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Ethinyl Estradiol and Desogestrel (ETH in il es tra DYE ole & des oh JES trel)

Adult Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Apri; Azurette; Caziant; Cyclessa; Desogen; Emoquette; Enskyce; Kariva; Mircette; Ortho-Cept; Pimtrea; Reclipsen; Velivet; Viorele

Brand Names: Canada

Cyclessa; Linessa; Marvelon; Ortho-Cept

Warning

  • Smoking cigarettes while using this drug raises the chance of very bad heart and blood-related side effects. This chance is raised with age (mainly in women older than 35 years of age). It is also raised with the number of cigarettes smoked. It is strongly advised not to smoke. Do not use this drug if you smoke and are older than 35 years of age.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to prevent pregnancy.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to ethinyl estradiol, desogestrel, or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have had any of these health problems: Blood clots, blood clotting problem, breast cancer, diseased arteries in the brain, disease of a heart valve with problems, endometrial cancer, cancer of the cervix or vagina, heart disease, chest pain caused by angina, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) due to high blood triglycerides, liver disease, liver tumor, very bad headache or migraine, diabetes that affects blood flow, tumor where estrogen makes it grow, or vaginal bleeding where the cause is not known.
  • If you have surgery and need bed rest.
  • If you turned yellow during pregnancy or with estrogen-based or hormone contraceptive use.
  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take this drug if you are pregnant.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • This drug may raise the chance of blood clots, a stroke, or a heart attack. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
  • Have your blood pressure checked often. Talk with your doctor.
  • Have your blood work checked. Talk with your doctor.
  • Be sure to have regular breast exams and gynecology check-ups. Your doctor will tell you how often to have these. You will also need to do breast self-exams as your doctor has told you. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit often, talk with your doctor.
  • This drug may affect certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab workers know you take this drug.
  • Certain drugs, herbal products, or health problems could cause this drug to not work as well. Be sure your doctor knows about all of your drugs and health problems.
  • This drug does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through blood or having sex. Do not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. Do not share needles or other things like toothbrushes or razors. Talk with your doctor.
  • Do not use in children who have not had their first menstrual period.
  • If you have any signs of pregnancy or if you have a positive pregnancy test, call your doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or blurred eyesight.
  • Swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Bulging eyes.
  • Change in how contact lenses feel in the eyes.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • A lump in the breast, breast soreness, or nipple discharge.
  • Vaginal itching or discharge.
  • Spotting or vaginal bleeding that is very bad or does not go away.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Feeling more or less hungry.
  • Dizziness.
  • Weight gain.
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Belly cramps.
  • Bloating.
  • Period (menstrual) changes. These include spotting or bleeding between cycles.
  • Enlarged breasts.
  • Breast soreness.
  • Lowered interest in sex.
  • Hair loss.
  • This drug may cause dark patches of skin on your face. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.
  • Follow how to use as you have been told by your doctor or read the package insert.
  • Take this drug at the same time of day.
  • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Do not skip doses, even if you do not have sex very often.
  • If you throw up or have diarrhea, this drug may not work as well. Use an extra form of birth control, like condoms, until you check with your doctor.
  • If you miss 2 periods in a row, take a pregnancy test before starting a new cycle.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • If a dose is missed, check the package insert or call the doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

Copyright © 2014 Clinical Drug Information, LLC and Lexi-Comp, Inc.