Generic name: levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol
Dosage form: tablets
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To achieve maximum contraceptive effectiveness, Lutera® must be taken exactly as directed and at intervals not exceeding 24 hours.
The dosage of Lutera is one white tablet daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by one peach inert tablet daily for 7 consecutive days, according to the prescribed schedule.
It is recommended that Lutera tablets be taken at the same time each day.
During the first cycle of medication, the patient is instructed to begin taking Lutera on the first Sunday after the onset of menstruation. If menstruation begins on a Sunday, the first tablet (white) is taken that day. One white tablet should be taken daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by one peach inert tablet daily for seven consecutive days. Withdrawal bleeding should usually occur within three days following discontinuation of white tablets. During the first cycle, contraceptive reliance should not be placed on Lutera until a white tablet has been taken daily for 7 consecutive days. The possibility of ovulation and conception prior to initiation of medication should be considered.
The patient begins her next and all subsequent 28-day courses of tablets on the same day of the week (Sunday) on which she began her first course, following the same schedule: 21 days on white tablets—7 days on peach inert tablets. If in any cycle the patient starts tablets later than the proper day, she should protect herself against pregnancy by using another method of birth control until she has taken a white tablet daily for 7 consecutive days.
Day 1 start:
During the first cycle of medication, the patient is instructed to begin taking Lutera during the first 24 hours of her period (day one of her menstrual cycle). One white tablet should be taken daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by one peach inert tablet daily for seven consecutive days. Withdrawal bleeding should usually occur within three days following discontinuation of white tablets. If medication is begun on day one of the menstrual cycle, no back-up contraception is necessary. If Lutera tablets are started later than day one of the first menstrual cycle or postpartum, contraceptive reliance should not be placed on Lutera tablets until after the first 7 consecutive days of administration. The possibility of ovulation and conception prior to initiation of medication should be considered.
When the patient is switching from a 21-day regimen of tablets, she should wait 7 days after her last tablet before she starts Lutera. She will probably experience withdrawal bleeding during that week. She should be sure that no more than 7 days pass after her previous 21-day regimen. When the patient is switching from a 28-day regimen of tablets, she should start her first pack of Lutera on the day after her last tablet. She should not wait any days between packs.
If spotting or breakthrough bleeding occur, the patient is instructed to continue on the same regimen. This type of bleeding is usually transient and without significance; however, if the bleeding is persistent or prolonged, the patient is advised to consult her physician. While there is little likelihood of ovulation occurring if only one or two white tablets are missed, the possibility of ovulation increases with each successive day that scheduled white tablets are missed. Although the occurrence of pregnancy is unlikely if Lutera is taken according to directions, if withdrawal bleeding does not occur, the possibility of pregnancy must be considered. If the patient has not adhered to the prescribed schedule (missed one or more tablets or started taking them on a day later than she should have), the probability of pregnancy should be considered at the time of the first missed period and appropriate diagnostic measures taken before the medication is resumed. If the patient has adhered to the prescribed regimen and misses two consecutive periods, pregnancy should be ruled out before continuing the contraceptive regimen.
The risk of pregnancy increases with each active (white) tablet missed. For additional patient instructions regarding missed tablets, see the “WHAT TO DO IF YOU MISS PILLS" section in the DETAILED PATIENT LABELING below.
In the nonlactating mother, Lutera may be initiated postpartum, for contraception. When the tablets are administered in the postpartum period, the increased risk of thromboembolic disease associated with the postpartum period must be considered (see CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS, and PRECAUTIONS concerning thromboembolic disease).