Desogen 28 (Desogestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol)
Desogen (Desogestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol) Dosage and Side Effects
DESOGEN is used to prevent pregnancy.
Proper Use of this medication
You will take your first pill on the first day of your period or on the first Sunday after your period begins. You may need to use back-up birth control, such as condoms or a spermicide, when you first start using this medicine. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Take one pill every day, no more than 24 hours apart. When the pills run out, start a new pack the following day. You may get pregnant if you do not take one pill daily. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of pills completely.
The 28-day-birth control pack contains seven "reminder" pills to keep you on your regular cycle. Your period will usually begin while you are using these reminder pills.
You may have breakthrough bleeding, especially during the first 3 months. Tell your doctor if this bleeding continues or is very heavy.
Use a back-up birth control if you are sick with severe vomiting or diarrhea.
If you need surgery or medical tests or if you will be on bed rest, you may need to stop using this medicine for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using birth control pills.
While taking birth control pills, you will need to visit your doctor regularly.
Follow the patient instructions provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions. Missing a pill increases your risk of becoming pregnant.
If you miss one active pill, take two pills on the day you remember. Then take one pill per day for the rest of the pack.
If you miss two active pills in a row in Week 1 or 2, take two pills per day for two days in a row. Then take one pill per day for the rest of the pack. Use back-up birth control for at least 7 days following the missed pills.
If you miss two active pills in a row in Week 3, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack the same day if you are a Day 1 starter. If you are a Sunday starter, keep taking a pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that day.
If you miss three active pills in a row in Week 1, 2, or 3, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack on the same day if you are a Day 1 starter. If you are a Sunday starter, keep taking a pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that day.
If you miss two or more pills, you may not have a period during the month. If you miss a period for two months in a row, call your doctor because you might be pregnant.
If you miss a reminder pill, throw it away and keep taking one reminder pill per day until the pack is empty. You do not need back-up birth control if you miss a reminder pill.
Stop using birth control pills and call your doctor at once if you have:
- signs of a stroke--sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
- signs of a blood clot in the lung--chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;
- signs of a blood clot in your leg--pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
- heart attack symptoms--chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
- liver problems--severe stomach pain, fever, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches;
- swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
- a breast lump; or
- symptoms of depression--sleep problems, weakness, tired feeling, mood changes.
Common side effects may include:
- light vaginal bleeding or spotting;
- nausea (especially when you first start taking this medicine), vomiting, bloating;
- changes in weight or appetite;
- breast tenderness or swelling;
- freckles or darkening of facial skin, increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair;
- headache; or
- vaginal itching or discharge.
Warnings and Precautions
Taking birth control pills can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack, especially if you have certain other conditions, or if you are overweight.
Smoking can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. You should not take birth control pills if you smoke and are over 35 years old.
Taking birth control pills can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. You are even more at risk if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or if you are overweight. Your risk of stroke or blood clot is highest during your first year of taking birth control pills. Your risk is also high when you restart birth control pills after not taking them for 4 weeks or longer.
Do not use if you are pregnant. Stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor if you become pregnant, or if you miss two menstrual periods in a row. If you have recently had a baby, wait at least 4 weeks before taking birth control pills.
You should not take birth control pills if you have:
- untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure;
- heart disease (coronary artery disease, uncontrolled heart valve disorder, history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot);
- a blood-clotting disorder or circulation problems;
- problems with your eyes, kidneys or circulation caused by diabetes;
- a history of hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer;
- unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor;
- liver disease or liver cancer;
- severe migraine headaches (with aura, numbness, weakness, or vision changes);
- a history of jaundice caused by pregnancy or birth control pills; or
- if you smoke and are over 35 years old.
To make sure birth control pills are safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- high blood pressure, varicose veins;
- high cholesterol or triglycerides;
- a history of depression;
- underactive thyroid, gallbladder disease;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- a history of irregular menstrual cycles;
- tuberculosis; or
- a history of fibrocystic breast disease, lumps, nodules, or an abnormal mammogram.
The hormones in birth control pills can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. This medicine may also slow breast milk production. Do not use if you are breast feeding a baby.
Interactions with this medication
Birth control pills will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases--including HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to protect yourself from these diseases.
Many drugs can interact with birth control pills and make them less effective, which may result in pregnancy. DESOGEN can also affect blood levels of certain other drugs, making them less effective or increasing side effects. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.