Facts About Lutera Birth Control


Lutera is one of over a dozen marketing names for the combination birth control drug ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel.

This drug contains female hormones which work to prevent ovulation. Among the ways it achieves this is by creating changes in the cervical mucus and uterine lining, changes that make it more difficult for sperm to reach the woman's uterus and difficult for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.

Lutera Instructions

All birth control should be taken exactly as prescribed by one's doctor.

Typically Lutera is prescribed as follows: The patient takes the first pill on the first day of their period or on the first Sunday after their period begins. Other forms of birth control may be required during the early stage of taking Lutera—ask for instructions from one's doctor.

Following the first pill, the patient should take one pill every day, no more than 24 hours apart. When those run out, a new set or a new pack should begin the following day.

Lutera is issued in 28 day birth control packs. 7 of the pills are placebo pills meant to keep you on a schedule of taking a pill every day. One's period will typically begin while on these 7 placebo pills.

During the first few months of being on Lutera, breakthrough bleeding is a possibility, and if it occurs one should inform one's physician.

Lutera Side Effects

The most serious and immediate potential (though rare) side effect of Lutera will be an allergic reaction, characterized by swelling of one's face, tongue, throat or lips, difficulty breathing and the presence of hives. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate action.

Other side effects that are considered serious potential side effects from Lutera include:

  • Sudden numbness on one side of the body
  • Sudden weakness on one side of the body
  • Chest pain that spreads to the arm and causes sweating or nausea
  • Pain or swelling in one or both legs
  • Sudden coughing or rapid breathing
  • Migraine headaches
  • Sudden swelling in the hands, ankles or feet
  • A lump discovered in a breast
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Mood changes
  • Severe fatigue
  • Upper abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools

Drug Interactions with Lutera

Some drugs have the potential to interact with Lutera and make it less effective as a method of birth control. If one takes any of the following drugs—if one is taking any drug at all, inform one's doctor prior to being prescribed Lutera and mention it to one's pharmacist as well. Some of the drugs that interact with Lutera include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Drugs that treat HIV/AIDS
  • Drugs that treat hepatitis C
  • Barbiturates such as Phenobarbital
  • Tracleer
  • Anti-seizure drugs
  • St. John's Wort

Again, it is important to inform one's physician of all drugs, including over the counter drugs and supplements, before beginning Lutera, in order for Lutera to be as effective and as safe as possible.


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