Cntrl Cntr4a Top1
Using ORTHO EVRA®
Email Print Main

Using ORTHO EVRA®

Please click on a question to reveal the answer below:


1

You can wear ORTHO EVRA® on one of 4 areas of the body: upper outer arm, upper torso (front and back, excluding the breasts), abdomen, or buttock. The birth control patch should not be worn on any other areas of the body.

To ensure the effectiveness of ORTHO EVRA®, do not place the birth control patch on areas of your skin where makeup, lotions, creams, powders, or other products are or will be applied. In addition, do not place ORTHO EVRA® on skin that is red, irritated, or cut.

2

You have 2 options for starting the Patch. Choose which option is right for you:

  • First Day Start — Apply your first Patch during the first 24 hours of your menstrual period
  • Sunday Start - Wait until the first Sunday after your menstrual period begins. With this option, a nonhormonal backup method of birth control, such as a condom, spermicide, or diaphragm, is needed for the first 7 days of the first cycle only
  • When Switching From the Pill to the Patch - If you are switching from the Pill to ORTHO EVRA®, wait until you get your menstrual period. If you do not get your period within 5 days of taking the last active pill, check with your healthcare professional to be sure you are not pregnant.
3

Apply a new Patch on the same day each week (your Patch Change Day) for 3 weeks in a row. Make sure you have removed your old Patch prior to applying the new Patch.

During week 4, do not wear a Patch. Make sure you removed your old Patch. (Your period should begin during this week.)

Following week 4, repeat the same steps every 4 weeks.

Here are a few things to remember when using the Patch:

  • Every new Patch should be applied on the same day of each week, called the "Patch Change Day." For example, if you apply your first Patch on a Monday, all of your patches should be applied on a Monday.
  • The Patch may be placed on your upper outer arm, abdomen, buttock or back, in a place where it won't be rubbed by tight clothing; for example, do not put the Patch under the waistband of your clothing.
  • Wear only one birth control patch at a time.
  • To avoid irritation, do not apply the new patch to the same exact place on your skin 2 weeks in a row.
  • Under no circumstances should there be more than a 7-day, patch-free interval between patch cycles.
4

Follow these simple steps to put on the Patch:

  1. Tear open pouch at top edge. Peel open the foil pouch which contains the Patch and its clear plastic cover. Remove the Patch and the plastic together from the pouch, being careful not to accidentally remove the clear plastic from the Patch.
  2. Peel away half of the clear plastic. Avoid touching the sticky surface with your fingers.
  3. Apply the sticky side of the Patch on the skin you have cleaned and dried. Remove the other half of the clear plastic and attach the entire Patch to your skin.
  4. Press firmly on the Patch with the palm of your hand for 10 seconds, making sure that the whole Patch adheres to your skin.
  5. Run your fingers over the entire surface area to smooth out any "wrinkles" around the outer edges of the Patch.
  6. Check your Patch every day to make sure all edges are sticking correctly.

Never cut, damage or alter the Patch in any way.

Do not wear more than one Patch at a time.

For detailed information on using the Patch, click here.

5

If you wish to move your "Patch Change Day" to a different day of the week:

  • Finish your current cycle, removing your third ORTHO EVRA® patch on the correct day.
  • During week 4, the "patch-free" week, you may choose a new "Patch Change Day" by applying a new patch on the day you prefer. This will become your new "Patch Change Day". Remember that you should never have the birth control patch off for more than 7 days in a row.
  • You now have a new Day 1 and a new "Patch Change Day."
6

Yes. The Patch may be placed on your upper outer arm, abdomen, buttock or back, in a place where it won't be rubbed by tight clothing; for example do not put the Patch under the waistband of your clothing.

7

It is not recommended that you move your birth control patch to a new location in the middle of the week. The Patch may not stick as well if you attempt to change its location.

8

If a small ring of adhesive is left on your skin when you remove the Patch on your "Patch Change Day," remove it by rubbing a small amount of baby oil on the area.

It is not recommended that you clean the edges of the Patch prior to removal on the "Patch Change Day." Lifting the edges of the Patch may cause it to become loose or fall off. Using lotions, creams, oils or powders near the Patch also may cause it to become loose.

9

The Patch must stick securely to your skin to work properly.

If a Patch edge lifts up:

  • Press down firmly on the Patch with the palm of your hand for 10 seconds, making sure that the whole Patch adheres to your skin. Run your fingers over the entire surface area to smooth out any "wrinkles" around the edges of the Patch.
  • If your Patch does not stick well, apply a replacement Patch. (Ask your healthcare professional for a replacement Patch prescription so you always have an extra Patch available).
  • Do not tape or wrap the Patch to your skin or reapply a Patch that is partially adhered to clothing.

If your Patch has been off or partially off:

  • For less than 1 Day, try to reapply it or apply a new Patch immediately. (No backup contraception is needed and your "Patch Change Day" will stay the same).
  • For more than 1 Day or if you are not sure for how long, you may become pregnant. To reduce this risk, apply a new Patch and start a new 4-week cycle. You will now have a new "Patch Change Day" and must use nonhormonal backup contraception (such as condom, spermicide, or diaphragm) for the first week of your new cycle.

10

Yes. The Patch adheres well to the skin, allowing you to perform your daily activities such as bathing, showering, swimming, and exercising without interruption. If the sticky surface of the Patch becomes wet, discard it and apply a new patch.

11

When removing your used patch, simply lift one corner and quickly peel it back. If a small ring of adhesive is left on your skin, remove it by rubbing a small amount of baby oil on the area.

The used patch still contains some active hormone. Before safely disposing of it in the trash, fold the used patch in half so it sticks to itself. Used patches should not be flushed down the toilet.

