Last updated on RxList: 3/13/2020
Altavera Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

What Is Altavera?

Altavera (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol kit) is a combination oral contraceptive (COC) indicated for use by females of reproductive potential to prevent pregnancy.

What Are Side Effects of Altavera?

Side effects of Altavera include:

  • breast tenderness/pain/enlargement,
  • nipple secretion,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • abdominal pain and cramps,
  • bloating,
  • changes in menstrual flow,
  • temporary infertility after discontinuation of treatments,
  • changes in weight or appetite,
  • changes in vaginal secretions,
  • cholestatic jaundice,
  • rash (allergic),
  • vaginal infection (including vaginal yeast infection),
  • problems with contact lenses,
  • blood clots,
  • decrease in serum folate levels,
  • aggravation of varicose veins, and
  • anaphylactic reactions (including hives, skin swelling, and severe reactions with respiratory and circulatory symptoms)

Dosage for Altavera

The dose of Altavera is one tablet by mouth at the same time every day. To achieve maximum contraceptive effectiveness, patients must take Altavera as directed, in the order directed on the blister pack.

Altavera In Children

Safety and effectiveness of Altavera in pediatric patients have not been established.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Altavera?

Altavera may react with medications such as:

Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Altavera During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Altavera is contraindicated in pregnancy because there is no reason to use combined oral contraceptives (COCs) in pregnancy. Discontinue Altavera if pregnancy occurs. Contraceptive hormones such as Altavera and/or metabolites are present in human milk. COCs can reduce milk production. Nursing women are advised to use other methods of contraception while breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Altavera (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol kit) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Choosing Your Birth Control Method See Slideshow
Altavera Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using birth control pills and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • signs of a stroke--sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), severe headache, slurred speech, balance problems;
  • signs of a blood clot--sudden vision loss, stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath, coughing up blood, swelling or redness in an arm or leg;
  • heart attack symptoms--chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
  • liver problems--loss of appetite, upper stomach pain, tiredness, fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • increased blood pressure--severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears;
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
  • changes in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches;
  • a breast lump; or
  • symptoms of depression--sleep problems, weakness, tired feeling, mood changes.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting (especially when you first start taking this medicine);
  • breast tenderness;
  • breakthrough bleeding;
  • acne, darkening of facial skin;
  • weight gain; or
  • problems with contact lenses.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Altavera (Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets)


Which of the following are methods for contraception? See Answer
Altavera Professional Information


The following serious adverse reactions with the use of COCs are discussed elsewhere in the labeling:

  • Serious cardiovascular adverse events [see BOXED WARNING and WARNINGS]
  • Vascular events [see WARNINGS]
  • Liver disease [see WARNINGS]
  • Hypertension [see WARNINGS]
  • Gallbladder disease [see WARNINGS]
  • Carbohydrate and lipid effects [see WARNINGS]
  • Headache [see WARNINGS]
  • Carcinoma of the cervix [see WARNINGS]

Adverse reactions reported by COC users and described elsewhere in the labeling are:

  • Bleeding irregularities and amenorrhea [see WARNINGS]
  • Mood changes, including depression [see WARNINGS]
  • Melasma/chloasma which may persist [see WARNINGS]
  • Edema/fluid retention [see PRECAUTIONS]
  • Diminution in lactation when given immediately postpartum [see PRECAUTIONS]

The following adverse reactions have been reported in patients receiving oral contraceptives and are believed to be drug-related: Breast tenderness, pain, enlargement, secretion; Nausea, vomiting and gastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal pain, cramps and bloating); Change in menstrual flow; Temporary infertility after discontinuation of treatment; Change in weight or appetite (increase or decrease); Change in cervical erosion and secretion; Cholestatic jaundice; Rash (allergic); Vaginitis, including candidiasis; Change in corneal curvature (steepening); Intolerance to contact lenses; Mesenteric thrombosis; 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: Congenital anomalies; Premenstrual syndrome; Cataracts; Optic neuritis, which may lead to partial or complete loss of vision; Cystitis-like syndrome; Nervousness; Dizziness; Hirsutism; Loss of scalp hair; Erythema multiforme; Erythema nodosum; Hemorrhagic eruption; Impaired renal function; Hemolytic uremic syndrome; Budd-Chiari syndrome; Acne; Changes in libido; Colitis; Sickle-cell disease; Cerebral-vascular disease with mitral valve prolapse; Lupus-like syndromes; Pancreatitis; Dysmenorrhea.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Altavera (Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets)

© Altavera Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Altavera Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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