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Previfem

Generic Name: norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol
Dosage Form: tablets

WARNING: CIGARETTE SMOKING AND SERIOUS CARDIOVASCULAR EVENTS

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular events from combination oral contraceptive (COC) use. This risk increases with age, particularly in women over 35 years of age, and with the number of cigarettes smoked. For this reason, COCs are contraindicated in women who are over 35 years of age and smoke [see Contraindications (4)].

Indications and Usage for Previfem

Oral Contraceptive

Previfem® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) and Tri-Previfem® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) are indicated for use by females of reproductive potential to prevent pregnancy [see Clinical Studies (14)].

Acne

Tri-Previfem® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) is indicated for the treatment of moderate acne vulgaris in females at least 15 years of age, who have no known contraindications to oral contraceptive therapy and have achieved menarche. Previfem® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) should be used for the treatment of acne only if the patient desires an oral contraceptive for birth control [see Clinical Studies (14)].

Previfem Dosage and Administration

How to Start Previfem® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol tablets) or Tri-Previfem® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol tablets)

Previfem® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) and Tri-Previfem® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) are dispensed in a blister pack tablet dispenser [see How Supplied/Storage and Handling (16)].

Previfem® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) and Tri-Previfem® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) may be started using either a Day 1 start or a Sunday start (see Table 1). For the first cycle of a Sunday Start regimen, an additional method of contraception should be used until after the first 7 consecutive days of administration.

How to Take Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®

Table 1: Instructions for Administration of Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®

Starting COCs in women not currently using hormonal contraception (Day 1 Start or Sunday Start)

Important:
Consider the possibility of ovulation and conception prior to initiation of this product.

Tablet Color:

  • Previfem® active tablets are blue (Day 1 to Day 21).
  • Tri-Previfem® active tablets are white (Day 1 to Day 7), light blue (Day 8 to Day 15) and blue (Day 16 to Day 21).
  • Previfem® and Tri-Previfem® both have light-green inactive tablets (Day 22 to Day 28). 

Day 1 Start:

  • Take first active tablet without regard to meals on the first day of menses.
  • Take subsequent active tablets once daily at the same time each day for a total of 21 days.
  • Take one light-green inactive tablet daily for 7 days and at the same time of day that active tablets were taken.
  • Begin each subsequent pack on the same day of the week as the first cycle pack (i.e., on the day after taking the last inactive tablet)

Sunday Start:

  • Take first active tablet without regard to meals on the first Sunday after the onset of menses. Due to the potential risk of becoming pregnant, use additional non-hormonal contraception (such as condoms and spermicide) for the first seven days of the patient’s first cycle pack of Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®.
  • Take subsequent active tablets once daily at the same time each day for a total of 21 days.
  • Take one light-green inactive tablet daily for the following 7 days and at the same time of day that active tablets were taken.
  • Begin each subsequent pack on the same day of the week as the first cycle pack (i.e., on the Sunday after taking the last inactive tablet) and additional non-hormonal contraceptive is not needed.
 
Switching to Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® from another oral contraceptive Start on the same day that a new pack of the previous oral contraceptive would have started.
Switching from another contraceptive method to Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® Start Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® :
  • Transdermal patch
  • On the day when next application would have been scheduled
  • Vaginal ring
  • On the day when next insertion would have been scheduled
  • Injection
  • On the day when next injection would have been scheduled
  • Intrauterine contraceptive
  • On the day of removal
  • If the IUD is not removed on first day of the patient’s menstrual cycle, additional non-hormonal contraceptive (such as condoms and spermicide) is needed for the first seven days of the first cycle pack.
  • Implant
  • On the day of removal
Complete instructions to facilitate patient counseling on proper tablet usage are located in the FDA-Approved Patient Labeling.

Starting Previfem® and Tri-Previfem® after Abortion or Miscarriage

First-trimester

  • After a first-trimester abortion or miscarriage, Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® may be started immediately. An additional method of contraception is not needed if Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® is started immediately.
  • If Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® is not started within 5 days after termination of the pregnancy, the patient should use additional non-hormonal contraception (such as condoms and spermicide) for the first seven days of her first cycle pack of Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®.

Second-trimester

  • Do not start until 4 weeks after a second-trimester abortion or miscarriage, due to the increased risk of thromboembolic disease. Start Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®, following the instructions in Table 1 for Day 1 or Sunday start, as desired. If using Sunday start, use additional non-hormonal contraception (such as condoms and spermicide) for the first seven days of the patient’s first cycle pack of Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® [see Contraindications (4), Warnings and Precautions (5.1), and FDA-Approved Patient Labeling].

Starting Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® after Childbirth

Previfem® and Tri-Previfem® come in a blister pack pill dispenser. Read the instructions below for using the blister pack pill dispenser.

The blister package consists of three parts, the calendar label, the sleeve and the blister pack containing 28 individually sealed pills. Note that the pills are arranged in four numbered rows of 7 pills, with the pre-printed days of the week printed above them.  Refer to the sample of the blister pack below:

Previfem® consists of 21 blue “active” birth control pills and 7 light green “reminder” pills.

