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Precautions and Warnings With Junel Fe

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Junel Fe

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Junel Fe include the following:
  • The medication will not protect you against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, you should use condoms in addition to Junel Fe.
  • Junel Fe can interact with a number of different medications (see Drug Interactions With Junel Fe). Many of these interactions are severe enough to lead to unintentional pregnancy.
  • If you take it correctly, Junel Fe is effective at preventing pregnancy. However, it becomes much less effective if you take it incorrectly. Make sure you understand exactly how to take the drug, including how and when to start it and what to do if you miss pills.
  • Combined oral contraceptives, including Junel Fe, increase the risk of life-threatening problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. The risk is quite minimal for healthy, young, nonsmoking women. However, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or chest pain. Smoking cigarettes greatly increases the risk of these serious Junel Fe side effects. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
  • Combined oral contraceptives may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer or cervical cancer, although this is an unresolved and controversial issue. However, combined oral contraceptives seem to help protect women against ovarian and uterine cancer.
  • Junel Fe may increase blood sugar levels, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely in this case. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any sudden vision changes, as this may be a sign of a blood clot in the eyes (a possible side effect of Junel Fe and other hormonal contraceptives).
  • Oral contraceptives increase the risk of benign (noncancerous) liver tumors. In rare cases, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
  • Hormonal contraceptives such as Junel Fe can make gallbladder disease worse. Therefore, if you have had a problem with your gallbladder, this medication may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
  • Hormonal contraceptives, including Junel Fe, can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
  • The medication can change your menstrual bleeding patterns. Some women have breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between periods), while others may not have a period at all. It is normal to have shorter and lighter periods while using Junel Fe. However, if you notice any unusual changes in your bleeding patterns, let your healthcare provider know. If you miss a period, you should make sure you are not pregnant.
  • The medication can affect your cholesterol. Your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start Junel Fe, especially if you already have high cholesterol.
  • Sometimes, hormonal contraceptives can make depression worse. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop new or worsening symptoms of depression while taking Junel Fe.
  • Occasionally, Junel Fe (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
  • Junel Fe is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be used during pregnancy (see Loestrin Fe and Pregnancy).
  • Contraceptive hormones, such as the ones in Junel Fe, do pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Loestrin Fe and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives are not typically recommended for women who are breastfeeding.
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