Three months and beyond
When you're in your third or fourth month, side effects should no longer be a frequent annoyance. If you're one of the women who experienced common side effects such as breast symptoms or breakthrough bleeding and spotting, relief may be in sight.
Please be sure to read the Important Safety Information below for additional information on side effects that may occur while using ORTHO EVRA®.
What is ORTHO EVRA®?
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What is the most important information I should know about ORTHO EVRA®?
Do not use ORTHO EVRA® if you smoke cigarettes and are over 35 years old. Smoking increases your risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from hormonal birth control methods, including death from heart attack, blood clots, or stroke. This risk increases with age and the number of cigarettes you smoke.
Women 15 to 44 years of age who use ORTHO EVRA® may have an increased risk of blood clots compared to women who use certain birth control pills.
You will be exposed to about 60% more estrogen if you use ORTHO EVRA® than if you use a typical birth control pill containing 35 micrograms of estrogen. In general, increased estrogen may increase the risk of side effects, including blood clots.
Hormonal birth control methods help to lower the chances of becoming pregnant. They do not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections.
Who should not use ORTHO EVRA®?
Do not use ORTHO EVRA® if you:
Hormonal birth control methods may not be a good choice for you if you have ever had jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) caused by pregnancy or related to previous use of hormonal birth control.
Tell your healthcare professional if you have ever had any of the above conditions. Your healthcare professional may recommend another method of birth control.
What should I tell my healthcare professional before using ORTHO EVRA®?
Before you use ORTHO EVRA®, tell your healthcare professional:
Tell your healthcare professional about all medicines and herbal products that you take.
Some medicines and herbal products may make hormonal birth control less effective, including, but not limited to:
Use another birth control method (such as a condom and spermicide or diaphragm and spermicide) when you take medicines that may make the ORTHO EVRA® patch less effective.
Some medicines and grapefruit juice may increase your level of the hormone ethinyl estradiol if used together, including:
Hormonal birth control methods may interact with lamotrigine, an anti-seizure medicine used for epilepsy. This may increase the risk of seizures, so your healthcare professional may need to adjust the dose of lamotrigine.
If you are taking thyroid replacement therapy, your healthcare professional may need to increase your doses of thyroid hormone.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
What are the possible side effects of ORTHO EVRA®?
See "What is the most important information I should know about ORTHO EVRA®?"
ORTHO EVRA® may cause serious side effects, including:
It is possible to die or be permanently disabled from a problem caused by a blood clot, such as a heart attack or a stroke. Some examples of serious blood clots are blood clots in the:
Call your healthcare professional right away if you have:
Other serious risks include:
What are the most common side effects of ORTHO EVRA®?
The most common side effects of ORTHO EVRA® are:
Some women have spotting or light bleeding, breast tenderness, or feel sick to their stomach during ORTHO EVRA® use. If these symptoms occur, do not stop using the ORTHO EVRA® patch. The problem will usually go away. If it doesn't go away, check with your healthcare professional.
Tell your healthcare professional about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of
ORTHO EVRA®. For more information, ask your healthcare professional or pharmacist. Call your healthcare professional for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What should I know about my period when using ORTHO EVRA® ?
When you use ORTHO EVRA®, you may have bleeding and spotting between periods called unplanned bleeding. Such bleeding may be temporary and usually does not indicate any serious problems. It is important to continue using the patch on schedule. If the unplanned bleeding or spotting is heavy or lasts for more than a few days, you should discuss this with your healthcare professional.
What if I miss my scheduled period when using ORTHO EVRA® ?
Some women miss periods on hormonal birth control, even when they are not pregnant. However, if you go 2 or more months in a row without a period, or you miss your period after a month where you did not use all of your patches correctly, or you have symptoms associated with pregnancy, such as morning sickness or unusual breast tenderness, call your healthcare professional because you may be pregnant. Stop taking ORTHO EVRA® if you are pregnant.
How do I use ORTHO EVRA® after childbirth?
If you are not breastfeeding, wait 4 weeks before using ORTHO EVRA®.