Tri-Previfem® consists of 7 white “active” pills, 7 light-blue “active” pills, 7 blue “active” pills and 7 light green “reminder” pills.

There are two ways to start taking birth-control pills, Sunday Start or Day 1 Start.

How to use Blister Cards for the 28 tablets
1. If Sunday Start, the patient discards the stickers and takes the first active pill on the first Sunday after their menstrual period begins. Due to the potential risk of becoming pregnant, use additional non-hormonal contraception (such as condoms and spermicide) for the first seven days of the patient’s first cycle pack of Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®.

2. If Day 1 Start, the patient picks the Days of the Week Sticker that starts the first day of their period. When the patient has picked the right sticker, they need to throw away the others and place the sticker on the blister card over the preprinted days of the week and make sure it lines up with the pills.

3. The patient removes the first pill by pushing down on the pill and waits 24 hours to take their next pill. The patient continues to take one pill each day until all the pills have been taken.

4. The pill should be taken at the same time each day. 

5. After taking the last pill, the patient starts a new blister pack the very next day, no matter when their next period starts.

6. The patient should take the pills in each new package as before and start with the pill on the first row and take one pill each day, left to right, until the last pill has been taken.

Missed Tablets

Table 2: Instructions for Missed Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® Tablets
  • If one active tablet is missed in Weeks 1, 2, or 3 
Take the tablet as soon as possible. Continue taking one tablet a day until the pack is finished. 
  • If two active tablets are missed in Week 1 or Week 2
Take the two missed tablets as soon as possible and the next two active tablets the next day. Continue taking one tablet a day until the pack is finished. Additional non-hormonal contraception (such as condoms and spermicide) should be used as back-up if the patient has sex within 7 days after missing tablets.
  • If two active tablets are missed in the third week or three or more active tablets are missed in a row in Weeks 1, 2, or 3
Day 1 start:  Throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that same day.
Sunday start: Continue taking one tablet a day until Sunday, then throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that same day. Additional non-hormonal contraception (such as condoms and spermicide) should be used as back-up if the patient has sex within 7 days after missing tablets.

Advice in Case of Gastrointestinal Disturbances

In case of severe vomiting or diarrhea, absorption may not be complete and additional contraceptive measures should be taken. If vomiting or diarrhea occurs within 3 to 4 hours after taking an active tablet, handle this as a missed tablet [see FDA-Approved Patient Labeling].

Tri-Previfem® Use for Acne

The timing of initiation of dosing with Tri-Previfem® for acne should follow the guidelines for use of Tri-Previfem® as an oral contraceptive. Consult the DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION section (2.1) for instructions.

Dosage Forms and Strengths

Previfem®:

Previfem® (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) is packaged in cartons of 6 blister pack tablet dispensers containing 28 tablets as follows:

21 blue tablets containing 0.25 mg of norgestimate and 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol which are round, unscored, film-coated tablets debossed with “93” and “748” on each side.

7 light-green, round, film-coated tablets debossed with “93” and “743” containing inert ingredients.

Tri-Previfem®:

Tri-Previfem® (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) is packaged in cartons of 6 blister pack tablet dispensers, each blister pack tablet dispenser contains 28 tablets as follows:

Each white tablet contains 0.18 mg norgestimate and 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol.

Each light-blue tablet contains 0.215 mg of norgestimate and 0.035 mg ethinyl estradiol.

Each blue tablet contains 0.25 mg of, norgestimate and 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol.

Each light-green tablet contains inert ingredients.

The white tablets are round, unscored film-coated, imprinted with “93” on one side and “746” on the other side; the light-blue tablets are round, unscored film-coated, imprinted with “93” on one side and “747” on the other side; the blue tablets are round, unscored film-coated, imprinted with “93” on one side and “748” on the other side; the light-green tablets are round, film-coated, imprinted with “93” on one side and “743” on the other side.

Contraindications

Do not prescribe Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® to women who are known to have the following conditions:

Warnings and Precautions

Thromboembolic Disorders and Other Vascular Problems

  • Stop Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® if an arterial thrombotic event or venous thromboembolic (VTE) event occurs.
  • Stop Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® if there is unexplained loss of vision, proptosis, diplopia, papilledema, or retinal vascular lesions. Evaluate for retinal vein thrombosis immediately [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].
  • If feasible, stop Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® at least 4 weeks before and through 2 weeks after major surgery or other surgeries known to have an elevated risk of VTE as well as during and following prolonged immobilization.
  • Start Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® no earlier than 4 weeks after delivery, in women who are not breastfeeding. The risk of postpartum VTE decreases after the third postpartum week, whereas the risk of ovulation increases after the third postpartum week.
  • The use of COCs increases the risk of VTE. However, pregnancy increases the risk of VTE as much or more than the use of COCs. The risk of VTE in women using COCs is 3 to 9 cases per 10,000 woman-years. The risk of VTE is highest during the first year of use of COCs and when restarting hormonal contraception after a break of 4 weeks or longer. The risk of thromboembolic disease due to COCs gradually disappears after use is discontinued.
  • Use of COCs also increases the risk of arterial thromboses such as strokes and myocardial infarctions, especially in women with other risk factors for these events. COCs have been shown to increase both the relative and attributable risks of cerebrovascular events (thrombotic and hemorrhagic strokes). This risk increases with age, particularly in women over 35 years of age who smoke.
  • Use COCs with caution in women with cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Liver Disease

