Moms, if you’re considering oral contraception, it pays to know about them before using them. Here’s what you need to know about the Althea pills.
What can you read in this article?
- Althea pills benefits
- How to take Althea pills
- Althea pills price in the Philippines
When it comes to family planning, one of the most popular forms of birth control here in the Philippines is oral contraceptives. It is because when used accurately, it has a 99 percent accuracy in preventing pregnancy. It’s also relatively easy to use and affordable.
Moms who are on the pill know that taking it can lead to some unwanted side effects. However, there are also some that are used not only for contraception but also to treat different hormonal conditions such as acne.
Here in the Philippines, one of the most popular brands of oral contraceptives is Althea pills. It is a combination pill that contains estrogen and progestin hormones.
And it is not only used for the purpose of contraception but also as a “beauty pill” to treat unwanted skin conditions.
Althea pills benefits
Combination pills like Althea work in two ways. First, they prevent your body from ovulating, meaning you won’t be releasing an egg (no ovulation, no pregnancy).
Second, these pills cause your body to thicken your cervical mucus, the fluid around your cervix that sperms pass through when they travel to your uterus to fertilize an egg. The thickened mucus helps prevent sperm from reaching the uterus. With these methods, pregnancy is prevented.
Meanwhile, according to Healthline, aside from contraception, here are some other advantages of using oral contraceptives like Althea pills:
- It regulates your menstrual cycle
- Makes periods less painful
- It can banish hormonal acne
- Reduces your risk of uterine cancer
- It reduces your risk of having ovarian cysts
- Can prevent or relieve menstrual cramps
- It helps manage endometriosis
- Can help with menstrual migraines
- It can reduce your risk of anemia
Althea pills are known to be the cheaper counterpart of the famous Diane 35 pill. Just like it, it also contains Cyproterone Acetate, a synthetic anti-androgen, and Ethinyl Estradiol, an artificial form of estrogen hormones.
These hormones not only help to prevent pregnancies in women but also help to control and treat skin conditions such as acne and hirsutism. For this reason, Althea pills also have a reputation for treating pimples and acne.
Althea pills are also one of the recommended medical treatments for women who are suffering from PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome, or for those who are experiencing hormonal imbalances and irregular menstrual cycles.
Aside from its medicinal purposes, another thing users love about it is the glowing and blooming effect of the pill on the skin. But one should not abuse using the pill, as, like any drug, it also comes with side effects.
According to MedicineNet, if Althea pills are not used “solely” for birth control purposes, one should practice caution while using them.
Once the condition faced by a woman such as severe acne or hirsutism is already controlled, taking the pill should be stopped after using it in 3 or 4 menstrual cycles.
Because prolonged use of pills increases the chance of a woman suffering from serious side effects such as blood clots and heart problems, most especially for those who are smoking.
Althea pills side effects
Please note that before using any contraceptive pills or medication, it is better to consult your doctor first. It is for you to be sure that the medication you’ll be taking is appropriate and suitable for you. And if you are using Althea pills and you are experiencing the following, you should go back and see your doctor right away.
- Breast tenderness
- Change in sexual desire
- Breakthrough bleeding/spotting
- Swelling or pain in the legs
- Vision changes
- Chest pain
- One-sided weakness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Dark urine
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin
- Stomach/abdominal pain
- Mental/mood changes
- Unusual change in the amount of urine
- Allergic reactions such as rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, and trouble breathing.
The symptoms mentioned are considered serious side effects of the pill that should stop a woman from using it.
Althea pills side effects tagalog
Some of the side effects that you may experience with the use of Althea pills are as follows:
- Breast tenderness o pananakit ng suso
- Kawalan ng gana sa pagtatalik
- Mid-cycle bleeding o spotting
More info on Althea pills benefits and side effects here.
Althea pills price in the Philippines and where can I buy them?
Althea is popular among women because of its lower price. It is less expensive than other brands, with a box of 21 tablets costing less than P500.
As of writing, a pack of Althea contraceptive pills can be bought at P489.00 in leading drugstores nationwide. Take note though, that a doctor’s prescription is required for you to buy this product.
You can purchase Althea Pills at Watsons for PHP 489.50. You may order via online or via over the counter.
Here is other important information you should know before taking Althea pills whether for hormonal acne or birth control.
How to take Althea pills
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A pack contains 21 active pills that should be used starting on the first day of menstruation. One pill should be taken once a day at the same time, religiously, until the 21 active pills are consumed. Then, the user should have a 7-day break from the pill before taking another packet.
Menstrual bleeding is expected to occur during the 7 days without using the medication. After the 7-day break, the user should start taking a new packet of Althea pills, regardless of whether the period has begun or not.
To avoid disruption in your ovulation cycle, continue taking the pill as long you want to avoid pregnancy. Do not skip taking the pill abruptly even if there is a brief pause from sexual activity.
