"Nov. 20, 2012 -- Oral contraceptives should be made available without a prescription to reduce unintended pregnancies, according to a newly published opinion by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
LEVONORGESTREL/ETHINYL ESTRADIOL NON-CYCLIC CONTRACEPTIVE - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Amethyst, Lybrel
WARNING: Do not use this medication if you smoke cigarettes/use tobacco and are over 35 years old. Smoking raises your risk of stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and high blood pressure from hormonal birth control (such as the pill, patch, ring). The risk of these serious problems increases with age and with the number of cigarettes you smoke. Do not smoke or use tobacco.
USES: This combination hormone medication is used to prevent pregnancy. It contains 2 hormones: levonorgestrel (a progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen). It works mainly by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) during your menstrual cycle. It also makes vaginal fluid thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg (fertilization) and changes the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg.
Besides preventing pregnancy, birth control pills may make your periods more regular, decrease blood loss and painful periods, decrease your risk of ovarian cysts, and also treat acne.
Using this medication does not protect you or your partner against sexually transmitted diseases (such as HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia).
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this product and each time you get a refill. The leaflet contains very important information on when to take your pills and what to do if you miss a dose. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Pick a time of day that is easy for you to remember, and take your pill at the same time each day.
It is very important to continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the package instructions to find the first tablet, start with the first tablet in the pack, and take them in the correct order. Do not skip any doses. Pregnancy is more likely if you miss pills, start a new pack late, or take your pill at a different time of the day than usual.
Taking this medication after your evening meal or at bedtime may help if you have stomach upset or nausea with the medication. You may choose to take this medication at another time of day that is easier for you to remember. No matter what dosing schedule you use, it is very important that you take this medication at the same time each day, 24 hours apart.
If you have vomiting or diarrhea within 4 hours after taking your tablet, read the Patient Information Leaflet section titled "What to Do if You Miss Tablets." Follow the instructions as if you had missed your dose because vomiting/diarrhea can stop the tablet from working.
Your pill pack contains 28 pills with active medication. Take one active pill (with hormones) once daily for 28 days in a row. After taking the last tablet in your old pack, start a new pack the next day. There is no break between packs, and there are no "reminder" tablets (tablets without medication). Most women do not have regular periods while taking this medication. You may have some bleeding or spotting. If this happens, do not stop taking your pills.
If this is the first time you are using this medication, and you are not switching from another form of hormonal birth control (such as patch, other birth control pills), take the first tablet in the pack on the first day of your period. If your doctor directs you to start this medication on any other day, use an additional form of non-hormonal birth control (such as condoms, spermicide) for the first 7 days to prevent pregnancy until this medication has enough time to work. If you start on the first day of your period, you do not need to use back-up birth control the first week.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about how to switch from other forms of hormonal birth control (such as patch, other birth control pills) to this product. If any information is unclear, consult the Patient Information Leaflet or your doctor or pharmacist.
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