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Is It Safe for Me to Take Levonest?

Specific Levonest Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this drug include the following:
  • Combined oral contraceptives, including Levonest, can cause life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. The risk is quite small for healthy, young, nonsmoking women. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or chest pain.
Smoking cigarettes greatly increases the risk of these serious Levonest side effects. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
  • Like any birth control pill, Levonest does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV or AIDS. As a result, it is often wise to use condoms in addition to Levonest in order to prevent the transmission of STDs.
  • Levonest is highly effective at preventing pregnancy when taken correctly. However, it becomes much less effective if taken incorrectly. Most cases of accidental pregnancy while taking "the pill" are due to incorrect usage. Make sure you understand exactly how to take Levonest, including how and when to start it and what to do if you miss pills.
  • Combined oral contraceptives may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer or cervical cancer, although this is an unresolved issue. However, combined oral contraceptives seem to help protect women against ovarian and uterine cancer.
  • Levonest can react with a number of different medications (see Drug Interactions With Levonest for more information).
  • Oral contraceptives increase the risk of benign (noncancerous) liver tumors. In rare cases, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
  • Hormonal contraceptives may make gallbladder disease worse. If you have had a problem with your gallbladder, Levonest may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
  • Levonest may increase blood sugar, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any sudden vision changes, as this may be a sign of a blood clot in the eyes (a possible side effect hormonal contraceptives).
  • Hormonal contraceptives can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
  • Levonest can change your menstrual bleeding patterns. Some women have breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between periods), while others may not have a period at all. It is normal to have shorter and lighter periods while using Levonest. If you notice any unusual changes in your bleeding patterns, let your healthcare provider know. If you miss a period, you should make sure you are not pregnant.
  • Levonest can affect your cholesterol. Your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start taking it, especially if you already have high cholesterol.
  • Sometimes, hormonal contraceptives may make depression worse. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop new or worsening depression symptoms.
  • Occasionally, Levonest (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
  • Levonest is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be used during pregnancy (see Triphasil and Pregnancy).
  • Contraceptive hormones, such as the ones in Levonest, pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Triphasil and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives are usually not recommended for breastfeeding women.
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