Women who are using Althea pills for the first time should use a backup contraceptive method such as a condom until finishing the first packet of the pill. This is to be sure that pregnancy won’t occur during the transition.
What happens if I miss a day?
In case of a missed pill, the user should take the missed pill within the next 12 hours. According to the MIMS website, take the pill due for the day at the regular time even if it means taking two pills in one day. If you weren’t able to take the pill within the next 12 hours, you may discard the missed pill.
After that, keep taking one pill each day at the usual time. If you only missed one pill, you will not be needing a backup contraceptive method or no need to abstain from sexual activity on that day.
However, missing two or more pills consecutively increases the probability of getting pregnant. If you missed two or more pills, take the most recently missed pill as soon as remembered and discard all previously missed pills. Resume taking the next scheduled pill and either abstain from sex or use backup contraception like condoms for the next seven days.
Count the pills left in the pack. If one to six pills are left, you may continue taking the remaining pills, but start with a new pack immediately and either abstain from sex or use condoms for the next seven days. Bleeding may not come on your pill-free days and can be delayed.
If there are more than seven pills in the pack, continue taking as instructed and start a new pack after the seven pill-free days.
If you missed 2 to 3 pills, your chance of getting pregnant increases so using a backup contraceptive method such as condoms is advised.
Remember that when it comes to these oral contraceptives, consistency is key. You need to take the pill at the same time each day as much as possible to ensure its effectiveness.
What precautions do I have to make?
You must first complete the 21-day box if you wish to stop taking Althea tablets or switch brands. If you do not do so, you may experience bleeding.
Although Althea tablets are not appropriate for all women, they are generally safe. Althea should not be used by women who have any of the following medical conditions:
- Diseases that affect the liver
- Lipid metabolism is the process through which lipids are broken down and used.
- Estrogen-dependent neoplasms (EDNs) are cancers that are caused by the hormone estrogen (e.g., breast and colorectal cancer)
- If you have a history of skin diseases or rare autoimmune skin ailments, tell your doctor during pregnancy.
- Bleeding in the cervix that hasn’t been diagnosed
- Migraine attacks can range from severe to minor
If you want to start taking the pill, make an appointment with your doctor first. They’ll ask about your menstrual cycle and medical history to determine which brand is best for you. Your doctor will provide you with a list of other medications you can and can’t take while you’re on the pill.
Can Althea pills protect me from sexually transmitted infections?
No, oral contraceptives like Althea do not protect someone from sexually transmitted infections (STI) or diseases. So if you’re sexually active with multiple partners, consider still using other forms of contraception like condoms to protect you from STIs.
Are Althea pills for pimples?
Acne is caused by an increase in the production of the male sex hormone androgen in both boys and girls during puberty. Inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne can be improved in girls and women who take birth control pills.
Acne-fighting drugs contain the female sex hormones estrogen and progestin. The majority of contraceptive tablets, on the other hand, have not been approved for the treatment of acne. There are also non-hormonal acne treatments available, some of which have fewer side effects.
Althea tablets contain Cyproterone Acetate + Ethinylestradiol, which is used for contraception and the treatment of acne and hirsutism in women (unwanted hair growth). This low-dose oral contraceptive pill lowers sebum secretion during acne breakouts and hair development.
Can I take Althea pills if I’m breastfeeding?
Image from Shutterstock
No, breastfeeding mothers should not take Cyproterone Acetate + Ethinylestradiol (Althea) as this may reduce their body’s production of breast milk. If you are breastfeeding and would like to use oral contraceptives, progestin-only pills would be more advisable for you.
Again, always consult your doctor before starting any oral contraceptive method to know if it’s the one best suited for your needs.
Aside from breastfeeding moms, who shouldn’t use Althea?
Despite their many advantages, oral contraceptives are not for everyone. For starters, Althea is NOT recommended for pregnant women.
You also have to inform your doctor if you suffer from any of these conditions:
- Impaired liver functions or cholestasis
- the Dubin-Johnson or Rotor syndromes
- hepatic adenoma
- estrogen-dependent neoplasms such as breast or endometrial cancer
- cardiovascular disease including previous or current thromboembolic disorders or high risk of them, and arterial disease or multiple risk factors for it
- disorders of lipid metabolism
- undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
- possible pregnancy
- history during pregnancy of pruritus or cholestatic jaundice
- severe or focal migraine.
If you’re smoking or over the age of 35, you also have to ask your OB-Gynecologist if taking Althea pills is safe for you, as some hormonal contraceptives can increase your risk of blood clots and high blood pressure.
If you’re considering an effective oral contraceptive with the added benefit of giving you clearer skin, Althea may be the birth control product for you. However, we cannot stress how important it is to get the advice of your OB-Gynecologist before trying any form of birth control to avoid unwanted side effects and complications.
Additional information by Camille Eusebio and Margaux Dolores
Here at theAsianparent Philippines, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advise or medical treatment. TheAsianparent Philippines is not responsible to those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend to consult your doctor for clearer information.