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Lo Minastrin Fe (Oral)

Generic name: norethindrone, ethinyl estradiol, and ferrous fumarateETH-i-nil-es-tra-DYE-ol, nor-ETH-in-drone-AS-e-tate, ETH-i-nil-es-tra-DYE-ol, FER-us-FUE-ma-rate ]
Brand names: Lo Loestrin Fe, Lo Minastrin Fe
Drug classes: Contraceptives, Sex hormone combinations

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 1, 2023.

Oral route(Tablet)

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular events from combination oral contraceptive (COC) use. This risk increases with age, particularly in women over 35 years of age, and with the number of cigarettes smoked. COCs should not be used by women who are over 35 years of age and who also smoke .

Uses for Lo Minastrin Fe

Norethindrone, ethinyl estradiol, and ferrous fumarate combination is used to prevent pregnancy. It is a birth control pill that contains two types of hormones, ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone, and when taken properly, prevents pregnancy. It works by stopping a woman's egg from fully developing each month. The egg can no longer accept a sperm and fertilization (pregnancy) is prevented.

This medicine also contains ferrous fumarate. Ferrous fumarate is an iron supplement.

No contraceptive method is 100 percent effective. Birth control methods such as having surgery to become sterile or not having sex are more effective than birth control pills. Discuss your options for birth control with your doctor.

This medicine does not protect against HIV infection or other sexually transmitted diseases. It will not help as emergency contraception, such as after unprotected sexual contact.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before using Lo Minastrin Fe

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of norethindrone, ethinyl estradiol, and ferrous fumarate combination have not been performed in the pediatric population. However, pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of this medicine in teenagers are not expected. This medicine may be used for birth control in teenage females but should not be used before the start of menstruation.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of norethindrone, ethinyl estradiol, and ferrous fumarate combination have not been performed in the geriatric population. This medicine is not indicated for use in elderly women.

Breast Feeding

Ethinyl Estradiol

Studies suggest that this medication may alter milk production or composition. If an alternative to this medication is not prescribed, you should monitor the infant for side effects and adequate milk intake.

Ethinyl EstradiolNorethindrone AcetateFerrous Fumarate

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper use of Lo Minastrin Fe

It is very important that you use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

To make using hormonal contraceptives as safe and reliable as possible, you should understand how and when to use them and what effects may be expected.

This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

This medicine is available in blister packs. Each blister pack contains 28 tablets with different colors that need to be taken in the same order as directed on the blister pack.

When you begin using this medicine, your body will require at least 7 days to adjust before a pregnancy will be prevented. Use a second form of contraception, such as a condom, spermicide, or diaphragm, for the first 7 days of your first cycle of pills.

Take this medicine at the same time each day. You may take this medicine with or without food.

You may chew and swallow the chewable tablet or swallow it whole. Drink a full glass of water (8 ounces) immediately after chewing or swallowing this medicine.

Do not skip or delay taking your pill by more than 24 hours. If you miss a dose, you could get pregnant. Ask your doctor for ways to help you remember to take your pills or about using another method of birth control.

You may have light bleeding or spotting when you first take the pill.

You may feel sick or nauseous, especially during the first few months that you take this medicine. If your nausea is continuous and does not go away, call your doctor.

If you vomit or have diarrhea within 3 to 4 hours of taking this medicine, follow the instructions in the patient leaflet or call your doctor.

If you are switching from a combination hormonal method (eg, another pill, patch, vaginal ring) to using Lo Loestrin® Fe or Minastrin® 24 Fe, take the medicine on the day you would have taken your next pill. If you do not start your period, see your doctor for a pregnancy test. If you have used a vaginal ring or patch, finish the 21 days of use, and wait 7 days after the ring or patch is removed before you start taking this medicine. You must also use a second method of birth control (eg, condom, diaphragm, spermicide) for the first 7 days you take this medicine.

