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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).
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.
Skin irritation at the application site, nausea, vomiting, headache, bloating, breast tenderness, swelling of the ankles/feet (fluid retention), or weight change may occur. Vaginal bleeding between periods (spotting) may occur, especially during the first few months of use. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. If you miss 2 periods in a row (or 1 period if the patch has not been used properly), talk to your doctor about a pregnancy test.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: lumps in the breast, mental/mood changes (such as new/worsening depression), severe stomach/abdominal pain, unusual changes in vaginal bleeding (such as continuous spotting, sudden heavy bleeding, missed periods), dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
This medication may rarely cause serious (sometimes fatal) problems from blood clots (such as deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke). Get medical help right away if any of these side effects occur: chest/jaw/left arm pain, confusion, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, slurred speech, sudden shortness of breath/rapid breathing, unusual headaches (including headaches with vision changes/lack of coordination, worsening of migraines, sudden/very severe headaches), unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, vision problems/changes (such as double vision, partial/complete blindness).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
See also Warning section.
Before using this medication patch, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to ethinyl estradiol or norelgestromin; or to other estrogens or progestins; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood clots (for example, in the legs, eyes, lungs), blood clotting disorders (such as protein C or protein S deficiency), high blood pressure, abnormal breast exam, cancer (especially endometrial or breast cancer), high cholesterol or triglyceride (blood fat) levels, depression, diabetes, family or personal history of a certain swelling disorder (angioedema), gallbladder problems, severe headaches/migraines, heart problems (such as heart valve disease, irregular heartbeat, previous heart attack), history of yellowing eyes/skin (jaundice) during pregnancy or while using hormonal birth control (such as pills, patch), liver disease (including tumors), stroke, swelling (edema), thyroid problems, unexplained vaginal bleeding.
If you weigh more than 198 pounds (90 kilograms), this patch may not work well for you. Make sure your doctor knows your current weight, and ask about which form of birth control will work best for you.
If you have diabetes, this medication may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Tell your doctor if you just had or will be having surgery or if you will be confined to a bed or chair for a long time (such as a long plane flight). These conditions increase your risk of getting blood clots, especially if you are using hormonal birth control. You may need to stop this medication for a time or take special precautions.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This product may cause blotchy, dark areas on your face and skin (melasma). Sunlight may worsen this effect. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
If you are nearsighted or wear contact lenses, you may develop vision problems or trouble wearing your contact lenses. Contact your eye doctor if these problems occur.
If you are going to have an MRI test, tell testing personnel that you are using this patch. Some patches may contain metals that can cause serious burns during an MRI. Ask your doctor whether you will need to remove your patch before the test and apply a new patch afterward, and how to do so properly.
This medication must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away. If you have just given birth or had a pregnancy loss/abortion after the first 3 months, talk with your doctor about reliable forms of birth control, and find out when it is safe to start using birth control that contains a form of estrogen, such as this medication.
This medication may decrease breast milk production. A small amount passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store in the protective pouches at room temperature away from light and moisture. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. (See also How to Use section.)
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: aromatase inhibitors (such as anastrozole, exemestane), ospemifene, tamoxifen, tizanidine, tranexamic acid, certain combination products used to treat chronic hepatitis C (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir with or without dasabuvir).
Some drugs may cause hormonal birth control to work less well by decreasing the amount of birth control hormones in your body. This effect can result in pregnancy. Examples include griseofulvin, modafinil, rifamycins (such as rifampin, rifabutin), St. John's wort, drugs used to treat seizures (such as barbiturates, carbamazepine, felbamate, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate), HIV drugs (such as nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir), among others.
Tell your doctor when you start any new drug, and discuss if you should use additional reliable birth control. Also tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your birth control is not working well.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (such as blood clotting factors, thyroid), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this medication.
This medication patch may be harmful if chewed or swallowed. If someone has overdosed, remove the patch if possible. For serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
If the patch comes off or if you forget to remove it at the proper time, refer to the product package information or How to Use section for instructions. You may need to use back-up birth control (such as condoms, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
If you have trouble remembering to change your patch, or if the patch often comes off, contact your doctor to discuss switching to another form of birth control.
Do not share this medication with others.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments. You should have regular complete physical exams which include laboratory and medical tests (such as blood pressure, breast exam, pelvic exam, Pap smear) to monitor your progress and check for side effects. Follow your doctor's instructions for examining your breasts, and report any lumps right away. Consult your doctor for more details.
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