"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).
The following serious adverse reactions with the use of CHCs are discussed elsewhere in the labeling.
- Serious cardiovascular events and stroke [see BOXED WARNING and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Vascular events [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Liver disease [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
Adverse reactions commonly reported by CHC users are:
- Irregular uterine bleeding
- Breast tenderness
Clinical Trials Experience
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
Trials with a duration of 6 to 13 28-day cycles provided safety data. In total, 2,501 women, aged 18 to 41 contributed 24,520 cycles of exposure.
Common Adverse Reactions ( ≥ 2%): vaginitis (13.8%), headache (including migraine) (11.2%), mood changes (e.g., depression, mood swings, mood altered, depressed mood, affect lability) (6.4%), device-related events (e.g., expulsion/discomfort/foreign body sensation) (6.3%), nausea/vomiting (5.9%), vaginal discharge (5.7%), increased weight (4.9%), vaginal discomfort (4.0%), breast pain/discomfort/tenderness (3.8%), dysmenorrhea (3.5%), abdominal pain (3.2%), acne (2.4%), and decreased libido (2.0%).
Adverse Reactions ( ≥ 1%) Leading to Study Discontinuation: 13.0% of the women discontinued from the clinical trials due to an adverse reaction; the most common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation were device-related events (2.7%), mood changes (1.7%), headache (including migraine) (1.5%) and vaginal symptoms (1.2%).
Serious Adverse Reactions: deep vein thrombosis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS], anxiety, cholelithiasis, and vomiting.
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of NuvaRing. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Immune system disorders: hypersensitivity
Nervous system disorders: stroke/cerebrovascular accident
Vascular disorders: arterial events (including arterial thromboembolism and myocardial infarction), aggravation of varicose veins
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: urticaria, chloasma
Reproductive system and breast disorders: penile disorders, including local reactions on penis (in male partners of women using NuvaRing), galactorrhea
Read the NuvaRing (etonogestrel, ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Consult the labeling of all concurrently-used drugs to obtain further information about interactions with hormonal contraceptives or the potential for enzyme alterations.
Effects Of Other Drugs On CHCs
Substances Decreasing The Plasma Concentrations Of CHCs And Potentially Diminishing The Effectiveness Of CHCs
Drugs or herbal products that induce certain enzymes, including cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), may decrease the plasma concentrations of CHCs and potentially diminish the effectiveness of CHCs or increase breakthrough bleeding. Some drugs or herbal products that may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives include: phenytoin, barbiturates, carbamazepine, bosentan, felbamate, griseofulvin, oxcarbazepine, rifampicin, topiramate, rifabutin, rufinamide, aprepitant, and products containing St. John's wort. Interactions between CHCs and other drugs may lead to breakthrough bleeding and/or contraceptive failure. Counsel women to use an alternative method of contraception or a back-up method when enzyme inducers are used with NuvaRing, and to continue back-up contraception for 28 days after discontinuing the enzyme inducer to ensure contraceptive reliability.
The serum concentrations of etonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol were not affected by concomitant administration of oral amoxicillin or doxycycline in standard dosages during 10 days of antibiotic treatment. The effects of other antibiotics on etonogestrel or ethinyl estradiol concentrations have not been evaluated.
Substances Increasing the Plasma Concentrations of CHCs
Co-administration of atorvastatin and certain CHCs containing ethinyl estradiol increase AUC values for ethinyl estradiol by approximately 20-25%. Ascorbic acid and acetaminophen may increase plasma ethinyl estradiol concentrations, possibly by inhibition of conjugation. CYP3A4 inhibitors such as itraconazole, voriconazole, fluconazole, grapefruit juice, or ketoconazole may increase plasma hormone concentrations. Co-administration of vaginal miconazole nitrate and NuvaRing increases the serum concentrations of etonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol by up to 40% [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/ Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Protease Inhibitors And Nonnucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Significant changes in the plasma concentrations of the estrogen and /or progestin have been noted in some cases of co-administration with HIV protease inhibitors (decrease [e.g., nelfinavir, ritonavir, darunavir/ritonavir, (fos)amprenavir/ritonavir, lopinavir/ritonavir, and tipranavir/ritonavir] or increase [e.g., indinavir and atazanavir/ritonavir]) /HCV protease inhibitors (decrease [e.g., boceprevir and telaprevir]) or with non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (decrease [e.g., nevirapine] or increase [e.g., etravirine]).
Effects Of CHCs On Other Drugs
CHCs containing ethinyl estradiol may inhibit the metabolism of other compounds (e.g., cyclosporine, prednisolone, theophylline, tizanidine, and voriconazole) and increase their plasma concentrations. CHCs have been shown to decrease plasma concentrations of acetaminophen, clofibric acid, morphine, salicylic acid and temazepam. A significant decrease in the plasma concentrations of lamotrigine has been shown, likely due to induction of lamotrigine glucuronidation. This may reduce seizure control, therefore, dosage adjustments of lamotrigine may be necessary.
Women on thyroid hormone replacement therapy may need increased doses of thyroid hormone because serum concentrations of thyroid-binding globulin increase with use of CHCs.
Interference With Laboratory Tests
The use of contraceptive steroids may influence the results of certain laboratory tests, such as coagulation factors, lipids, glucose tolerance, and binding proteins.
Read the NuvaRing Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/20/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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