Loestrin 20 - Contraceptive pill
  • Take daily for 21 days, with a 7-day break (alternatives possible)
  • Lower dose of oestrogen can cause fewer side effects
  • Collect in-store with free BMI and blood pressure checks

Loestrin 20

Loestrin 20 is a low-dose combined contraceptive pill. It's 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Loestrin 20 - Contraceptive pill

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  • Take daily for 21 days, with a 7-day break (alternatives possible)
  • Lower dose of oestrogen can cause fewer side effects
  • Collect in-store with free BMI and blood pressure checks

About Loestrin 20

  • Taking Loestrin 20

    Most women choose to take 1 pill daily at the same time for 21 days. Once you finish a strip, take a 7-day break with no pills. During this time you may have a period. Start the next strip 7 days after your last pill. You will always start the next strip on the same day of the week.

    Loestrin 20 can also be taken as follows:
    Extended use: 1 pill a day for 9 weeks then no pills for the next 4 or 7 days.
    Continuous use: 1 pill a day every day with no break.

  • Side effects

    Many women do not experience any side effects, however some experience more irregular bleeding with a low-dose pill. This usually settles in a few months. Other side effects can include headaches, feeling sick, breast discomfort, or mood swings. In rare cases, some women develop blood clots or raised blood pressure.

    For full information on side effects and correct use, see the patient information leaflet. If any side effects concern you, contact us via your Patient Record.

  • Effectiveness

    If you start using Loestrin 20 on days 1-5 of your period, you will be protected against pregnancy immediately. If you start taking it later (only if you are sure you could not be pregnant), you will need to use condoms for at least seven days until Loestrin 20 starts to work.

    When taken correctly, Loestrin 20 is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. However, if you are vomiting or have severe diarrhoea you may not be protected against pregnancy. If this happens, continue to take the pill as usual but use a condom whilst you're ill. If this continues for more than 24 hours you should follow the same steps as a missed pill.

  • If you miss your pill

    This depends on when and how many pills are missed. Missing one pill, at any time, does not compromise contraception. Missing two or more pills or starting a new pack late might affect your contraceptive cover.

    Up to 48hrs since your last pill – take your next pill as soon as you remember and continue the rest of the pack as usual. This might mean you need to take 2 pills on 1 day.

    More than 48hrs – this depends on when you last took your pill and where you are in your pill packet. Please check the patient information leaflet for further information.

  • How it works

    The hormones in Loestrin 20 (norethisterone and ethinylestradiol) prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation). They also make it difficult for sperm to reach an egg, or for an egg to implant itself in the lining of the womb.

  • Important information about Loestrin 20

    If you’ve already bought your pill from us, you can request a further 3 or 6-month supply from your Patient Record, if you're medically suitable. If you want to change your pill, please send us a message via your Patient Record.

    Combined contraceptives can cause your blood pressure to rise, which can be dangerous. Your blood pressure needs checking before starting any combined contraceptive, then once a year after that. Your local LloydsPharmacy will measure your blood pressure for free.

  • Safety: taking other medicines

    You should be able to take Loestrin 20 alongside other medicines. However, it is important that you let us know which prescription, over-the-counter medicines and recreational drugs you are taking so that we can prescribe Loestrin 20 safely.

  • Alternative treatments

    We offer a range of contraceptives, including NuvaRing, Evra Patch, combined pills, low-dose pills and mini pills. View all our contraception options [link to cat].

    Condoms are an effective form of contraception and protect against STIs.

    There are also long-acting contraceptives available through your GP or family planning clinic, including implants, the coil and injectable contraception.

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