Leena: Indications, Dosage, Precautions, Adverse Effects
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Leena – Product Information

Manufacture: Watson Laboratories Inc.
Country: United States
Condition: Birth Control (Contraception), Contraception (Birth Control)
Class: Contraceptives
Form: Tablets
Ingredients: norethindrone, ethinyl estradiol, FD and C Blue No. 1, lactose, magnesium stearate, povidone, starch

Leena® provides a continuous oral contraceptive regimen of 7 light blue tablets, 9 light yellow-green tablets, 5 more light blue tablets, and then 7 orange tablets. Each light blue tablet contains norethindrone 0.5 mg and ethinyl estradiol 0.035 mg, each light yellow-green tablet contains norethindrone 1 mg and ethinyl estradiol 0.035 mg, and each orange tablet contains inert ingredients.

Norethindrone is a potent progestational agent with the chemical name 17-Hydroxy-19-nor-17α-pregn- 4-en-20-yn-3-one. Ethinyl estradiol is an estrogen with the chemical name 19-Nor-17α-pregna-1,3,5 (10)-trien-20-yne-3,17-diol. Their structural formulae follow.

The light yellow-green Leena tablets contain the following inactive ingredients: D and C Green No. 5, D and C Yellow No. 10, lactose, magnesium stearate, povidone, and starch.

The light blue Leena tablets contain the following inactive ingredients: FD and C Blue No. 1, lactose, magnesium stearate, povidone, and starch.

The inactive orange tablets contain the following inactive ingredients: FD and C Yellow No. 6, lactose, microcrystalline cellulose, and magnesium stearate.

Clinical pharmacology

Combination oral contraceptives act by suppression of gonadotrophins. Although the primary mechanism of this action is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus (which increase the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus) and the endometrium (which may reduce the likelihood of implantation).

Indications and usage

Oral contraceptives are indicated for the prevention of pregnancy in women who elect to use this product as a method of contraception.

Oral contraceptive products such as Norinyl, which contain 50 mcg of estrogen, should not be used unless medically indicated.

Oral contraceptives are highly effective. Table I lists the typical accidental pregnancy rates for users of combination oral contraceptives and other methods of contraception. 1The efficacy of these contraceptive methods, except sterilization, depends upon the reliability with which they are used.

Correct and consistent use of methods can result in lower failure rates.

Table l: Percentage of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy during the firs t year of typical use and the firs t year of perfect use of contraception and the percentage continuing use at the end of the firs t year. United States.

% of Women Experiencing an Accidental Pregnancy within the First Year of Use % of Women Continuing Use at One Year*
Method (1) Typical Use† (2) Perfect Use‡ (3) (4)
Chance§ 85 85
Spermicides¶ 26 6 40
Periodic abstinence 25 63
Calendar 9
Ovulation Method 3
Sympto-thermal# 2
Post-Ovulation 1
Parous Women 40 26 42
Nulliparous Women 20 9 56
Parous Women 40 20 42
Nulliparous Women 20 9 56
DiaphragmÞ 20 9 56
Withdrawal 19 4
Female (reality) 21 5 56
Male 14 3 61
Pill 5 71
Progestin only 0.5
Combined 0.1
Progesterone T 2.0 1.5 81
Copper T 380A 0.8 0.6 78
LNg 20 0.1 0.1 81
Depo-Provera® 0.3 0.3 70
Norplant® and Norplant® 2 0.05 0.05 88
Female Sterilization 0.05 0.05 100
Male Sterilization 0.15 0.10 100
Emergency Contraceptive Pills : Treatment initiated within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse reduces risk of pregnancy by at least 75%à

Lactational Amenorrhea Method: LAM is a highly effective, temporary method of contraceptionè

Source: Trussell J, Stewart F, Contraceptive Efficacy. In Hatcher RA, Trussell J, Stewart F, Cates W, Stewart GK, Kowal D, Guest F, Contraceptive Technology:Seventeenth Revised Edition. New York, NY: Irvington Publishers, 1998.

