"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"...
The following serious adverse reactions with the use of COCs are discussed elsewhere in 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 COC users are:
- Irregular uterine bleeding
- Breast tenderness
Clinical Trial 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 clinical practice.
The safety of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol was evaluated in 1,647 healthy women of child-bearing potential who participated in 3 clinical trials and received at least 1 dose of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol for contraception. Two trials were randomized active-controlled trials and 1 was an uncontrolled open-label trial. In all 3 trials, subjects were followed for up to 24 cycles.
Common Adverse Reactions ( ≥ 2% of subjects): The most common adverse reactions reported by at least 2% of the 1,647 women were the following in order of decreasing incidence: headache/migraine (32.9%), abdominal/gastrointestinal pain (7.8%), vaginal infection (8.4%), genital discharge (6.8%), breast issues (including breast pain, discharge, and enlargement) (6.3%), mood disorders (including depression and mood altered) (5%), flatulence (3.2%), nervousness (2.9%), and rash (2.6%).
Adverse Reactions Leading to Study Discontinuation: Over the three trials, between 11 to 21% of subjects discontinued the trial due to an adverse reaction. The most common adverse reactions ( ≥ 1%) leading to discontinuation were: metrorrhagia (6.9%), nausea/vomiting (5%), headache (4.1%), mood disorders (including depression and mood altered) (2.4%), premenstrual syndrome (1.7%), hypertension (1.4%), breast pain (1.4%), nervousness (1.3%), amenorrhea (1.1%), dysmenorrhea (1.1%), weight increased (1.1%), and flatulence (1.1%).
Serious Adverse Reactions: breast cancer (1 subject), mood disorders including depression, irritability, and mood swings (1 subject), myocardial infarction (1 subject), and venous thromboembolic events including pulmonary embolism (1 subject) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) (1 subject).
The following additional adverse drug reactions have been reported from worldwide postmarketing experience with norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol. 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.
Infections and Infestations: Urinary tract infection;
Immune System Disorders: Hypersensitivity;
Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders: Dyslipidemia;
Psychiatric Disorders: Anxiety, insomnia;
Ear and Labyrinth Disorders: Vertigo;
Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal Disorders: Dyspnea;
Gastrointestinal Disorders: Pancreatitis, abdominal distension, diarrhea, constipation;
Hepatobiliary Disorders: Hepatitis;
Reproductive System and Breast Disorders: Ovarian cyst, suppressed lactation, vulvovaginal dryness;
General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions: Chest pain, asthenic conditions.
Read the Sprintec (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Consult the labeling of concurrently used drugs to obtain further information about interactions with hormonal contraceptives or the potential for enzyme alterations.
No drug-drug interaction studies were conducted with Sprintec.
Effects Of Other Drugs On Combined Oral Contraceptives
Substances Decreasing The Plasma Concentrations Of COCs
Drugs or herbal products that induce certain enzymes, including cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), may decrease the plasma concentrations of COCs and potentially diminish the effectiveness of COCs 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 hormonal contraceptives 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 COCs, and to continue back-up contraception for 28 days after discontinuing the enzyme inducer to ensure contraceptive reliability.
Colesevelam: Colesevelam, a bile acid sequestrant, given together with a COC, has been shown to significantly decrease the AUC of EE. The drug interaction between the contraceptive and colesevelam was decreased when the two drug products were given 4 hours apart.
Substances Increasing The Plasma Concentrations Of COCs
Co-administration of atorvastatin or rosuvastatin and certain COCs containing ethinyl estradiol (EE) increase AUC values for EE by approximately 20 to 25%. Ascorbic acid and acetaminophen may increase plasma EE concentrations, possibly by inhibition of conjugation. CYP3A4 inhibitors such as itraconazole, voriconazole, fluconazole, grapefruit juice, or ketoconazole may increase plasma hormone concentrations.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Protease Inhibitors And Non-nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Significant changes (increase or decrease) in the plasma concentrations of 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 Combined Oral Contraceptives On Other Drugs
- COCs containing EE may inhibit the metabolism of other compounds (e.g., cyclosporine, prednisolone, theophylline, tizanidine, and voriconazole) and increase their plasma concentrations.
- COCs have been shown to decrease plasma concentrations of acetaminophen, clofibric acid, morphine, salicylic acid, temazepam and lamotrigine. Significant decrease in plasma concentration 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 the serum concentration of thyroid-binding globulin increases with use of COCs.
Interference With Laboratory Tests
Read the Sprintec Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions
Last reviewed on RxList: 9/8/2016
Additional Sprintec Information
Sprintec - User Reviews
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
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