Seasonique

Generic name: ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (extended-cycle)
Drug class: Contraceptives

Medically reviewed by  A Ras MD.

What is Seasonique?

Seasonique is a birth control pill. It contains two female hormones, an estrogen called ethinyl estradiol, and a progestin called levonorgestrel.

How well does Seasonique work?

Your chance of getting pregnant depends on how well you follow the directions for taking your birth control pills. The more carefully you follow the directions, the less chance you have of getting pregnant.

Based on the results of a single clinical study lasting 12 months, 1 to 3 women, out of 100 women, may get pregnant during the first year they use Seasonique.

The following chart shows the chance of getting pregnant for women who use different methods of birth control. Each box on the chart contains a list of birth control methods that are similar in effectiveness. The most effective methods are at the top of the chart. The box on the bottom of the chart shows the chance of getting pregnant for women who do not use birth control and are trying to get pregnant.

Chart displaying the relative effectiveness of different forms of contraception

Description

Seasonique (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol tablets and ethinyl estradiol tablets) is an extended-cycle oral contraceptive consisting of 84 light blue-green tablets each containing 0.15 mg of levonorgestrel, a synthetic progestogen and 0.03 mg of ethinyl estradiol, and 7 yellow tablets containing 0.01 mg of ethinyl estradiol.

The structural formulas for the active components are:

levonorgestrel structure

Levonorgestrel

C21H28O2 MW: 312.4

Levonorgestrel is chemically 18,19-Dinorpregn-4-en-20-yn-3-one, 13-ethyl-17-hydroxy-, (17α)-, (-)-.

ethinyl estradiol structure

Ethinyl Estradiol

C20H24O2 MW: 296.4

Ethinyl Estradiol is 19-Norpregna-1,3,5(10)-trien-20-yne-3,17-diol, (17α)-.

Each light blue-green tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: anhydrous lactose, D&C yellow no. 10 aluminum lake, FD&C blue no. 1 aluminum lake, FD&C yellow no. 6/Sunset yellow aluminum lake, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, titanium dioxide and triacetin.

Each yellow tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: anhydrous lactose, D&C yellow no. 10 aluminum lake, FD&C yellow no. 6/Sunset yellow aluminum lake, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polacrilin potassium, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80 and titanium dioxide.

 Mechanism of Action

COCs lower the risk of becoming pregnant primarily by suppressing ovulation. Other possible mechanisms may include cervical mucus changes that inhibit sperm penetration and endometrial changes that reduce the likelihood of implantation.

What is the most important information I should know about Seasonique?

Do not use Seasonique if you smoke cigarettes and are over 35 years old. Smoking increases your risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from birth control pills, including death from heart attack, blood clots or stroke. This risk increases with age and the number of cigarettes you smoke.

Birth control pills help to lower the chances of becoming pregnant. They do not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Who should not take Seasonique?

Your healthcare provider will not give you Seasonique if you have:

  • Ever had breast cancer or any cancer that is sensitive to female hormones
  • Liver disease, including liver tumors
  • Been prescribed any Hepatitis C drug combination containing ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir. This may increase levels of the liver enzyme “alanine aminotransferase” (ALT) in the blood
  • Ever had blood clots in your arms, legs, or lungs
  • Ever had a stroke
  • Ever had a heart attack
  • Certain heart valve problems or heart rhythm abnormalities that can cause blood clots to form in the heart
  • An inherited problem with your blood that makes it clot more than normal
  • High blood pressure that medicine can’t control
  • Diabetes with kidney, eye, or blood vessel damage
  • Certain kinds of severe migraine headaches with aura, numbness, weakness or changes in vision

Also, do not take birth control pills if you:

  • Smoke and are over 35 years old
  • Are pregnant

Birth control pills may not be a good choice for you if you have ever had jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) caused by pregnancy.

What else should I know about taking seasonique?

Birth control pills do not protect you against any sexually transmitted disease, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Do not skip any pills, even if you do not have sex often.

Birth control pills should not be taken during pregnancy. However, birth control pills taken by accident during pregnancy are not known to cause birth defects.

If you are breastfeeding, consider another birth control method until you are ready to stop breastfeeding. Birth control pills that contain estrogen, like Seasonique, may decrease the amount of milk you make. A small amount of the pill’s hormones pass into breast milk.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking Seasonique?

Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines and herbal products that you take. Some medicines and herbal products may make birth control pills less effective, including:

  • barbiturates
  • bosentan
  • carbamazepine
  • felbamate
  • griseofulvin
  • oxcarbazepine
  • phenytoin
  • rifampin
  • St. John’s wort
  • topiramate

Consider using another birth control method when you take medicines that may make birth control pills less effective.

