"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).
Ortho Evra Consumer
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.
NORELGESTROMIN/ETHINYL ESTRADIOL PATCH - TRANSDERMAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Ortho Evra
WARNING: Smoking cigarettes/using tobacco while using this medication increases your chance of heart problems or stroke. Do not smoke. The risk of heart problems increases with age (especially in women over 35) and with frequent smoking (15 or more cigarettes a day).
USES: This medication is a combination of 2 hormones (an estrogen and a progestin) and is used to prevent pregnancy. It works mainly by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) during your menstrual cycle. It also can work by making vaginal fluid thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg (fertilization) and by changing the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg. If a fertilized egg does not attach to the uterus, it passes out of the body. Using this medication does not protect you or your partner against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Studies have shown that the total amount of estrogen you receive when using the patch is higher than the amount from most birth control pills. This may increase the risk for blood clots or other side effects from the birth control patch compared to the pill. If you weigh more than 198 pounds (90 kilograms), this patch may not work as well for you. Make sure your doctor knows your current weight, and ask about which form of birth control is best for you.
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. Make sure you understand how to apply a new patch and dispose of the used product. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Remove the patch from the foil pouch and apply as directed by the manufacturer. Apply one patch to an area of clean, dry skin on the buttock, abdomen, upper outer arm, or upper body (torso) where it will not be rubbed by tight clothing. Change the patch once a week, and wear a patch continuously for 3 weeks or as directed by your doctor. The chance of becoming pregnant increases with incorrect use, so follow the directions carefully and make sure the patch stays in place.
Do not apply the patch on or near a breast, to red/cut/irritated skin, or over other skin products (e.g., make-up, lotions, powders). Apply the patch to a different area on your body each time to avoid irritation.
If this is the first time you are using this medication, apply the patch on the first Sunday following the beginning of your menstrual period or on the first day of your period. If your period begins on a Sunday, begin on that day. For the first cycle of use only, use an additional form of non-hormonal birth control (e.g., condom or spermicide) for the first 7 days to prevent pregnancy until the medication has enough time to work. If you start the first patch on the first day of your period, you do not need to use back-up birth control the first week. Change the patch once weekly on the same day. Remember to remove the old patch before placing a new patch.
After wearing patches continuously for 3 weeks, do not apply a patch during week 4. You should have your period during this time. If you do not get your period, consult your doctor. After not wearing a patch for a week, apply a new patch whether or not you have your period. Do not go longer than 7 days without a patch, or you will increase your risk of becoming pregnant. It may be helpful to mark a calendar to remind you when to change the patch and which week to leave it off.
If the patch comes off at the wrong time, replace with a new patch within 24 hours. If the patch is not replaced quickly, or if you are not sure how long it has been off, you could become pregnant. Start a new cycle by applying a new patch on the day you remember, and use an additional form of non-hormonal birth control (e.g., condom or spermicide) for 7 days to prevent pregnancy. Continue to apply patches for a total of 3 weeks.
After removing each patch, fold it in half so it sticks to itself, and discard in the trash away from children and pets. Do not flush the patch down the toilet.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about switching from other forms of birth control to the patch. If any of this information is unclear, consult the Patient Information Leaflet or your doctor or pharmacist.
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