"What are birth control pills and how do they work?
Birth control pills are also known as oral contraceptives (OCs) or, simply, “the pill.” They offer protection against pregnancy by blocking the union of sperm and egg, thereby prevent"...
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Progestin-only oral contraceptives are indicated for the prevention of pregnancy.
If used perfectly, the first-year failure rate for progestin-only oral contraceptives is 0.5%. However, the typical failure rate is estimated to be closer to 5%, due to late or omitted pills. The following table lists the pregnancy rates for users of all major methods of contraception.
Table 2: Percentage of Women Experiencing an Unintended Pregnancy
During the First Year of Typical Use and the First Year of Perfect Use of Contraception
and the Percentage Continuing Use at the End of the First Year. United States.
|% of Women Experiencing an Unintended Pregnancy within the First Year of Use||% of Women Continuing Use at One Year3|
|Method||Typical Use1||Perfect Use2|
|Emergency Contraceptive Pills: Treatment
initiated within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse reduces the risk
of pregnancy by at least 75%.9
Lactational Amenorrhea Method: LAM is a highly effective, temporary method of contraception.10
Source: Trussell, J, Contraceptive Efficacy. In: Hatcher RA, Trussell J, Stewart F, Cates W, Stewart GK, Kowal D, Guest F, Contraceptive Technology: Seventeenth Revised Edition. New York NY: Irvington Publishers, 1998.
1. Among typical couples who initiate use of a method (not necessarily for the first time), the percentage who experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year if they do not stop use for any reason.
2. Among couples who initiate use of a method (not necessarily for the first time), and who use it perfectly (both consistently and correctly), the percentage who experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year if they do not stop use for any other reason.
3. Among couples attempting to avoid pregnancy, the percentage who continue to use a method for one year.
4. The percentage of women becoming pregnant noted in columns (2) and (3) are based on data from populations where contraception is not used and from women who cease using contraception in order to become pregnant. Among such populations, about 89% become pregnant within one year. This estimate was lowered slightly (to 85%) to represent the percentage that would become pregnant within one year among women now relying on reversible methods of contraception if they abandoned contraception altogether.
5. Foams, creams, gels, vaginal suppositories, and vaginal film.
6. Cervical mucus (ovulation) method supplemented by calendar in the pre-ovulatory and basal body temperature in the post-ovulatory phases.
7. With spermicidal cream or jelly.
8. Without spermicides.
9. The treatment schedule is one dose within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse, and a second dose 12 hours after the first dose. The Food and Drug Administration has declared the following brands of oral contraceptives to be safe and effective for emergency contraception: Ovral® (1 dose is 2 white pills), Alesse® (1 dose is 5 pink pills), Nordette® or Levlen® (1 dose is 4 yellow pills).
10. However, to maintain effective protection against pregnancy, another method of contraception must be used as soon as menstruation resumes, the frequency or duration of breastfeeds is reduced, bottle feeds are introduced, or the baby reaches 6 months of age.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
To achieve maximum contraceptive effectiveness, Nor-QD (norethindrone) ® must be taken exactly as directed. One tablet is taken every day, at the same time. Administration is continuous, with no interruption between pill packs. See PATIENT LABELING for detailed instructions.
Nor-QD® (norethindrone) tablets are available in 28-tablet dispensers.
Store at controlled room temperature 15 - 25°C (59 - 77°F).
Revised: MARCH 2006. Address medical inquires to: WATSON PHARMA, INC., Medical Communications, P.O. Box 1953, Morristown, NJ 07962-1953. 800-272-5525. Mfg. for: WATSON PHARMA, INC., A subsidiary of Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Corona, CA 92880 USA. FDA revision date: 10/20/2005
Last reviewed on RxList: 1/28/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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