Birth control pills may interact with lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant used for epilepsy. This may increase the risk of seizures, so your physician may need to adjust the dose of lamotrigine.

If you have vomiting or diarrhea, your birth control pills may not work as well. Use another birth control method, like condoms or a spermicide, until you check with your healthcare provider.

How should I take Seasonique?

1. Take one pill every day at the same time. If you miss pills you could get pregnant. This includes starting the pack late. The more pills you miss, the more likely you are to get pregnant.

2. Many women have spotting or light bleeding, or may feel sick to their stomach during the first few months of taking Seasonique. If you feel sick to your stomach, do not stop taking the pill. The problem will usually go away. If it doesn’t go away, check with your healthcare provider.

3. Missing pills can also cause spotting or light bleeding, even when you take the missed pills later. On the days you take 2 pills to make up for missed pills, you could also feel a little sick to your stomach.

4. If you have trouble remembering to take Seasonique, talk to your healthcare provider about how to make pill-taking easier or about using another method of birth control.

What are the possible side effects of Seasonique?

What are the most serious risks of taking birth control pills?

Like pregnancy, birth control pills increase the risk of serious blood clots, especially in women who have other risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, or age 35. It is possible to die from a problem caused by a blood clot, such as a heart attack or a stroke. Some examples of serious blood clots are blood clots in the:

  • Legs (thrombophlebitis)
  • Lungs (pulmonary embolus)
  • Eyes (loss of eyesight)
  • Heart (heart attack)
  • Brain (stroke)

Women who take birth control pills may get:

  • High blood pressure
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Rare cancerous or noncancerous liver tumors

All of these events are uncommon in healthy women.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have:

  • Persistent leg pain
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sudden blindness, partial or complete
  • Severe pain in your chest
  • Sudden, severe headache unlike your usual headaches
  • Weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, or trouble speaking
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyeballs

What are common side effects of birth control pills?

The most common side effects of birth control pills are:

  • Spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Nausea
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headache

These side effects are usually mild and usually disappear with time.

Less common side effects are:

  • Acne
  • Less sexual desire
  • Bloating or fluid retention
  • Blotchy darkening of the skin, especially on the face
  • High blood sugar, especially in women who already have diabetes
  • High fat levels in the blood
  • Depression, especially if you have had depression in the past. Call your healthcare provider immediately if you have any thoughts of harming yourself.
  • Problems tolerating contact lenses
  • Weight changes

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider if you develop any side effects that concern you. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1‑800-FDA-1088.

General information about the safe and effective use of Seasonique

Your healthcare provider prescribed Seasonique for you. Do not share Seasonique with anyone else. Keep Seasonique out of the reach of children.

If you have concerns or questions, ask your healthcare provider. You may also ask your healthcare providers for a more detailed label written for medical professionals.

How should I store Seasonique?

Store at 20° to 25° C (68° to 77° F) [See USP Controlled Room Temperature].

What are the ingredients in Seasonique?

Blue tablets:

Active ingredients: levonorgestrel, ethinyl estradiol.

Inactive ingredients: anhydrous lactose, D&C yellow no.10, FD&C blue no.1, FD&C yellow no.6, hypromellose 2208 (3 mpa.s), hypromellose 2910 (15 mpa.s), lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, titanium dioxide, triacetin.

Yellow tablets:

Inactive ingredients: anhydrous lactose, D&C yellow no.10, FD&C blue no. 6, hypromellose 2910 (3 mpa.s), hypromellose 2910 (6 mpa.s), magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polacrilin potassium, polythylene glycol 400, polysorbate 80, titanium dioxide.

Label

PACKAGE/LABEL DISPLAY PANEL, PART 1 OF 2

 

Seasonique ethinyl estradiol 0.03 mg / levonorgestrel 0.15 mg
Imprint b 555 - Seasonique ethinyl estradiol 0.03 mg / levonorgestrel 0.15 mg
  • 2 Extended-Cycle Tablet Dispensers, 91 Tablets Each
  • NDC 51285-087-87
  • SEASONIQUE (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol 0.15/30 mcg tablets and ethinyl estradiol 10 mcg tablets)
  • Rx only
  • TEVA
  • Distributed by:
  • Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
  • Parsippany, NJ 07054

PACKAGE/LABEL DISPLAY PANEL, PART 2 OF 2

Seasonique ethinyl estradiol 0.01 mg
Imprint b 556 - Seasonique ethinyl estradiol 0.01 mg

 

SRC: NLM .

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