* Among couples attempting to avoid pregnancy, the percentage who continue to use a method for one year

† Among typical couples who initiate use of a method (not necessarily for the first time), the percentage who experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year if they do not stop use for any other reason

‡ Among couples who initiate use of a method (not necessarily for the first time) and who use it perfectly (both consistently and correctly), the percentage who experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year if they do not stop use for any other reason

§ The percentage of women becoming pregnant noted in columns (2) and (3) are based on data from populations where contraception is not used and from women who cease using contraception in order to become pregnant. Among such populations, about 89% became pregnant in one year. This estimate was lowered slightly (to 85%) to represent the percentage that would become pregnant within one year among women now relying on reversible methods of contraception if they abandon contraception altogether

¶ Foams, creams, gels, vaginal suppositories and vaginal film

# Cervical mucous (ovulation) method supplemented by calendar in the preovulatory and basal body temperature in the postovulatory phases

Þ With spermicidal cream or jelly

β Without spermicides

à The treatment schedule is one dose within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse and a second dose 12 hours after the first dose. The Food and Drug Administration has declared the following brands of oral contraceptives to be safe and effective for emergency contraception: Ovral® (1 dose is 2 white pills), Alesse® (1 dose is 5 pink pills), Nordette® or Levlen® (1 dose is 2 light orange pills), Lo/Ovral® (1 dose is 4 white pills), Triphasil® or Tri- Levlen® (1 dose is 4 yellow pills)

è However, to maintain effective protection against pregnancy, another method of contraception must be used as soon as menstruation resumes, the frequency or duration of breastfeeds is reduced, bottle feeds are introduced or the baby reaches six months of age


Oral contraceptives should not be used in women who have the following conditions:

  • Thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders
  • A past history of deep vein thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders
  • Cerebral vascular or coronary artery disease
  • Known or suspected carcinoma of the breast
  • Carcinoma of the endometrium or other known or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia
  • Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding
  • Cholestatic jaundice of pregnancy or jaundice with prior pill use
  • Hepatic adenomas, carcinomas or benign liver tumors
  • Known or suspected pregnancy


Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular s ide effects from oral contraceptive use. This risk increases with age and with heavy smoking (15 or more cigarettes per day) and is quite marked in women over 35 years of age. Women who use oral contraceptives are strongly advised not to smoke.

The use of oral contraceptives is associated with increased risks of several serious conditions including myocardial infarction, thromboembolism, stroke, hepatic neoplasia, and gallbladder disease, although the risk of serious morbidity or mortality is very small in healthy women without underlying risk factors. The risk of morbidity and mortality increases significantly in the presence of other underlying risk factors such as hypertension, hyperlipidemias, hypercholesterolemia, obesity and diabetes.2–5

Practitioners prescribing oral contraceptives should be familiar with the following information relating to these risks.

The information contained in this package insert is principally based on studies carried out in patients who used oral contraceptives with higher formulations of both estrogens and progestogens than those in common use today.6–11 The effect of long-term use of the oral contraceptives with lower formulations of both estrogens and progestogens remains to be determined.

Throughout this labeling, epidemiological studies reported are of two types: retrospective or case control studies and prospective or cohort studies. Case control studies provide a measure of the relative risk of a disease. Relative risk, the ratio of the incidence of a disease among oral contraceptive users to that among non-users, cannot be assessed directly from case control studies, but the odds ratio obtained is a measure of relative risk. The relative risk does not provide information on the actual clinical occurrence of a disease. Cohort studies provide not only a measure of the relative risk but a measure of attributable risk, which is the difference in the incidence of disease between oral contraceptive users and non-users. The attributable risk does provide information about the actual occurrence of a disease in the population (adapted from ref. 12 and 13 with the author’s permission). For further information, the reader is referred to a text on epidemiological methods.


Myocardial Infarction

An increased risk of myocardial infarction has been attributed to oral contraceptive use. This risk is primarily in smokers or women with other underlying risk factors for coronary artery disease such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, morbid obesity and diabetes.2–5, 13 The relative risk of heart attack for current oral contraceptive users has been estimated to be 2 to 6.2, 14–19 The risk is very low under the age of 30. However, there is the possibility of a risk of cardiovascular disease even in very young women who take oral contraceptives.

