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Mestranol is sold as a prodrug in the form of 3-methyl ether, which is demethylated so as it can become biologically active after it is ingested. Mestranol can be used as a combination drug when used together with norethindrone. This will be a combination of two female sex hormones namely: progestin and estrogen. After Mestranol becomes biologically active, it diffuses straight to the target cells and it interacts with the protein receptors. These cells are in the pituitary gland, the female reproductive tract, the hypothalamus and the mammary glands. Then it suppresses the expression of the follicle stimulating hormone by activating the release of serum proteins that are responsible for inhibiting the hormone. When it is combined with progestin, they inhibit the release of the gonadotropin releasing hormone, which stops the ovaries from releasing the eggs and without the eggs there will be no fertilization that can occur, hence prevention of pregnancy. Mestranol can also be used in the regulation of the menstrual cycle.
- Birth Control
Mestranol is considered as a prescription drug, therefore your doctor's diagnosis is going to be the major factor that will determine the dosage. The general factors that are considered are as follows:
- The presence of a known medical condition
- Your prior response to the medication
After your doctor has considered the above factors then the dose will be set. Mestranol is administered orally, and the dosage is set as follows;
- Mestranol is normally packaged as either a 28 day or 21 day dosage preparations. Mestranol is normally administered from the first day of the menstrual cycle and that is counted as day 1.
- When you take the 28 day dosage you will take a tablet of Mestranol daily until the 28 days are over then you will start taking another package the following day. W
- hen using the 21 day dosage, you will take the medication until the 21st day then you will have to go for seven days without medication before you start the next package.
Mestranol Side Effects
Just like any other prescription drug, the usage of Mestranol can come with certain undesired side effects that can either be very serious or mild. The extent of the side effects normally depends on how you respond to the medication. These side effects normally wear off after a short period of time and some patients might not even experience these side effects. Regardless, this should not deter you from using the medication because your doctor has already understands that the pros outweigh the cons. Here are some of the side effects
- Breast tenderness
- Fluid retention (swelling of the ankles)
- Weight change
- Irregular periods
If these symptoms persist, seek immediate medical attention. Some serious side effects can occur like;
Drug interactions are also an important thing to know about Mestranol since these interactions can either exaggerate or reduce the drug's efficacy. At times, there are some substances that cause the total removal of the drug from the system. Serious side effects at times occur and can be life threatening. These interactions can either be with nonprescription drugs or with over the counter drugs and at times even with alternative herbal remedies. Mestranol has the following drug interactions;
- Aromatase inhibitors (like exemestane)
- Rifamycins (like rifabutin)
- HIV drugs (like ritonavir)
Therefore, before you alter how you take Mestranol, you should consult your doctor first.