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Combination of
Ethinylestradiol Estrogen
Levonorgestrel Progestogen
Clinical data
Trade names Altavera, Amethyst, Aviane, others[1]
AHFS/ Monograph
MedlinePlus a601050
  • US: X (Contraindicated)
Routes of
By mouth
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status

Ethinylestradiol/levonorgestrel is also known as ethinyl estradiol/levonorgestrel, is a combined birth control pill made up of ethinylestradiol, an estrogen and levonorgestrel a progestin.[2] It is used for birth control, symptoms of menstruation, endometriosis, and as emergency contraception.[1][2] It is taken by mouth.[1]

Side effects can include nausea, headache, blood clots, breast pain, depression, and liver problems. Use is not recommended during pregnancy, the initial three weeks after childbirth, and in those at high risk of blood clots.[2] It; however, may be started immediately after a miscarriage or abortion.[3] Smoking while using combined birth control pills is not recommended. It works by stopping ovulation, making the mucus at the opening to the cervix thick, and making the uterus not suitable for implantation.[1]

Ethinylestradiol/levonorgestrel has been approved for medical use in the United States at least since 1982.[1] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.[4] It is available as a generic medication.[5] In the United Kingdom three months of medication costs the NHS about 1.80 pounds.[6] In the United States it costs about 25 to 50 USD per month.[5] It is marketed under a large number of brand names.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel medical facts from". Retrieved 1 January 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c WHO Model Formulary 2008 (PDF). World Health Organization. 2009. p. 363-365. ISBN 9789241547659. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "Erlibelle 30micrograms/150micrograms film-coated tablets - Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) - (eMC)". Retrieved 1 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (19th List)" (PDF). World Health Organization. April 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Hamilton, Richart (2015). Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia 2015 Deluxe Lab-Coat Edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 349. ISBN 9781284057560. 
  6. ^ British national formulary : BNF 69 (69 ed.). British Medical Association. 2015. p. 552. ISBN 9780857111562.