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Seasonale Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Seasonale (levonorgestrel, ethinyl estradiol) extended-cycle is a combination of female hormones used as contraception to prevent pregnancy. Seasonale is available in generic form. Common side effects of Seasonale include nausea (especially when you first start taking Seasonale), vomiting, headache, stomach cramping, bloating, dizziness, vaginal discomfort/irritation/itching, increased vaginal fluids or discharge, breast tenderness/enlargement/swelling, nipple discharge, freckles or darkening of facial skin, increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair, changes in weight or appetite, problems with contact lenses, or decreased sex drive. Acne may improve or get worse. Vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods (spotting) may occur, especially during the first few months of use.
The dosage of Seasonale is one pink (active) tablet daily for 84 consecutive days, followed by 7 days of white (inert) tablets. Seasonale may interact with acetaminophen, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), phenylbutazone, prednisolone, theophylline, cyclosporine, St. John's wort, antibiotics, seizure medicines, barbiturates, or HIV medicines. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Seasonale must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor. If you have just given birth or had a pregnancy loss/abortion after the first 3 months, consult your doctor about birth control, and find out when it is safe use birth control containing estrogen, such as this medication. This medication passes into breast milk. This may affect how much milk you make and may have undesirable effects on the nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Our Seasonale (levonorgestrel, ethinyl estradiol) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Seasonale in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using birth control pills and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden and severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
- sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;
- pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
- a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches;
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
- a breast lump; or
- symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, tired feeling, mood changes).
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild nausea (especially when you first start taking this medicine), vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps;
- breast tenderness or swelling, nipple discharge;
- freckles or darkening of facial skin, increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair;
- changes in weight or appetite;
- problems with contact lenses;
- vaginal itching or discharge; or
- changes in your menstrual periods, decreased sex drive.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Seasonale (Levonorgestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Seasonale Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
You should not have your period during the 3 months that you are taking the active pills. Instead, you will have your period once every 3 months, during the week that you are taking the inactive pills. This effect is normal with this product. However, if you do not have your period while taking the inactive pills, contact your doctor for a pregnancy test.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: lumps in the breast, mental/mood changes (such as new/worsening depression), severe stomach/abdominal pain, unusual changes in vaginal bleeding (such as continuous spotting, sudden heavy bleeding, missed periods), dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
This medication may rarely cause serious (sometimes fatal) problems from blood clots (such as deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke). Get medical help right away if any of these side effects occur: chest/jaw/left arm pain, confusion, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, slurred speech, sudden shortness of breath/rapid breathing, unusual headaches (including headaches with vision changes/lack of coordination, worsening of migraines, sudden/very severe headaches), unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, vision problems/changes (such as double vision, partial/complete blindness).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Seasonale (Levonorgestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Seasonale FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
An increased risk of the following serious adverse reactions has been associated with the use of oral contraceptives (see WARNINGS section):
- Arterial thromboembolism
- Pulmonary embolism
- Myocardial infarction
- Cerebral hemorrhage
- Cerebral thrombosis
- Gallbladder disease
- Hepatic adenomas or benign liver tumors
There is evidence of an association between the following conditions and the use of oral contraceptives:
- Mesenteric thrombosis
- Retinal thrombosis
The following adverse reactions have been reported in patients receiving oral contraceptives and are believed to be drug related:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal cramps and bloating)
- Breakthrough bleeding
- Change in menstrual flow
- Temporary infertility after discontinuation of treatment
- Edema/fluid retention
- Melasma/chloasma which may persist
- Breast changes: tenderness, enlargement, and secretion
- Change in weight or appetite (increase or decrease)
- Change in cervical ectropion and secretion
- Possible diminution in lactation when given immediately postpartum
- Cholestatic jaundice
- Migraine headache
- Rash (allergic)
- Mood changes, including depression
- Vaginitis, including candidiasis
- Change in corneal curvature (steepening)
- Intolerance to contact lenses
- Decrease in serum folate levels
- Exacerbation of systemic lupus erythematosus
- Exacerbation of porphyria
- Exacerbation of chorea
- Aggravation of varicose veins
- Anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions, including urticaria, angioedema, and severe reactions with respiratory and circulatory symptoms
The following adverse reactions have been reported in users of oral contraceptives and the association has been neither confirmed nor refuted:
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Optic neuritis which may lead to partial or complete loss of vision
- Cystitis-like syndrome
- Loss of scalp hair
- Erythema multiforme
- Erythema nodosum
- Hemorrhagic eruption
- Impaired renal function
- Hemolytic uremic syndrome
- Budd-Chiari syndrome
- Changes in libido
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Seasonale (Levonorgestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol)
Additional Seasonale Information
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