If you are switching from a progestin-only method (eg, progestin-only pill, implant, injection, intrauterine system) to using Lo Loestrin® Fe or Minastrin® 24 Fe, take the medicine on the day you would have taken your next progestin-only pill, or on the day your implant is removed, or on the day you would have your next injection. If you switch from an IUD, talk to your doctor when to start taking this medicine. You must also use a second method of birth control (eg, condom, diaphragm, spermicide) for the first 7 days you take this medicine.

If you are switching from another hormonal method to using FEMCON® Fe or Loestrin® 24 Fe, take the medicine on the day you would have taken your next pill.

If you are switching from another birth control method to using FEMCON® Fe, Loestrin® 24 Fe, or Minastrin® 24 Fe:

If you have a miscarriage or an abortion in the first trimester of your pregnancy, you may start FEMCON® Fe, Loestrin® 24 Fe, Lo Loestrin® Fe, or Minastrin® 24 Fe right away. You do not need a second form of birth control. If you start this medicine 5 days or more after the miscarriage or abortion, you should use a second form of non-hormonal birth control for the first 7 days of your first pill cycle. If you have a miscarriage or abortion after the second trimester, you should wait for 4 weeks before starting this medicine. Use another form of birth control for the first 7 days of your first pill cycle if you use this medicine on a Sunday.

If you use this medicine after giving birth and choose not to breastfeed, you may start 4 weeks after childbirth to prevent the risk of having blood clots.

Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may change the amount of this medicine that is absorbed in the body.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Your doctor may ask you to begin your dose on the first day of your menstrual period (called Day 1 Start), on the fifth day (called Day 5 start), or on the first Sunday after your menstrual period starts (called Sunday Start). When you begin on a certain day it is important that you follow that schedule, even if you miss a dose. Do not change your schedule on your own. If the schedule that you use is not convenient, check with your doctor about changing it. For the Day 5 start and Sunday start, you need to use another form of birth control (eg, condom, diaphragm, spermicide) for the first 7 days.

Lo Loestrin® Fe: Your doctor may ask you to begin your dose on the first day of your menstrual period. You need to use another form of birth control (eg, condom, spermicide) for the first 7 days if you start taking this medicine other than on the first day of your menstrual period.

Missed Dose

Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

This medicine has specific patient instructions on what to do if you miss a dose. Read and follow these instructions carefully and call your doctor if you have any questions.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions while using Lo Minastrin Fe

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may also be needed to check for unwanted effects. These visits will usually be every 6 to 12 months, but some doctors require them more often.

Although you are using this medicine to prevent pregnancy, you should know that using this medicine while you are pregnant could harm the unborn baby. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Do not use this medicine together with medicine to treat hepatitis C virus infection, including glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (Mavyret®) or ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir (Technivie®, Viekira Pak®).

Vaginal bleeding of various amounts may occur between your regular menstrual periods during the first 3 months of use. This is sometimes called spotting when slight, or breakthrough bleeding when heavier.

Check with your doctor right away if you miss a menstrual period. Missed periods may occur if you skip one or more active tablets and have not taken your pills exactly as directed. If you miss two periods in a row, talk to your doctor. You might need a pregnancy test.

If you suspect that you may be pregnant, stop using this medicine immediately and check with your doctor.

Do not use this medicine if you smoke cigarettes or if you are over 35 years old. If you smoke while using birth control pills, you increase your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot. Your risk is even higher if you are over age 35, if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or if you are overweight. Talk with your doctor about ways to stop smoking. Keep your diabetes under control. Ask your doctor about diet and exercise to control your weight and blood cholesterol level.

Using this medicine may increase your risk of having heart attack, stroke, or blood clots. Check with your doctor right away if you have pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves, difficulty with breathing, a sudden, severe headache, slurred speech, a sudden, a sudden loss of coordination, or vision changes while using this medicine.

Check with your doctor immediately if you have trouble wearing contact lenses or if blurred vision, difficulty with reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want your eyes to be checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

Check with your doctor before refilling an old prescription, especially after a pregnancy. You will need another physical examination and your doctor may change your prescription.

Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or certain medical tests.

This medicine may cause skin discoloration. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of Lo Minastrin Fe

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

Incidence not known

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Less common

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

Available Dosage Forms:

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.