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Combination of
Clinical data
Trade namesAltavera, Alysena, Amethyst, others[1]
Other namesEE/LNG
Routes of
By mouth
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
CAS Number
Rigevidon, an example of a combined ethinylestradiol/levonorgestrel contraceptive pill

Ethinylestradiol/levonorgestrel (EE/LNG) 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] Some preparations of EE/LNG additionally contain an iron supplement in the form of ferrous bisglycinate or ferrous fumarate.[3]

Side effects can include nausea, headache, blood clots, breast pain, depression, and liver problems.[2] Use is not recommended during pregnancy, the initial three weeks after childbirth, and in those at high risk of blood clots.[2] However, it may be started immediately after a miscarriage or abortion.[4] Smoking while using combined birth control pills is not recommended.[1] 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.[5] It is available as a generic medication.[6] It is marketed under a large number of brand names.[1] In 2020, it was the 159th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 3 million prescriptions.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel medical facts from". Archived from the original on 1 January 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d World Health Organization (2009). Stuart MC, Kouimtzi M, Hill SR (eds.). WHO Model Formulary 2008. World Health Organization. pp. 363–5. hdl:10665/44053. ISBN 9789241547659.
  3. ^ Editor in Chief, Richard J. Hamilton MD FAAEM FACMT FACEP (30 April 2020). Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia 2020 Deluxe Lab-Coat Edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning. pp. 347–. ISBN 978-1-284-40304-6. {{cite book}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  4. ^ "Erlibelle 30micrograms/150micrograms film-coated tablets - Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) - (eMC)". Archived from the original on 2 January 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  5. ^ World Health Organization (2019). World Health Organization model list of essential medicines: 21st list 2019. Geneva: World Health Organization. hdl:10665/325771. WHO/MVP/EMP/IAU/2019.06. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
  6. ^ Hamilton, Richart (2015). Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia 2015 Deluxe Lab-Coat Edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 349. ISBN 9781284057560.
  7. ^ "The Top 300 of 2020". ClinCalc. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  8. ^ "Ethinyl Estradiol; Levonorgestrel - Drug Usage Statistics". ClinCalc. Retrieved 7 October 2022.