Impaired Liver Function
Do not use Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® in women with liver disease, such as acute viral hepatitis or severe (decompensated) cirrhosis of liver [see Contraindications (4)]. Acute or chronic disturbances of liver function may necessitate the discontinuation of COC use until markers of liver function return to normal and COC causation has been excluded. Discontinue Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® if jaundice develops.

Liver Tumors
Previfem® and Tri-Previfem® are contraindicated in women with benign and malignant liver tumors [see Contraindications (4)]. Hepatic adenomas are associated with COC use. An estimate of the attributable risk is 3.3 cases/100,000 COC users. Rupture of hepatic adenomas may cause death through intra-abdominal hemorrhage.

Studies have shown an increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma in long-term (>8 years) COC users. However, the risk of liver cancers in COC users is less than one case per million users.

High Blood Pressure

Previfem® and Tri-Previfem® are contraindicated in women with uncontrolled hypertension or hypertension with vascular disease [see Contraindications (4)]. For women with well-controlled hypertension, monitor blood pressure and stop Previfem® and Tri-Previfem® if blood pressure rises significantly.

An increase in blood pressure has been reported in women taking COCs, and this increase is more likely in older women with extended duration of use. The incidence of hypertension increases with increasing concentrations of progestin.

Gallbladder Disease

Studies suggest a small increased relative risk of developing gallbladder disease among COC users. Use of COCs may worsen existing gallbladder disease. A past history of COC-related cholestasis predicts an increased risk with subsequent COC use. Women with a history of pregnancy-related cholestasis may be at an increased risk for COC related cholestasis.

Carbohydrate and Lipid Metabolic Effects

Carefully monitor prediabetic and diabetic women who take Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®. COCs may decrease glucose tolerance.

Consider alternative contraception for women with uncontrolled dyslipidemia. A small proportion of women will have adverse lipid changes while on COCs.

Women with hypertriglyceridemia, or a family history thereof, may be at an increased risk of pancreatitis when using COCs.

Headache

If a woman taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® develops new headaches that are recurrent, persistent, or severe, evaluate the cause and discontinue Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® if indicated.

Consider discontinuation of Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® in the case of increased frequency or severity of migraine during COC use (which may be prodromal of a cerebrovascular event).

Bleeding Irregularities and Amenorrhea

Unscheduled Bleeding and Spotting

Unscheduled (breakthrough or intracyclic) bleeding and spotting sometimes occur in patients on COCs, especially during the first three months of use. If bleeding persists or occurs after previously regular cycles, check for causes such as pregnancy or malignancy. If pathology and pregnancy are excluded, bleeding irregularities may resolve over time or with a change to a different contraceptive product.

In clinical trials of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.25 mg/0.035 mg and norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg, the frequency and duration of breakthrough bleeding and/or spotting was assessed in 1,647 patients (21,275 evaluable cycles) and 4,826 patients (35,546 evaluable cycles), respectively. A total of 100 (7.5%) women discontinued norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.25 mg/0.035 mg and 231 (4.8%) women discontinued norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg, at least in part, due to bleeding or spotting. Based on data from the clinical trials, 14-34% of women using norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.25 mg/0.035 mg experienced unscheduled bleeding per cycle in the first year; for norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg, the respective numbers were 13-38%. The percent of women who experienced breakthrough/unscheduled bleeding tended to decrease over time.

Amenorrhea and Oligomenorrhea

Women who use Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® may experience amenorrhea. Some women may experience amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea after discontinuation of COCs, especially when such a condition was pre-existent.

If scheduled (withdrawal) bleeding does not occur, consider the possibility of pregnancy. If the patient has not adhered to the prescribed dosing schedule (missed one or more active tablets or started taking them on a day later than she should have), consider the possibility of pregnancy at the time of the first missed period and take appropriate diagnostic measures. If the patient has adhered to the prescribed regimen and misses two consecutive periods, rule out pregnancy.

COC Use Before or During Early Pregnancy

Extensive epidemiological studies have revealed no increased risk of birth defects in women who have used oral contraceptives prior to pregnancy. Studies also do not suggest a teratogenic effect, particularly in so far as cardiac anomalies and limb reduction defects are concerned, when oral contraceptives are taken inadvertently during early pregnancy. Discontinue Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® use if pregnancy is confirmed.

Administration of COCs to induce withdrawal bleeding should not be used as a test for pregnancy [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Depression

Carefully observe women with a history of depression and discontinue Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® if depression recurs to a serious degree.

