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Loestrin is a prescription oral contraceptive containing two different types of hormones: estrogen and progestin. The birth control pill prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation and altering the lining of the uterus and cervical mucus. Loestrin comes in a pack of 21 tablets. Once you finish a pack, wait seven days before starting the next pack. Potential side effects include nausea, headache, and spotting.

What Is Loestrin?

Loestrin® (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription oral contraceptive (commonly known as a birth control pill). The following generic birth control pills are equivalent to Loestrin:
 
  • Gildess® (made by Qualitest Pharmaceuticals USA)
  • Junel™ (made by Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
  • Larin™ (made by Northstar Rx LLC)
  • Microgestin® (made by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.).
     
Loestrin is not the same as Loestrin Fe® or Loestrin® 24 Fe. The information in this article does not apply to either of these medications.
 
(Click Loestrin Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes Loestrin?

Loestrin is made by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Generic versions of the drug are made by various manufacturers (see Generic Loestrin for more information).
 

How Does It Work?

Loestrin is a combined oral contraceptive, the most common type of birth control pill. It is a combined oral contraceptive because it contains a combination of two different types of hormones. It contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (norethindrone). The hormones in Loestrin prevent pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries).
 
Loestrin also works to prevent pregnancy in two other, less important ways. It changes the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. It also alters the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
 
Unlike most birth control pills, Loestrin comes in packs with 21 tablets. It is meant to be taken every day for 21 days, followed by 7 days in between packs. Most other birth control pills have 28 tablets in each pack, but the last 7 contain no active ingredients. Either way, you get 21 days of active hormones, followed by a seven-day, hormone-free break.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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