Smoking in combination with oral contraceptive use has been shown to contribute substantially to the incidence of myocardial infarctions in women in their mid-thirties or older, with smoking accounting for the majority of excess cases.20

Mortality rates associated with circulatory disease have been shown to increase substantially in smokers over the age of 35 and non-smokers over the age of 40 among women who use oral contraceptives (see Table II). 16


Adapted from P.M. Layde and V. Beral, Table V16

Oral contraceptives may compound the effects of well-known risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemias, hypercholesterolemia, age and obesity. 3, 13, 21 In particular, some progestogens are known to decrease HDL cholesterol and cause glucose intolerance, while estrogens may create a state of hyperinsulinism. 21–25 Oral contraceptives have been shown to increase blood pressure among users (see WARNINGS, section 9). Similar effects on risk factors have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Oral contraceptives must be used with caution in women with cardiovascular disease risk factors.


An increased risk of thromboembolic and thrombotic disease associated with the use of oral contraceptives is well established. Case control studies have found the relative risk of users compared to non-users to be 3 for the first episode of superficial venous thrombosis, 4 to 11 for deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, and 1.5 to 6 for women with predisposing conditions for venous thromboembolic disease. 12,13,26–31 Cohort studies have shown the relative risk to be somewhat lower, about 3 for new cases and about 4.5 for new cases requiring hospitalization. 32 The risk of thromboembolic disease due to oral contraceptives is not related to length of use and disappears after pill use is stopped.12

A 2- to 6-fold increase in relative risk of post-operative thromboembolic complications has been reported with the use of oral contraceptives. The relative risk of venous thrombosis in women who have predisposing conditions is twice that of women without such medical conditions. 83 If feasible, oral contraceptives should be discontinued at least 4 weeks prior to and for 2 weeks after elective surgery and during and following prolonged immobilization. Since the immediate postpartum period also is associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism, oral contraceptives should be started no earlier than 4 to 6 weeks after delivery in women who elect not to breast feed.33

Cerebrovascular diseases

An increase in both the relative and attributable risks of cerebrovascular events (thrombotic and hemorrhagic strokes) has been shown in users of oral contraceptives. In general, the risk is greatest among older (> 35 years), hypertensive women who also smoke. Hypertension was found to be a risk factor for both users and non-users for both types of strokes while smoking interacted to increase the risk for hemorrhagic strokes.34

In a large study, the relative risk of thrombotic strokes has been shown to range from 3 fornormotensive users to 14 for users with severe hypertension. 35 The relative risk of hemorrhagic stroke is reported to be 1.2 for non-smokers who used oral contraceptives, 2.6 for smokers who did not use oral contraceptives, 7.6 for smokers who used oral contraceptives, 1.8 for normotensive users and 25.7 for users with severe hypertension. 35 The attributable risk also is greater in women in their mid-thirties or older and among smokers.13

Dose-related risk of vascular disease from oral contraceptives

A positive association has been observed between the amount of estrogen and progestogen in oral contraceptives and the risk of vascular disease. 36–38 A decline in serum high density lipoproteins (HDL) has been reported with many progestational agents. 22–24 A decline in serum high density lipoproteins has been associated with an increased incidence of ischemic heart disease.39 Because estrogens increase HDL cholesterol, the net effect of an oral contraceptive depends on a balance achieved between doses of estrogen and progestogen and the nature and absolute amount of progestogens used in the contraceptives. The amount of both hormones should be considered in the choice of an oral contraceptive. 37

Minimizing exposure to estrogen and progestogen is in keeping with good principles of therapeutics. For any particular estrogen/progestogen combination, the dosage regimen prescribed should be one which contains the least amount of estrogen and progestogen that is compatible with a low failure rate and the needs of the individual patient. New acceptors of oral contraceptive agents should be started on preparations containing the lowest estrogen content that produces satisfactory results for the individual. Products containing 50 mcg estrogen should be used only when medically indicated.

Persistence of risk of vascular disease

There are three studies which have shown persistence of risk of vascular disease for ever-users of oral contraceptives. 17, 34, 40 In a study in the United States, the risk of developing myocardial infarction after discontinuing oral contraceptives persists for at least 9 years for women 40–49 years who had used oral contraceptives for 5 or more years, but this increased risk was not demonstrated in other age groups.17 In another study in Great Britain, the risk of developing cerebrovascular disease persisted for at least 6 years after discontinuation of oral contraceptives, although excess risk was very small.40 There is a significantly increased relative risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage after termination of use of oral contraceptives.34 However, these studies were performed with oral contraceptive formulations containing 50 mcg or higher of estrogen. Products containing 50 mcg estrogen should be used only when medically indicated.


