormonal contraception if you have sex in the seven days you missed the dose.You may skip periods this month.
- For any day method, discard the pack and start with the new pack on the sameday. You should also use back-up non-hormonal contraception if you have sex in the seven days you missed the dose. You may skip periods this month.
In case you miss periods for two consecutive menstrual cycles, you should consult your doctor.
What are the side-effects and risks of Alysena?
Side-effects with this medication are not very often. In case if you notice them, discuss it with your doctor and do not stop the medication on your own.
Minor side-effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Change in appetite
- Skin rash
- Altered sexual activity
- Weight loss or gain
- Swelling of feet and ankle
- Spotting between periods
In most cases, these symptoms subside on their own. If they continue to persist, consult your doctor.
Moderate side-effects include:
- Change in bleeding pattern during the menstrual cycle
- High blood pressure
- Lump(s) in the breast
- Severe headaches
- Blotchy, brown spots on the skin
- Pain, swelling, or tenderness in the upper abdomen
- Varicose veins
- Vaginal infection
- Urinary tract infection (increased frequency of urination, pain while urinating, lower back pain)
- Mood changes with poor concentration and changes in sleep
- Liver problems, such as yellowing of the skin, nausea, and vomiting, and weight loss
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.
- Blood clot in blood vessels
- Serious allergic reaction
- Heart attack
In case of any symptoms, contact your healthcare professional immediately.
Who should not take Alysena?
Avoid taking Alysena in cases of:
- Pregnancy and lactation
- Undergoing surgery
- Blood clots
- Heart disorders
- Breast cancer
- Eye disorders
- Liver disorders
- Gall bladder disorders
You should avoid taking Alysena or consult your doctor before taking it if you are on any of the following medications:
- Hiv Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
- Hiv Protease Inhibitors
It may not include all medications. So, in case you are on any medications, consult your doctor before taking Alysena
When should you not take Alysena?
You should not take Alysena if:
- It has passed the expiry date of the medicine printed on the pack.
- The packaging shows signs of tampering.