"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: 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.
The 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 patch compared to oral contraceptives. Talk to your doctor for more details.
USES: This patch contains combination hormone medication and is used to prevent pregnancy. It contains 2 hormones: a progestin (norelgestromin) and an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol). 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. 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 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 medication and each time you get a refill. The leaflet contains very important information on how to properly use and dispose of the patch. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not cut or damage the patch. Remove the patch from the foil pouch and apply as directed by the manufacturer to clean, dry skin on the upper outer arm, abdomen, buttock, or upper body where it will not be rubbed by tight clothing. Do not apply the patch to your breasts or on red/cut/irritated skin. Do not use lotions, creams, oils, powders, or make-up at the patch site, since it may not stick properly or may fall off.
If this is your first time 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 (such as condoms, spermicide) for the first 7 days to prevent pregnancy until the medication has enough time to work. If you start using the 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 a week on the same day. Remove the used patch before placing a new one. Apply the patch to a different area with each change to avoid skin irritation. After wearing patches for 3 weeks in a row, do not wear a patch during week 4. You should have your period during this time. After not wearing a patch for a week, apply a new patch whether or not you have your period. If you do not get your period, consult your doctor. Do not go longer than 7 days without a patch, since this will increase your chance of pregnancy. To help you remember, mark your calendar to remind yourself when to change or leave off patches.
If the patch falls off, re-apply it or apply a new patch within 24 hours. If the patch is not replaced within 24 hours, or if you are not sure how long it has been off, start a new cycle by applying a new patch and use an additional form of non-hormonal birth control (such as condoms, spermicide) for the next 7 days to prevent pregnancy.
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 about how to switch from other forms of hormonal birth control (such as 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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