One study gathered data from a variety of sources which have estimated the mortality rates associated with different methods of contraception at different ages (see Table III). 41 These estimates include the combined risk of death associated with contraceptive methods plus the risk attributable to pregnancy in the event of method failure. Each method of contraception has its specific benefits and risks. The study concluded that with the exception of oral contraceptive users 35 and older who smoke and 40 and older who do not smoke, mortality associated with all methods of birth control is low and below that associated with childbirth. The observation of a possible increase in risk of mortality with age for oral contraceptive users is based on data gathered in the 1970s—but not reported in the U.S. until 1983. 16, 41 However, current clinical practice involves the use of lower estrogen dose formulations combined with careful restriction of oral contraceptive use to women who do not have the various risk factors listed in this labeling.

Because of these changes in practice and, also, because of some limited new data which suggest that the risk of cardiovascular disease with the use of oral contraceptives may now be less than previously observed, 78, 79 the Fertility and Maternal Health Drugs Advisory Committee was asked to review the topic in 1989. The Committee concluded that although cardiovascular disease risks may be increased with oral contraceptive use after age 40 in healthy non-smoking women (even with the newer low-dose formulations), there are greater potential health risks associated with pregnancy in older women and with the alternative surgical and medical procedures which may be necessary if such women do not have access to effective and acceptable means of contraception.

Therefore, the Committee recommended that the benefits of oral contraceptive use by healthy non- smoking women over 40 may outweigh the possible risks. Of course, older women, as all women who take oral contraceptives, should take the lowest possible dose formulation that is effective.80


Method of Control and Outcome AGE
15 to 19 20 to 24 25 to 29 30 to 34 35 to 39 40 to 44
No fertility control methods* 7.0 7.4 9.1 14.8 25.7 28.2
Oral contraceptives nonsmoker** 0.3 0.5 0.9 1.9 13.8 31.6
Oral contraceptives smoker** 2.2 3.4 6.6 13.5 51.1 117.2
lUD** 0.8 0.8 1 1 1.4 1.4
Condom* 1.1 1.6 0.7 0.2 0.3 0.4
Diaphragm/ spermicide* 1.9 1.2 1.2 1.3 2.2 2.8
Periodic abstinence* 2.5 1.6 1.6 1.7 2.9 3.6
* Deaths are birth-related

** Deaths are method-related

Estimates adapted from H.W. Ory, Table 341


Numerous epidemiological studies have been performed on the incidence of breast, endometrial, ovarian, and cervical cancer in women using oral contraceptives. The overwhelming evidence in the literature suggests that use of oral contraceptives is not associated with an increase in the risk of developing breast cancer, regardless of the age and parity of first use or with most of the marketed brands and doses. 42–44 The Cancer and Steroid Hormone (CASH) study also showed no latent effect on the risk of breast cancer for at least a decade following long-term use. 43 A few studies have shown a slightly increased relative risk of developing breast cancer, 44–47 although the methodology of these studies, which included differences in examination of users and non-users and differences in age at start of use, has been questioned. 47–49 Some studies have reported an increased relative risk of developing breast cancer, particularly at a younger age. This increased relative risk appears to be related to duration of use. 81, 82 Some studies suggest that oral contraceptive use has been associated with an increase in the risk of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in some populations of women. 50–53 However, there continues to be controversy about the extent to which such findings may be due to differences in sexual behavior and other factors.

In spite of many studies of the relationship between oral contraceptive use and breast or cervical cancers, a cause and effect relationship has not been established.


Benign hepatic adenomas are associated with oral contraceptive use although the incidence of benign tumors is rare in the United States. Indirect calculations have estimated the attributable risk to be in the range of 3.3 cases per 100,000 for users, a risk that increases after 4 or more years of use. 54 Rupture of rare, benign, hepatic adenomas may cause death through intra-abdominal hemorrhage. 55–56

Studies in the United States and Britain have shown an increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma in long-term (> 8 years) oral contraceptive users. 57–59 However, these cancers are rare in the U.S. and the attributable risk (the excess incidence) of liver cancers in oral contraceptive users approaches less than 1 per 1,000,000 users.


