Brand NamesOrtho Evra
What is Ortho Evra
Ortho Evra (norelgestromin/ethinyl estradiol) is a skin patch that effective for preventing pregnancy. It contains a combination of female hormones (estrogen and progestin), that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). Fertility depends on regular fluctuations in the levels of these hormones. Ortho Evra also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus. Each Ortho Evra patch is changed once a week.
Side effects of Ortho Evra
There is a list of serious side effects caused by this medication:
- allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat;
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
- a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches;
- upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
- a breast lump;
- symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes).
Other less serious Ortho Evra side effects can be:
- mild nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps;
- unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth;
- breast pain, tenderness, or swelling;
- freckles or darkening of facial skin;
- increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair;
- changes in weight or appetite;
- problems with contact lenses;
- vaginal itching or discharge;
- changes in your menstrual periods, decreased sex drive;
- headache, nervousness, dizziness, tired feeling.
Ortho Evra is used to prevent pregnancy.
Stop using Ortho Evra if you have:
- Cancer (or if you have had cancer in the past)
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Had a blood clot or a clotting disorder
- Chest pain
- Had a heart attack or stroke
- Very high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin during a prior pregnancy or oral contraceptive use
- Gallbladder disease
- High cholesterol
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, hepatitis, or liver tumors
- Problems with your heart valves
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- An upcoming surgery
- Weigh 198 pounds or more
- Smoke cigarettes
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Are taking any other medicines, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements
Ortho Evra Dosing for Birth Control
One Ortho Evra patch should be applied every 7 days for 3 weeks in a row (do not forget to take the old patch off each time). After the third week, the last patch is removed for a seven-day break without any patches. You will usually start your period during this week. After seven days, you should start a new Ortho Evra cycle, even if you are still having your period.
When you take Ortho Evra for the first time, you can start Ortho Evra either on the first day of your period or on the first Sunday after your period starts. If you start Ortho Evra on the first day of your period (a "day 1 start"), you do not need to use any backup contraception. If you choose a Sunday start, you need to use a backup method of contraception (such as condoms) for the first week. If the first day of your period happens to be on a Sunday, treat this as a day 1 start (no backup needed). If you switch from another type of birth control pill, start taking Ortho Evra on the day you would normally start a new pack of birth control pills (no backup necessary).