Carcinoma of Breast and Cervix

  • Previfem® and Tri-Previfem® are contraindicated in women who currently have or have had breast cancer because breast cancer may be hormonally sensitive [see Contraindications (4)].
    There is substantial evidence that COCs do not increase the incidence of breast cancer. Although some past studies have suggested that COCs might increase the incidence of breast cancer, more recent studies have not confirmed such findings.
  • Some studies suggest that COC use has been associated with an increase in the risk of cervical cancer or intraepithelial neoplasia. However, there continues to be controversy about the extent to which such findings may be due to differences in sexual behavior and other factors.

Effect on Binding Globulins

The estrogen component of COCs may raise the serum concentrations of thyroxine-binding globulin, sex hormone-binding globulin, and cortisol-binding globulin. The dose of replacement thyroid hormone or cortisol therapy may need to be increased.

Monitoring

A woman who is taking COCs should have a yearly visit with her healthcare provider for a blood pressure check and for other indicated healthcare.

Hereditary Angioedema

In women with hereditary angioedema, exogenous estrogens may induce or exacerbate symptoms of angioedema.

Chloasma

Chloasma may occasionally occur, especially in women with a history of chloasma gravidarum. Women with a tendency to chloasma should avoid exposure to the sun or ultraviolet radiation while taking Tri-Previfem® or Previfem®.

Adverse Reactions

The following serious adverse reactions with the use of COCs are discussed elsewhere in labeling:

Adverse reactions commonly reported by COC users are:

  • Irregular uterine bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headache

Clinical Trial Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets 0.25 mg/0.035 mg:

The safety of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.25 mg/0.035 mg was evaluated in 1,647 healthy women of child-bearing potential who participated in 3 clinical trials and received at least 1 dose of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.25 mg/0.035 mg for contraception. Two trials were randomized active-controlled trials and 1 was an uncontrolled open-label trial. In all 3 trials, subjects were followed for up to 24 cycles.

Common Adverse Reactions (≥ 2% of subjects): The most common adverse reactions reported by at least 2% of the 1,647 women were the following in order of decreasing incidence: headache/migraine (32.9%), abdominal/gastrointestinal pain (7.8%), vaginal infection (8.4%), genital discharge (6.8%), breast issues (including breast pain, discharge, and enlargement) (6.3%), mood disorders (including depression and mood altered) (5.0%), flatulence (3.2%), nervousness (2.9%), and rash (2.6%).

Adverse Reactions Leading to Study Discontinuation: Over the three trials, between 11 to 21% of subjects discontinued the trial due to an adverse reaction. The most common adverse reactions (≥1%) leading to discontinuation were: metrorrhagia (6.9%), nausea/vomiting (5.0%), headache (4.1%), mood disorders (including depression and mood altered) (2.4%), premenstrual syndrome (1.7%), hypertension (1.4%), breast pain (1.4%), nervousness (1.3%), amenorrhea (1.1%), dysmenorrhea (1.1%), weight increased (1.1%), and flatulence (1.1%).

Serious Adverse Reactions: breast cancer (1 subject), mood disorders including depression, irritability, and mood swings (1 subject), myocardial infarction (1 subject), and venous thromboembolic events including pulmonary embolism (1 subject) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) (1 subject).

Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg:

The safety of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg was evaluated in 4,826 healthy women of child-bearing potential who participated in 6 clinical trials and received at least 1 dose of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg for contraception. Two trials were randomized active-controlled trials and 4 were uncontrolled open-label trials. In 3 trials, subjects were followed for up to 24 cycles; in 2 trials, subjects were followed for up to 12 cycles; and in 1 trial, subjects were followed for up to 6 cycles.

Common Adverse Reactions (≥ 2% of subjects): The most common adverse reactions reported by at least 2% of the 4,826 women were the following in order of decreasing incidence: headache/migraine (33.6%), breast issues (including breast pain, enlargement, and discharge) (8.0%), vaginal infection (7.1%), abdominal/gastrointestinal pain (5.6%), mood disorders (including mood alteration and depression) (3.8%), genital discharge (3.2%), and changes in weight (including weight fluctuation, increased or decreased) (2.5%).

Adverse Reactions Leading to Study Discontinuation: Over the trials, between 9 to 27% of subjects discontinued the trial due to an adverse reaction. The most common adverse reactions (≥1%) leading to discontinuation were: metrorrhagia (4.3%), nausea/vomiting (2.8%), headache/migraine (2.4%), mood disorders (including depression and mood altered) (1.1%), and weight increased (1.1%).

Serious Adverse Reactions: breast cancer (1 subject), carcinoma of the cervix in situ (1 subject), hypertension (1 subject), and migraine (2 subjects).