There have been clinical case reports of retinal thrombosis associated with the use of oral contraceptives. Oral contraceptives should be discontinued if there is unexplained partial or complete loss of vision; onset of proptosis or diplopia; papilledema; or retinal vascular lesions. Appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures should be undertaken immediately.


Extensive epidemiological studies have revealed no increased risk of birth defects in women who have used oral contraceptives prior to pregnancy.60–62 Studies also do not suggest a teratogenic effect, particularly insofar as cardiac anomalies and limb reduction defects are concerned, when taken inadvertently during early pregnancy.60,61,63,64

The administration of oral contraceptives to induce withdrawal bleeding should not be used as a test for pregnancy. Oral contraceptives should not be used during pregnancy to treat threatened or habitual abortion.

It is recommended that for any patient who has missed 2 consecutive periods, pregnancy should be ruled out before continuing oral contraceptive use. If the patient has not adhered to the prescribed schedule, the possibility of pregnancy should be considered at the first missed period. Oral contraceptive use should be discontinued if pregnancy is confirmed.


Earlier studies have reported an increased lifetime relative risk of gallbladder surgery in users of oral contraceptives and estrogens.65–66 More recent studies, however, have shown that the relative risk of developing gallbladder disease among oral contraceptive users may be minimal.67 The recent findings of minimal risk may be related to the use of oral contraceptive formulations containing lower hormonal doses of estrogens and progestogens.68


Oral contraceptives have been shown to cause glucose intolerance in a significant percentage of users.25 Oral contraceptives containing greater than 75 mcg of estrogen cause hyperinsulinism, while lower doses of estrogen cause less glucose intolerance.70 Progestogens increase insulin secretion and create insulin resistance, this effect varying with different progestational agents.25,71 However, in the non-diabetic woman, oral contraceptives appear to have no effect on fasting blood glucose.69 Because of these demonstrated effects, prediabetic and diabetic women should be carefully observed while taking oral contraceptives.

Some women may develop persistent hypertriglyceridemia while on the pill.72 As discussed earlier (see WARNINGS, sections 1a. and 1d.), changes in serum triglycerides and lipoprotein levels have been reported in oral contraceptive users.23


An increase in blood pressure has been reported in women taking oral contraceptives and this increase is more likely in older oral contraceptive users and with continued use.73,84 Data from the Royal College of General Practitioners and subsequent randomized trials have shown that the incidence of hypertension increases with increasing concentrations of progestogens.

Women with a history of hypertension or hypertension-related diseases or renal disease should be encouraged to use another method of contraception. If women elect to use oral contraceptives, they should be monitored closely and if significant elevation of blood pressure occurs oral contraceptives should be discontinued. For most women, elevated blood pressure will return to normal after stopping oral contraceptives and there is no difference in the occurrence of hypertension among ever- and never- users.73–75


The onset or exacerbation of migraine or development of headache with a new pattern which is recurrent, persistent or severe requires discontinuation of oral contraceptives and evaluation of the cause.


Breakthrough bleeding and spotting are sometimes encountered in patients on oral contraceptives, especially during the first 3 months of use. Non-hormonal causes should be considered and adequate diagnostic measures taken to rule out malignancy or pregnancy in the event of breakthrough bleeding, as in the case of any abnormal vaginal bleeding. If pathology has been excluded, time or a change to another formulation may solve the problem. In the event of amenorrhea, pregnancy should be ruled out.

Some women may encounter post-pill amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea, especially when such a condition was pre-existent.



Patients should be counseled that this product does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.


It is good medical practice for all women to have annual history and physical examinations, including women using oral contraceptives. The physical examination, however, may be deferred until after initiation of oral contraceptives if requested by the woman and judged appropriate by the clinician. The physical examination should include special reference to blood pressure, breasts, abdomen and pelvic organs, including cervical cytology, and relevant laboratory tests. In case of undiagnosed, persistent or recurrent abnormal vaginal bleeding, appropriate measures should be conducted to rule out malignancy. Women with a strong family history of breast cancer or who have breast nodules should be monitored with particular care.


