Mircette

Generic Name: ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel (EH thih nill ess tra DYE ole and des oh JESS trel)
Brand Names: Apri, Azurette, Caziant, Cyclessa, Desogen, Emoquette, Enskyce, Kariva, Mircette, Ortho-Cept, Reclipsen, Velivet, Viorele

What is Mircette?

Mircette (ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel) contains a combination of female hormones that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medicine 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.

Mircette is a birth control pillused for contraception to prevent pregnancy.

Mircette may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Do not use Mircette if you are pregnant or if you have recently had a baby.

You should not take Mircette if you have any of the following conditions: uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart disease, a blood-clotting disorder, circulation problems, diabetic problems with your eyes or kidneys, unusual vaginal bleeding, liver disease or liver cancer, severe migraine headaches, if you smoke and are over 35, or if you have ever had breast or uterine cancer, jaundice caused by birth control pills, a heart attack, a stroke, or a blood clot.

Slideshow: 2014 Update - First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Smoking can increase your risk of blood clot, stroke, or heart attack while taking birth control pills. You should not take Mircette if you smoke and are older than 35 years of age.

Some drugs can make Mircette less effective in preventing pregnancy, including antibiotics, hepatitis C medications, HIV/AIDS medications, seizure medications, or barbiturate sedatives. Tell your doctor about all other medications you use.

Before taking this medicine

Smoking can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack while taking Mircette, especially if you are older than 35 years of age. Your risk increases the more you smoke. You should not take combination birth control pills such as Mircette if you smoke and are older than 35 years of age.

This medicine can cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away 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 Mircette.

You should not take Mircette 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), especially if you are older than 35;

  • a history of jaundice caused by pregnancy or birth control pills; or

  • if you smoke and are over 35 years old.

To make sure Mircette are safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • high blood pressure, varicose veins;

  • high cholesterol or triglycerides, or if you are overweight;

  • a history of depression;

  • underactive thyroid;

  • gallbladder disease;

  • diabetes;

  • 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 Mircette 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.

How should I take Mircette?

Take Mircette exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Before you start taking Mircette

  1. The correct way to take Mircette tablets is to take one pill every day at the same time. If you miss pills you could get pregnant. This includes starting the pack late. The more pills you miss, the more likely you are to get pregnant.
  2. Many women have spotting or light bleeding, or may feel sick to their stomach during the first 1 to 3 packs of Mircette. If you feel sick to your stomach, do not stop taking the pill. The problem will usually go away. If it doesn't go away, check with your doctor or healthcare provider.
  3. Missing pills can also cause spotting or light bleeding, even when you make up these missed pills. On the days you take 2 pills to make up for missed pills, you could also feel a little sick to your stomach.
  4. If you have vomiting or diarrhea, for any reason, or if you take some medicines, including some antibiotics, your pills may not work as well. Use a back-up method (such as condoms, foam, or sponge) until you check with your doctor or healthcare provider.
  5. If you have trouble remembering to take the pill, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about how to make pill-taking easier or about using another method of birth control.
  6. If you have any questions or are unsure about the information found on this page, call your doctor or healthcare provider.

Before you start taking your pills

  1. Decide what time of day you want to take your pill. It is important to take it at about the same time every day.
  2. Look at your pill pack: it will have 28 pills: this 28 pill pack has 26 "active" [white and yellow] pills (with hormones) and 2 "inactive" [light-green] pills (without hormones).
  3. Also find: where on the pack to start taking the pills, in what order to take the pills (follow the arrows) and the week numbers.
  4. Be sure you have ready at all times: another kind of birth control (such as condoms, foam, or sponge) to use as a back-up in case you miss pills and an extra, full packet of Mircette.

When to start the first pack of pills

You have a choice of which day to start taking your first pack Mircette. Decide with your doctor or healthcare provider which is the best day for you. Pick a time of day which will be easy to remember.

