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Ethinylestradiol (34mcg) and Norelgestromin (203mcg)
Why is this medication prescribed?
Ethinyl estradiol and norelgestromin transdermal system (patch) is used to prevent pregnancy. Norelgestromin is a progestin and ethinyl estradiol is an estrogen. Estrogen and progestin are two female sex hormones. Ethinyl estradiol and norelgestromin contraceptive patch works by preventing ovulation (the release of eggs from the ovaries) and by changing the cervical mucus and the lining of the uterus. The contraceptive patch is a very effective method of birth control, but it does not prevent the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV; the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS]) and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Ortho Evra Patch (norelgestromin/ethinylestradiol) is a type of combined hormonal birth control for women.
As the name implies, the medication is administered via a patch, which is placed on the upper arms, upper thighs, shoulders, lower abdomen, or buttocks. Patches are changed once-weekly, making the method somewhat more convenient than others. For comparison:
While vaginal rings, implants and IUDs are lower maintenance, they do have their drawbacks; all three can produce discomfort, and implants and IUDs require administration in a doctor's office. Since hormonal birth control occasionally needs to be interrupted for certain medical or dental procedures, or to prevent interactions with other medications, this can be quite inconvenient.
Patches are Easy to Use
Ortho Evra patches resemble a large, square Band-Aid. They do not restrict activities any way; women wearing a patch may shower, swim, exercise and otherwise participate in routine activities.
The most commonly-used Ortho Evra patch schedule is as follows:
In the unlikely event a patch falls off, try to reapply it. If it will not stick, a new patch can be applied and the schedule can resume as usual. If a patch has been off for longer than 24 hours, the schedule should be restarted and alternative birth control methods used for two weeks into the new schedule.
Like birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives, Ortho Evra patches provide additional, beneficial side effects, most notably the reduced risk of developing:
Some women use hormonal contraceptives to skip periods altogether, either on occasion for special events or long-term, spanning months or years. To accomplish this the contraceptives are taken continually, rather than going a week without a patch or taking the 7 days of placebo pills. Because Ortho Evra patches contain more estrogen than pills, patches my not be the ideal choice. Speak to a doctor before using patches for this purpose.
Precautions Before Use
For the most part Ortho Evra patches are similar to birth control pills as far as risks and side effects. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind while using patches:
One of the side effects of combined hormonal birth control, or any medication containing estrogen, is blood clots, which can cause permanent disability or death. Women with preexisting risk factors are at greater risk for developing blood clots while using combined hormonal contraceptives:
There is conflicting evidence that Ortho Evra patches may (or may not) further increase risk of women developing blood clots compared to birth control pills. Women with the above risk factors in particular should discuss the safety of using combined hormonal contraception with a trusted doctor before starting treatment.
No current Rx required
Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.
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