Women who are being treated for hyperlipidemias should be followed closely if they elect to use oral contraceptives. Some progestogens may elevate LDL levels and may render the control of hyperlipidemias more difficult.


If jaundice develops in any woman receiving oral contraceptives the medication should be discontinued. Steroid hormones may be poorly metabolized in patients with impaired liver function.


Oral contraceptives may cause some degree of fluid retention. They should be prescribed with caution, and only with careful monitoring, in patients with conditions which might be aggravated by fluid retention.


Women with a history of depression should be carefully observed and the drug discontinued if depression recurs to a serious degree.


Contact lens wearers who develop visual changes or changes in lens tolerance should be assessed by an ophthalmologist.

Drug interactions

Reduced efficacy and increased incidence of breakthrough bleeding and menstrual irregularities have been associated with concomitant use of rifampin. A similar association though less marked, has been suggested with barbiturates, phenylbutazone, phenytoin sodium, and possibly with griseofulvin, ampicillin and tetracyclines.76


Certain endocrine and liver function tests and blood components may be affected by oral contraceptives:

  • Increased prothrombin and factors VII, VIII, IX, and X; decreased antithrombin 3; increased norepinephrine-induced platelet aggregability.
  • Increased thyroid binding globulin (TBG) leading to increased circulating total thyroid hormone, as measured by protein-bound iodine (PBI), T4 by column or by radioimmunoassay. Free T3 resin uptake is decreased, reflecting the elevated TBG. Free T4 concentration is unaltered.
  • Other binding proteins may be elevated in serum.
  • Sex steroid binding globulins are increased and result in elevated levels of total circulating sex steroids and corticoids; however, free or biologically active levels remain unchanged.
  • Triglycerides may be increased.
  • Glucose tolerance may be decreased.
  • Serum folate levels may be depressed by oral contraceptive therapy. This may be of clinical significance if a woman becomes pregnant shortly after discontinuing oral contraceptives.


See WARNINGS section.


Pregnancy Category X. See CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS sections.


Small amounts of oral contraceptive steroids have been identified in the milk of nursing mothers and a few adverse effects on the child have been reported, including jaundice and breast enlargement. In addition, oral contraceptives given in the postpartum period may interfere with lactation by decreasing the quantity and quality of breast milk. If possible, the nursing mother should be advised not to use oral contraceptives but to use other forms of contraception until she has completely weaned her child.


Safety and efficacy of Leena have been established in women of reproductive age. Safety and efficacy are expected to be the same for postpubertal adolescents under the age of 16 and for users 16 years and older. Use of the product before menarche is not indicated.

Information for the patient

See PATIENT LABELING printed below.

Adverse reactions

An increased risk of the following serious adverse reactions has been associated with the use of oral contraceptives (see WARNINGS section):

  • Thrombophlebitis
  • Arterial thromboembolism
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Cerebral hemorrhage
  • Cerebral thrombosis
  • Hypertension
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Hepatic adenomas, carcinomas or benign liver tumors

There is evidence of an association between the following conditions and the use of oral contraceptives, although additional confirmatory studies are needed:

  • Mesenteric thrombosis
  • Retinal thrombosis

The following adverse reactions have been reported in patients receiving oral contraceptives and are believed to be drug-related:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal cramps and bloating)
  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Spotting
  • Change in menstrual flow
  • Amenorrhea
  • Temporary infertility after discontinuation of treatment
  • Edema
  • Melasma which may persist
  • Breast changes: tenderness, enlargement, secretion
  • Change in weight (increase or decrease)
  • Change in cervical erosion and secretion
  • Diminution in lactation when given immediately postpartum
  • Cholestatic jaundice
  • Migraine
  • Rash (allergic)
  • Mental depression
  • Reduced tolerance to carbohydrates
  • Vaginal candidiasis
  • Change in corneal curvature (steepening)
  • Intolerance to contact lenses

The following adverse reactions have been reported in users of oral contraceptives and the association has been neither confirmed nor refuted:

  • Pre-menstrual syndrome
  • Cataracts
  • Changes in appetite
  • Cystitis-like syndrome
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Hirsutism
  • Loss of scalp hair
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Erythema nodosum
  • Hemorrhagic eruption
  • Vaginitis
  • Porphyria
  • Impaired renal function
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome
  • Budd-Chiari syndrome
  • Acne
  • Changes in libido
  • Colitis
  • Overdosage

    Serious ill effects have not been reported following acute ingestion of large doses of oral contraceptives by young children. Overdosage may cause nausea, and withdrawal bleeding may occur in females.