Postmarketing Experience

The following additional adverse drug reactions have been reported from worldwide postmarketing experience with norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Infections and Infestations: Urinary tract infection;

Neoplasms Benign, Malignant and Unspecified (Incl. Cysts and Polyps): Breast cancer, benign breast neoplasm, hepatic adenoma, focal nodular hyperplasia, breast cyst;

Immune System Disorders: Hypersensitivity; Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders: Dyslipidemia; Psychiatric Disorders: Anxiety, insomnia;

Nervous System Disorders: Syncope, convulsion, paresthesia, dizziness; Eye Disorders: Visual impairment, dry eye, contact lens intolerance; Ear and Labyrinth Disorders: Vertigo;

Cardiac Disorders: Tachycardia, palpitations;

Vascular Events: Deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, retinal vascular thrombosis, hot flush;

Arterial Events: Arterial thromboembolism, myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident;

Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal Disorders: Dyspnea;

Gastrointestinal Disorders: Pancreatitis, abdominal distension, diarrhea, constipation;

Hepatobiliary Disorders: Hepatitis;

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders: Angioedema, erythema nodosum, hirsutism, night sweats, hyperhidrosis, photosensitivity reaction, urticaria, pruritus, acne;

Musculoskeletal, Connective Tissue, and Bone Disorders: Muscle spasms, pain in extremity, myalgia, back pain;

Reproductive System and Breast Disorders: Ovarian cyst, suppressed lactation, vulvovaginal dryness;

General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions: Chest pain, asthenic conditions.

Drug Interactions

Consult the labeling of concurrently used drugs to obtain further information about interactions with hormonal contraceptives or the potential for enzyme alterations.

No drug-drug interaction studies were conducted with norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets.

Effects of Other Drugs on Combined Oral Contraceptives

Substances decreasing the plasma concentrations of COCs:
Drugs or herbal products that induce certain enzymes, including cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), may decrease the plasma concentrations of COCs and potentially diminish the effectiveness of COCs or increase breakthrough bleeding. Some drugs or herbal products that may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives include phenytoin, barbiturates, carbamazepine, bosentan, felbamate, griseofulvin, oxcarbazepine, rifampicin, topiramate, rifabutin, rufinamide, aprepitant, and products containing St. John’s wort. Interactions between hormonal contraceptives and other drugs may lead to breakthrough bleeding and/or contraceptive failure. Counsel women to use an alternative method of contraception or a back-up method when enzyme inducers are used with COCs, and to continue back-up contraception for 28 days after discontinuing the enzyme inducer to ensure contraceptive reliability.

Colesevelam: Colesevelam, a bile acid sequestrant, given together with a COC, has been shown to significantly decrease the AUC of EE. The drug interaction between the contraceptive and colesevelam was decreased when the two drug products were given 4 hours apart.

Substances increasing the plasma concentrations of COCs:
Co-administration of atorvastatin or rosuvastatin and certain COCs containing ethinyl estradiol (EE) increase AUC values for EE by approximately 20-25%. Ascorbic acid and acetaminophen may increase plasma EE concentrations, possibly by inhibition of conjugation. CYP3A4 inhibitors such as itraconazole, voriconazole, fluconazole, grapefruit juice, or ketoconazole may increase plasma hormone concentrations.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/Hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitors and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors:
Significant changes (increase or decrease) in the plasma concentrations of estrogen and/or progestin have been noted in some cases of co-administration with HIV protease inhibitors (decrease [e.g., nelfinavir, ritonavir, darunavir/ritonavir, (fos)amprenavir/ritonavir, lopinavir/ritonavir, and tipranavir/ritonavir] or increase [e.g., indinavir and atazanavir/ritonavir])/HCV protease inhibitors (decrease [e.g., boceprevir and telaprevir]) or with non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (decrease [e.g., nevirapine] or increase [e.g., etravirine]).

Effects of Combined Oral Contraceptives on Other Drugs

  • COCs containing EE may inhibit the metabolism of other compounds (e.g., cyclosporine, prednisolone, theophylline, tizanidine, and voriconazole) and increase their plasma concentrations.
  • COCs have been shown to decrease plasma concentrations of acetaminophen, clofibric acid, morphine, salicylic acid, temazepam and lamotrigine. Significant decrease in plasma concentration of lamotrigine has been shown, likely due to induction of lamotrigine glucuronidation. This may reduce seizure control; therefore, dosage adjustments of lamotrigine may be necessary.

    Women on thyroid hormone replacement therapy may need increased doses of thyroid hormone because the serum concentration of thyroid-binding globulin increases with use of COCs.

Interference with Laboratory Tests

The use of contraceptive steroids may influence the results of certain laboratory tests, such as coagulation factors, lipids, glucose tolerance, and binding proteins.

USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

Pregnancy

There is little or no increased risk of birth defects in women who inadvertently use COCs during early pregnancy. Epidemiologic studies and meta-analyses have not found an increased risk of genital or non-genital birth defects (including cardiac anomalies and limb reduction defects) following exposure to low dose COCs prior to conception or during early pregnancy.

Do not administer COCs to induce withdrawal bleeding as a test for pregnancy. Do not use COCs during pregnancy to treat threatened or habitual abortion.