Day 1 start

  1. Pick the day label strip that starts with the first day of your period (this is the day you start bleeding or spotting, even if it is almost midnight when the bleeding begins).
  2. Place this day label strip in the cycle tablet dispenser over the area that has the days of the week (starting with Sunday) imprinted on the blister card. Note: if the first day of your period is a Sunday, you can skip steps #1 and #2.
  3. Take the first "active" [white] pill of the first pack during the first 24 hours of your period.
  4. You will not need to use a back-up method of birth control, since you are starting the pill at the beginning of your period.

Sunday start

  1. Take the first "active" [white] pill of the first pack on the Sunday after your period starts, even if you are still bleeding. If your period begins on Sunday, start the pack that same day.
  2. Use another method of birth control as a back-up method if you have sex anytime from the Sunday you start your first pack until the next Sunday (7 days). Condoms, foam, or the sponge are good back-up methods of birth control.

What to do during the month

  • Take one pill at the same time every day until the pack is empty. Do not skip pills even if you are spotting or bleeding between monthly periods or feel sick to your stomach (nausea). Do not skip pills even if you do not have sex very often.

When you finish a pack or switch your brand of pills

  • 21 pills: wait 7 days to start the next pack. You will probably have your period during that week. Be sure that no more than 7 days pass between 21 day packs.

  • 28 pills: start the next pack on the day after your last pill. Do not wait any days between packs.

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 Mircette.

While taking Mircette, you will need to visit your doctor regularly.

Store Mircette at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Follow the patient instructions provided with Mircette. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions. Missing a pill increases your risk of becoming pregnant.

What to do if you miss pills

If you miss 1 "active" [white] pill:

  1. Take it as soon as you remember. Take the next Mircette pill at your regular time. This means you take 2 pills in 1 day.
  2. You do not need to use a back-up birth control method if you have sex.

If you miss 2 "active" [white] pills in a row in week 1 or week 2 of your pack:

  1. Take 2 pills on the day you remember and 2 pills the next day.
  2. Then take 1 Mircette pill a day until you finish the pack.
  3. You may become pregnant if you have sex in the 7 days after you miss pills.You must use another birth control method (such as condoms, foam, or sponge) as a back-up method for those 7 days.

If you miss 2 "active" [white] pills in a row in week 3:

  • If you are a day 1 starter: throw out the rest of the pill pack and start a new pack that same day.

  • If you are a Sunday starter: keep taking 1 Mircette pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack of pills that same day.

  • You may not have your period this month but this is expected. However, if you miss your period 2 months in a row, call your doctor or healthcare provider because you might be pregnant.
  • You may become pregnant if you have sex in the 7 days after you miss pills. You must use another birth control method (such as condoms, foam, or sponge) as a back-up method for those 7 days.

If you miss 3 or more "active" [white] pills in a row (during the first 3 weeks):

  • If you are a day 1 starter: throw out the rest of the pill pack and start a new pack that same day.

  • If you are a Sunday starter: keep taking 1 pill every day until Sunday.On Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack of pills that same day.

  • You may not have your period this month but this is expected. However, if you miss your period 2 months in a row, call your doctor or healthcare provider because you might be pregnant.
  • You may become pregnant if you have sex in the 7 days after you miss pills. You must use another birth control method (such as condoms, foam, or sponge) as a back-up method for those 7 days.

A reminder for those on 28 day packs: If you forget any of the 2 [light-green] or 5 [yellow] pills in week 4:

  • throw away the pills you missed.

  • keep taking 1 pill each day until the pack is empty.

  • you do not need a back-up method.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking Mircette?

Do not smoke while taking Mircette, especially if you are older than 35 years of age.

Mircette 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.

Mircette side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Mircette: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Mircette and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;

  • sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;

  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;

  • a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches;

  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;

  • a breast lump; or

  • symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, tired feeling, mood changes).

Common Mircette side effects may include:

  • mild nausea (especially when you first start taking this medicine), vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps;

  • breast tenderness or swelling, nipple discharge;

  • 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; or

  • changes in your menstrual periods, decreased sex drive.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Mircette?

Some drugs can make Mircette less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Othera drugs may interact with ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel, including 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.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Mircette.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Mircette only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01. Revision Date: 2014-05-15, 9:15:22 AM.

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