    The following non-contraceptive health benefits related to the use of oral contraceptives are supported by epidemiological studies which largely utilized oral contraceptive formulations containing estrogen doses exceeding 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol or 0.05 mg of mestranol.6–11

    Effects on menses:

    • Increased menstrual cycle regularity
    • Decreased blood loss and decreased incidence of iron deficiency anemia
    • Decreased incidence of dysmenorrhea

    Effects related to inhibition of ovulation:

    • Decreased incidence of functional ovarian cysts
    • Decreased incidence of ectopic pregnancies

    Effects from long-term use:

    • Decreased incidence of fibroadenomas and fibrocystic disease of the breast
    • Decreased incidence of acute pelvic inflammatory disease
    • Decreased incidence of endometrial cancer
    • Decreased incidence of ovarian cancer

    Keep this and all medication out of the reach of children.

    Dosage and administration

    To achieve maximum contraceptive effectiveness, oral contraceptives must be taken exactly as directed and at intervals not exceeding 24 hours.

    For a DAY 1 START, count the first day of menstrual flow as Day 1 and the first light blue tablet is then taken on Day 1. For a SUNDAY START when menstrual flow begins on or before Sunday, the first light blue tablet is taken on that day. With either a DAY 1 START or SUNDAY START, 1 light blue tablet is taken for 7 days, then 1 light yellow-green tablet for 9 days, then 1 light blue tablet for 5 days, then 1 orange tablet (inert) for 7 days, whether bleeding has stopped or not. With either a DAY 1 START or SUNDAY START 1 tablet is taken each day at the same time for 28 days. After all 28 tablets are taken, whether bleeding has stopped or not, the same dosage schedule is repeated beginning on the following day.

    Instructions to patients

    • To achieve maximum contraceptive effectiveness, the oral contraceptive pill must be taken exactly as directed and at intervals not exceeding 24 hours.
    • Important: Women should be instructed to use an additional method of protection until after the first 7 days of administration in the initial cycle.
    • Due to the normally increased risk of thromboembolism occurring postpartum, women should be instructed not to initiate treatment with oral contraceptives earlier than 4 weeks after a full-term delivery. If pregnancy is terminated in the first 12 weeks, the patient should be instructed to start oral contraceptives immediately or within 7 days. If pregnancy is terminated after 12 weeks, the patient should be instructed to start oral contraceptives after 2 weeks. 33, 77
    • If spotting or breakthrough bleeding should occur, the patient should continue the medication according to the schedule. Should spotting or breakthrough bleeding persist, the patient should notify her physician.
    • If the patient misses 1 pill, she should be instructed to take it as soon as she remembers and then take the next pill at the regular time. The patient should be advised that missing a pill can cause spotting or light bleeding and that she may be a little sick to her stomach on the days she takes the missed pill with her regularly scheduled pill. If the patient has missed more than one pill, see DETAILED PATIENT LABELING: HOW TO TAKE THE PILL, WHAT TO DO IF YOU MISS PILLS.
    • Use of oral contraceptives in the event of a missed menstrual period:
    1. If the patient has not adhered to the prescribed dosage regimen, the possibility of pregnancy should be considered after the first missed period and oral contraceptives should be withheld until pregnancy has been ruled out.
    2. If the patient has adhered to the prescribed regimen and misses 2 consecutive periods, pregnancy should be ruled out before continuing the contraceptive regimen.

    How supplied

    Leena® (norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) is packaged in cartons of six tablet dispensers. Each dispenser contains 12 light blue active tablets, round in shape debossed with Watson on one side and 243 on the other side; 9 light yellow-green active tablets, round in shape debossed with Watson on one side and 244 on the other side; and 7 orange inert tablets, round in shape debossed with Watson on one side and P1 on the other side.

    Store at 20-25°C (68-77°F). [See USP controlled room temperature.]


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