12

Simply follow these instructions to switch to ORTHO EVRA® from a birth control pill.

  • Complete your cycle with your current birth control pill.
  • If you do not get your period within 5 days of taking the last active pill, check with your doctor or healthcare professional to make sure that you are not pregnant.
  • Apply the ORTHO EVRA® birth control patch within the first 24 hours of your period.
  • If you choose to apply your patch on the Sunday after the first day of your period ("Sunday Start"), you must use backup contraception, such as a condom, spermicide or a diaphragm, for the first week of your first cycle.
13

No. Each patch delivers the same amount of medication each week. Therefore, the patches can be used in any order. However, a new birth control patch must be applied on the same day of the week for 3 consecutive weeks. The fourth week is "patch free" — which is similar to the fourth week of birth control pill use, during which inactive pills or no pills are taken.

14

If you want to become pregnant, the first thing you should do is call your doctor or healthcare professional about steps you should take to ensure a healthy pregnancy. He or she can help you decide when to stop using the ORTHO EVRA® birth control patch.

What is ORTHO EVRA®?

  • ORTHO EVRA® is a contraceptive patch used for the prevention of pregnancy.
  • ORTHO EVRA® may be less effective in preventing pregnancy in women who weigh 198 lbs (90 kg) or more.
  • ORTHO EVRA® is available by prescription only.

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:

  • smoke and are over 35 years old
  • have or have had blood clots in your arms, legs, eyes, or lungs
  • have an inherited problem that makes your blood clot more than normal
  • have had a stroke
  • have had a heart attack
  • have certain heart valve problems or heart rhythm problems that can cause blood clots to form in the heart
  • have high blood pressure that medicine cannot control
  • have diabetes with kidney, eye, nerve, or blood vessel damage
  • have had certain kinds of severe migraine headaches with aura, numbness, weakness or changes in vision, or have any migraine headaches if you are over age 35
  • have liver disease, including liver tumors
  • have unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. However, ORTHO EVRA® is not known to cause birth defects when used by accident during pregnancy.
  • have had breast cancer or any cancer that is sensitive to female hormones

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:

    • about all your medical conditions
    • if you are pregnant or think you are pregnant
    • if you are scheduled for surgery. ORTHO EVRA® may increase your risk of blood clots after surgery. You should stop using your ORTHO EVRA® patch at least 4 weeks before you have surgery and not restart it until at least 2 weeks after your surgery.
    • if you are or will be inactive or immobilized for a long period of time.
    • if you are scheduled for any laboratory tests. Certain blood tests may be affected by hormonal birth control methods.
    • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Hormonal birth control methods that contain estrogen, like ORTHO EVRA®, may decrease the amount of milk you make. A small amount of hormones from the ORTHO EVRA® patch may pass into your breast milk. Consider another method of birth control until you are ready to stop breastfeeding.
    • if you plan to start or resume ORTHO EVRA® after child birth. The risk of blood clots is increased for a period of time after childbirth. If you are not breastfeeding, wait 4 weeks before using ORTHO EVRA®.

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:

    • certain seizure medicines (carbamazepine, felbamate, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, rufinamide, topiramate)
    • aprepitant
    • barbiturates
    • bosentan
    • griseofulvin
    • certain combinations of HIV medicines (nelfinavir, ritonavir, ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitors)
    • certain non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (nevirapine)
    • rifampin and rifabutin
    • St. John’s wort

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:

    • acetaminophen
    • ascorbic acid
    • medicines that affect how your liver breaks down other medicines (itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole, fluconazole)
    • certain HIV medicines (atazanavir, indinavir)
    • atorvastatin
    • rosuvastatin
    • etravirine

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:

  • Blood clots. Like pregnancy, hormonal birth control methods increase the risk of serious blood clots, especially in women who have other risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, or age greater than 35. This increased risk is highest when you first start using hormonal birth control. Some studies have reported that women who use ORTHO EVRA® have a higher risk of getting a blood clot. Talk with your healthcare professional about your risk of getting a blood clot before using ORTHO EVRA® or deciding which type of birth control is right for you.

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:

  • legs (deep vein thrombosis)
  • lungs (pulmonary embolus)
  • eyes (loss of eyesight)
  • heart (heart attack)
  • brain (stroke)

Call your healthcare professional right away if you have:

  • leg pain that will not go away
  • sudden shortness of breath
  • sudden blindness, partial or complete
  • severe pain or pressure in your chest
  • sudden, severe headache unlike your usual headaches
  • weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, or trouble speaking
  • yellowing of the skin or eyeballs

Other serious risks include:

  • liver problems, including liver tumors
  • gallbladder disease
  • high blood pressure

What are the most common side effects of ORTHO EVRA®?

The most common side effects of ORTHO EVRA® are:

    • breast symptoms (discomfort, swelling, or pain)
    • nausea
    • headache
    • skin irritation, redness, pain, swelling, itching, or rash at the patch application site
    • stomach pain
    • pain during menstruation
    • vaginal bleeding and menstrual disorders, such as spotting or bleeding between periods
    • mood, affective and anxiety disorders

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®.

Cntrl Cntrl3 Bottom1
Cntrl Cntnr4a Bottom1
close

Tell-A-Friend


Share this page with a friend.


If you think someone you know might benefit from the content of the previous page, enter his or her information below. We'll send an e-mail inviting your friend to view this content, courtesy of you. By submitting an e-mail address, you are requesting that we contact on your behalf the person you specify here. Your contact information and your friend's contact information are required, but they will not be used other than to distribute the communication request. Please review our Privacy Policy.