What does it do?
Levlen tablets contain the hormones oestrogen and progestogen. They are used to prevent pregnancy or regulate your period. They may also be used to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or acne.
How should you take it?
Your pack has 21 active hormone tablets and 7 inactive tablets. When you first start, it is best to take a hormone tablet on the first day of your period. However, if you start within 5 days of the first day of your period, you are still protected from pregnancy straight away. If you start more than 5 days after the first day of your period, you will need to use condoms (or don’t have sex) for the next 7 days. Take your tablet at the same time each day. You can choose to take your tablets "continuously" (take the 21 hormone tablets, then start the next pack, skipping the 7 inactive tablets or your 7-day break). With this option you won't get a period and you are protected from getting pregnant unless you forget more than 8 tablets in a row.
What if you forget a dose?
If you miss 1 hormone tablet (over 24 hours late): take it as soon as you remember, then take the next hormone tablet at the usual time – even if this means taking 2 tablets together.
If you miss 2 or more hormone tablets: take the last tablet you missed as soon as you remember - even if this means taking 2 tablets together. Then take a hormone tablet for the next 7 days at the usual time. You need to use condoms (or don’t have sex) during these 7 days.
If there are less than 7 hormone tablets left in the pack, finish these and then start your new pack straight away (skip the 7 inactive tablets or your 7-day break). If you are in the first week of your pack and you have had unprotected sex, you may need emergency contraception.
Can you take other medicines?
Some medicines available without a prescription may react with Levlen tablets including:
Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort) or recreational drugs.
Is there anyone who can't take Levlen?
- People who have heart, liver or gallbladder problems, migraines, high blood pressure, or porphyria.
- Those with a previous history of blood clots, stroke, breast cancer or smoking (aged over 35 years)
- People with a history of Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, lupus or diabetes requiring insulin
What side effects might you notice?
Please tell your doctor if you notice troublesome: Changes in periods, mood changes, headache, sore breasts, weight gain, brown patches on the face or stomach upset.
Please seek medical treatment immediately if you have:
- Symptoms of a blood clot (sudden shortness of breath, swelling or pain in one leg)
- Symptoms of a stroke (sudden weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side, face drooping, sudden changes in vision or speech, sudden loss of balance)
- Severe headache
- Chest pain
Will I still be able to drive?
Levlen is not known to impede your ability to drive or operate machines.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Do not take this medication if you are pregnant. If you think you could be pregnant, you should do a test to confirm before you stop taking your pill. If you are breastfeeding you should speak to your doctor about alternative contraception.