Nursing Mothers

Advise the nursing mother to use other forms of contraception, when possible, until she has weaned her child. COCs can reduce milk production in breastfeeding mothers. This is less likely to occur once breastfeeding is well-established; however, it can occur at any time in some women. Small amounts of oral contraceptive steroids and/or metabolites are present in breast milk.

Pediatric Use

Safety and efficacy of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets have been established in women of reproductive age. Efficacy is expected to be the same for post­-pubertal adolescents under the age of 18 and for users 18 years and older. Use of this product before menarche is not indicated.

There was no significant difference between norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg and placebo in mean change in total lumbar spine (L1-L4) and total hip bone mineral density between baseline and Cycle 13 in 123 adolescent females with anorexia nervosa in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, one-year treatment duration clinical trial for the Intent To Treat (ITT) population.

Geriatric Use

Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets have not been studied in postmenopausal women and are not indicated in this population.

Hepatic Impairment

The pharmacokinetics of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets has not been studied in subjects with hepatic impairment. However, steroid hormones may be poorly metabolized in patients with hepatic impairment. Acute or chronic disturbances of liver function may necessitate the discontinuation of COC use until markers of liver function return to normal and COC causation has been excluded [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Renal Impairment

The pharmacokinetics of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets have not been studied in women with renal impairment.

Overdosage

There have been no reports of serious ill effects from overdosage of oral contraceptives, including ingestion by children. Overdosage may cause withdrawal bleeding in females and nausea.

Previfem Description

Each of the following products is a combination oral contraceptive containing the progestational compound norgestimate and the estrogenic compound ethinyl estradiol. Norgestimate is designated as (18,19-Dinor-17-pregn-4-en-20-yn-3-one,17-(acetyloxy)-13-ethyl-, oxime,(17α)-(+)-) and ethinyl estradiol is designated as (19-nor-17α-pregna,1,3,5(10)-trien-20-yne-3,17-diol).

Previfem®

Each active blue tablet contains 0.25 mg of norgestimate and 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol. Inactive ingredients include FD&C Blue No. 1 HT Aluminum Lake, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, and pregelatinized starch.

Each light-green placebo tablet contains only inert ingredients, as follows: FD&C Blue No. 2, hypromellose, iron oxide yellow, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, and pregelatinized starch.

Tri-Previfem®

Each active white tablet contains 0.18 mg of norgestimate and 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol. Inactive ingredients include hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, and pregelatinized starch.

Each active light-blue tablet contains 0.215 mg of norgestimate and 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol. Inactive ingredients include FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, and pregelatinized starch.

Each active blue tablet contains 0.25 mg of norgestimate and 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol. Inactive ingredients include FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, and pregelatinized starch.

Each light-green placebo tablet contains only inert ingredients, as follows: FD&C Blue No. 2, hypromellose, iron oxide yellow, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, and pregelatinized starch.

Previfem - Clinical Pharmacology

Mechanism of Action

  • Oral Contraception
    COCs lower the risk of becoming pregnant primarily by suppressing ovulation. Other possible mechanisms may include cervical mucus changes that inhibit sperm penetration and endometrial changes that reduce the likelihood of implantation.
  • Acne
    Acne is a skin condition with a multifactorial etiology, including androgen stimulation of sebum production. While the combination of ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate increases sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and decreases free testosterone, the relationship between these changes and a decrease in the severity of facial acne in otherwise healthy women with this skin condition has not been established.

Pharmacodynamics

No specific pharmacodynamic studies were conducted with norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets.

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption

Norgestimate (NGM) and EE are rapidly absorbed following oral administration. NGM is rapidly and completely metabolized by first pass (intestinal and/or hepatic) mechanisms to norelgestromin (NGMN) and norgestrel (NG), which are the major active metabolites of norgestimate.

Peak serum concentrations of NGMN and EE are generally reached by 2 hours after administration of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets. Accumulation following multiple dosing of the 250 mcg NGM / 35 mcg EE dose is approximately 2-fold for NGMN and EE compared with single dose administration. The pharmacokinetics of NGMN is dose-proportional following NGM doses of 180 mcg to 250 mcg. Steady-state concentration of EE is achieved by Day 7 of each dosing cycle. Steady-state concentrations of NGMN and NG are achieved by Day 21. Non-linear accumulation (approximately 8 fold) of NG is observed as a result of high-affinity binding to SHBG, which limits its biological activity (Table 3).

