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changing BCP
lilms_sunshine posted:
A few years ago I took Levlite with no problems. 2 months ago my md prescribed Loestrin 24 for me. I've had reocurring yeast infections, hair loss, and mood changes. Now my md has changed my BCP to Levlen. I have not started to take them yet. Should I wait a few months before starting this new pill? What is the difference in Levlen, Levlite, and Loestrin?
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear lilms_sunshine: It is not necessary to have a "washout" interval before you go onto Levlen. Start the Levlen as soon as you finish the current Loestrin 24 pack.

OK, your favorite Levlite birth control pill (BCP) contains 20 micrograms of synthetic estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and 0.1 mg of synthetic progesterone (levonorgestrel). Levlen has the same drugs but higher doses 30 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol and 0.15 mg of levonorgestrel.

By contrast the Loestrin 24 contains 20 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol, and an entirely different type of synthetic progesterone, 1 mg of norethindrone acetate. As you have also noticed there are 24 days of active pills instead of 21.

Bottom line, all BCPs which have both synthetic estrogen and progesterone are equally good for pregnancy prevention. Some women have no significant side effects no matter what BCP they use. With other women we may have to change the brand/formulation several times to find one that has the fewest side effects.


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