Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets

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Desogestrel, Ethinyl Estradiol Oral tablet, Inert Oral tablet

What is this medication?

DESOGESTREL; ETHINYL ESTRADIOL (des oh JES trel; ETH in il es tra DYE ole) prevents ovulation and pregnancy. It belongs to a group of medications called oral contraceptives. It is a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth. To reduce nausea, this medication may be taken with food. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medication at the same time each day and in the order directed on the package. Do not take your medication more often than directed.

Contact your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

A patient package insert for the product will be given with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time. The sheet may change often.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once. NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Blood clot—pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg, shortness of breath, chest pain
  • Gallbladder problems—severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
  • New or worsening migraines or headaches
  • Stroke—sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, trouble speaking, confusion, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, severe headache, change in vision
  • Unusual vaginal discharge, itching, or odor
  • Worsening mood, feelings of depression

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Breast pain or tenderness
  • Dark patches of skin on the face or other sun-exposed areas
  • Irregular menstrual cycles or spotting
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have or ever had any of these conditions:

  • Blood clotting disorder or history of blood clots
  • Blood vessel disease
  • Cancer, such as breast, cervical, endometrial, ovarian, liver, or uterine cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Heart disease or recent heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Migraine headaches
  • Stroke
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Tobacco user
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to estrogens, progestins, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breastfeeding

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medication with the following:

  • Dasabuvir; ombitasvir; paritaprevir; ritonavir
  • Ombitasvir; paritaprevir; ritonavir
  • Tranexamic acid

This medication may also interact with the following:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Antibiotics, such as rifampin
  • Aprepitant
  • Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • Atorvastatin
  • Bosentan
  • Caffeine
  • Certain medications for breast cancer, such as anastrozole, exemestane, letrozole
  • Certain medications for seizures, such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, topiramate
  • Clofibrate
  • Colesevelam
  • Cyclosporine
  • Dantrolene
  • Doxercalciferol
  • Felbamate
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Medications for anxiety or sleeping problems, such as diazepam or temazepam
  • Medications for diabetes, including pioglitazone
  • Mineral oil
  • Modafinil
  • Mycophenolate
  • Nefazodone
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Prednisolone
  • Ritonavir or other medications for HIV infection or AIDS
  • Rosuvastatin
  • Selegiline
  • Supplements, such as soy isoflavones or St. John's wort
  • Steroid medications, such as prednisone or cortisone
  • Tamoxifen or raloxifene
  • Theophylline
  • Thyroid hormones
  • Warfarin

This medication may affect how other medications work, and other medications may affect the way this medication works. Talk with your care team about all of the medications you take. They may suggest changes to your treatment plan to lower the risk of side effects and to make sure your medications work as intended.

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What if I miss a dose?

This medication may not work as well if you miss more than one pill. You may need to use a back-up contraceptive.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your care team for regular checks while on this medication. You will need a regular breast and pelvic exam and Pap smear while on this medication.

Use an additional method of contraception during the first cycle that you take these tablets.

If you have any reason to think you are pregnant, stop taking this medication right away and contact your care team.

If you are taking this medication for hormone related problems, it may take several cycles of use to see improvement in your condition.

Smoking tobacco increases the risk of getting a blood clot or having a stroke while you are taking this medication, especially if you are older than 35 years.

This medication can make your body retain fluid, making your fingers, hands, or ankles swell. Your blood pressure can go up. Contact your care team if you feel you are retaining fluid.

This medication can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps, tanning beds, or tanning booths.

If you wear contact lenses and notice visual changes, or if the lenses begin to feel uncomfortable, consult your eye care specialist.

Tenderness, swelling, or minor bleeding of the gums may occur. Talk to your dentist if this happens. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly may reduce the risk of side effects. Visit your dentist on a regular basis. Tell your dentist about any medications you are taking.

If you are going to need surgery or other procedure, tell your care team that you are using this medication.

Using this medication does not protect you or your partner against HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).