Table 3: Summary of NGMN, NG and EE pharmacokinetic parameters.
 Mean (SD) Pharmacokinetic Parameters of Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg During a Three Cycle Study
 Analyte  Cycle Day  Cmax  tmax (h)  AUC0-24h  t1/2 (h) 
 NGMN  3  7  1.80 (0.46)  1.42 (0.73)  15.0 (3.88)  NC
     14  2.12 (0.56)  1.21 (0.26)  16.1 (4.97)  NC
     21  2.66 (0.47)  1.29 (0.26)  21.4 (3.46)  22.3 (6.54)
 NG  3  7  1.94 (0.82)  3.15 (4.05)  34.8 (16.5)  NC
     14  3.00 (1.04)  2.21 (2.03)  55.2 (23.5)  NC
     21  3.66 (1.15)  2.58 (2.97)  69.3 (23.8)  40.2 (15.4)
 EE  3  7  124 (39.5)  1.27 (0.26)  1130 (420)  NC
     14  128 (38.4)  1.32 (0.25)  1130 (324)  NC
     21  126 (34.7)  1.31 (0.56)  1090 (359)  15.9 (4.39)
 Mean (SD) Pharmacokinetic Parameters of Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets 0.25 mg/0.035 mg During a Three Cycle Study
 Analyte  Cycle  Day  Cmax  tmax (h)  AUC0-24h  t1/2 (h)
 NGMN  1  1  1.78 (0.397)  1.19 (0.250)  9.90 (3.25)  18.4 (5.91)
   3  21  2.19 (0.655)  1.43 (0.680)  18.1 (5.53)  24.9 (9.04)
 NG  1  1  0.649 (0.49)  1.42 (0.69)  6.22 (2.46)  37.8 (14.0)
   3  21  2.65 (1.11)  1.67 (1.32)  48.2 (20.5)  45.0 (20.4)
 EE  1  1  92.2 (24.5)  1.2 (0.26)  629 (138)  10.1 (1.90)
   3  21  147 (41.5)  1.13 (0.23)  1210 (294)  15.0 (2.36)
Cmax = peak serum concentration, tmax = time to reach peak serum concentration, AUC0-24h = area under serum concentration vs time curve from 0 to 24 hours, t1/2 = elimination half-life, NC = not calculated.
NGMN and NG: Cmax = ng/mL, AUC0-24h = h·ng/mL
EE: Cmax = pg/mL, AUC0-24h = h·pg/mL

Food Effect

The effect of food on the pharmacokinetics of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets has not been studied.

Distribution

NGMN and NG are highly bound (>97%) to serum proteins. NGMN is bound to albumin and not to SHBG, while NG is bound primarily to SHBG. EE is extensively bound (>97%) to serum albumin and induces an increase in the serum concentrations of SHBG.

Metabolism

NGM is extensively metabolized by first-pass mechanisms in the gastrointestinal tract and/or liver. NGM’s primary active metabolite is NGMN. Subsequent hepatic metabolism of NGMN occurs and metabolites include NG, which is also active, and various hydroxylated and conjugated metabolites. Although NGMN and its metabolites inhibit a variety of P450 enzymes in human liver microsomes, under the recommended dosing regimen, the in vivo concentrations of NGMN and its metabolites, even at the peak serum levels, are relatively low compared to the inhibitory constant (Ki). EE is also metabolized to various hydroxylated products and their glucuronide and sulfate conjugates.

Excretion

The metabolites of NGMN and EE are eliminated by renal and fecal pathways. Following administration of 14C-norgestimate, 47% (45-49%) and 37% (16-49%) of the administered radioactivity was eliminated in the urine and feces, respectively. Unchanged NGM was not detected in the urine. In addition to 17-deacetyl norgestimate, a number of metabolites of NGM have been identified in human urine following administration of radiolabeled NGM. These include 18, 19-Dinor-17-pregn-4-en-20-yn-3-one,17-hydroxy-13-ethyl,(17α)-(-);18,19-Dinor-5β­ 17-pregnan-20-yn,3α,17β-dihydroxy-13-ethyl,(17α), various hydroxylated metabolites and conjugates of these metabolites.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

[See Warnings and Precautions (5.25.10) and Use in Specific Populations (8.1).]

Clinical Studies

Contraception

In three US clinical trials with norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.25 mg/0.035 mg, 1,651 women aged 18 to 38 years were studied for up to 24 cycles, proving a total of 24,272 cycles of exposure. The racial demographic was about 73-86% Caucasian, 8-13% African-American, 6-14% Hispanic with the remainder Asian or Other (≤1%). There were no exclusions on the basis of weight; the weight range for women treated was 82-303 lbs, with a mean weight of about 135 lbs. The pregnancy rate was approximately 1 pregnancy per 100 women-years.

In four clinical trials with norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg, 4,756 women aged 15 to 41 years were studied for 24 cycles, providing a total of 45,244 cycles of exposure. The racial demographic was about 87-90% Caucasian, 6-10% African-American, with the remainder Asian (≤1%) or Other (2-5%). There were no exclusions on the basis of weight; the weight range for women treated was 80-310 lbs, with a mean weight of about 132 lbs. The pregnancy rate was approximately 1 pregnancy per 100 women-years.

Acne

Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg was evaluated for the treatment of acne vulgaris in two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, six- (28 day) cycle studies. Two hundred twenty- one patients received norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg and 234 patients received placebo. Mean age at enrollment for both groups was 28 years. At the end of 6 months, the mean total lesion count changed from 55 to 31 (42% reduction) in patients treated with norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg and from 54 to 38 (27% reduction) in patients similarly treated with placebo. Table 4 summarizes the changes in lesion count for each type of lesion. Based on the investigator’s global assessment conducted at the final visit, patients treated with norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg showed a statistically significant improvement in total lesions compared to those treated with placebo.

Table 4: Acne Vulgaris Indication. Combined Results: Two Multicenter, Placebo-Controlled Trials. Observed Means at Six Months (LOCF)1 and at Baseline. Intent-to-Treat Population.
  norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets, 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg (N=221)  Placebo (N=234) Difference in Counts between norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets, 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg and Placebo at 6 Months
# of Lesions   Counts

%
Reduction

 Counts % Reduction   
INFLAMMATORY LESIONS          
Baseline Mean  19    19    
Sixth Month Mean  10  48%  13  30%  3 (95% CI: -1.2, 5.1)
NON-INFLAMMATORY LESIONS­          
Baseline Mean  36    35    
Sixth Month Mean  22  34%  25  21%  3 (95% CI: -0.2, 7.8)
TOTAL LESIONS          
Baseline Mean  55    54    
Sixth Month Mean  31  42%  38  27%  7 (95% CI: 2.0, 11.9)
1LOCF: Last Observation Carried Forward

How Supplied/Storage and Handling

How Supplied

Previfem®
Previfem® (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) is packaged in cartons of 6 blister pack tablet dispensers containing 28 tablets as follows: 21 blue tablets containing 0.25 mg of norgestimate and 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol which are round, unscored, film-coated tablets debossed with “93” and “748” on each side and 7 light-green, round, film-coated tablets debossed with “93” and “743” containing inert ingredients.

Blister pack tablet dispenser NDC 0603-7642-01.

Boxes of 6 blister pack tablet dispensers NDC 0603-7642-17.

Tri-Previfem®
Tri-Previfem® (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) is packaged in cartons of 6 blister pack tablet dispensers, each blister pack tablet dispenser contains 28 tablets as follows:

Each white tablet contains 0.18 mg of norgestimate and 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol. Each light-blue tablet contains 0.215 mg of norgestimate and 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol. Each blue tablet contains 0.25 mg of norgestimate and 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol. Each light-green tablet contains inert ingredients.

The white tablets are round, unscored film-coated, imprinted with “93” on one side and “746” on the other side; the light-blue tablets are round, unscored film-coated, imprinted with “93” on one side and “747” on the other side; the blue tablets are round, unscored film-coated, imprinted with “93” on one side and “748” on the other side; the light-green tablets are round, film-coated, imprinted with “93” on one side and “743” on the other side.

Blister pack tablet dispenser NDC 0603-7663-01.

Boxes of 6 blister pack tablet dispensers NDC 0603-7663-17.

Keep out of reach of children.

Storage Conditions

  • Store at 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F) [See USP Controlled Room Temperature].
  • Protect from light.

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (Patient Information and Instructions for Use).

Counsel patients about the following information:

  • Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular events from COC use, and that women who are over 35 years old and smoke should not use COCs [see Boxed Warning].
  • Increased risk of VTE compared to non-users of COCs is greatest after initially starting a COC or restarting (following a 4-week or greater pill-free interval) the same or a different COC [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
  • Previfem® and Tri-Previfem® do not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections.
  • Previfem® and Tri-Previfem® are not to be used during pregnancy; if pregnancy occurs during use of Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® instruct the patient to stop further use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].
  • Take one tablet daily by mouth at the same time every day. Instruct patients what to do in the event tablets are missed [see Dosage and Administration (2.2)].
  • Use a back-up or alternative method of contraception when enzyme inducers are used with Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® [see Drug Interactions (7.1)].
  • COCs may reduce breast milk production; this is less likely to occur if breastfeeding is well established [see Use in Specific Populations (8.3)].
  • Women who start COCs postpartum, and who have not yet had a period, should use an additional method of contraception until they have taken an active tablet for 7 consecutive days [see Dosage and Administration (2.2)].
  • Amenorrhea may occur. Consider pregnancy in the event of amenorrhea at the time of the first missed period. Rule out pregnancy in the event of amenorrhea in two or more consecutive cycles [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].

Manufactured In Canada By:
Patheon Inc.
Ontario, Canada L5N 7K9

Manufactured For:
QUALITEST PHARMACEUTICALS USA
Huntsville, AL 35811

Revised 7/2015

Patient Information

Previfem®
TRI-Previfem®
(norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets, USP)
(nor-JES-ti-mate, ETH-i-nil es-tra-DYE-ol)

What is the most important information I should know about Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®?

Do not use Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® if you smoke cigarettes and are over 35 years old. Smoking increases your risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from hormonal birth control pills, including death from heart attack, blood clots or stroke. This risk increases with age and the number of cigarettes you smoke.

What is Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®?

Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® is a birth control pill (oral contraceptive) used by women to prevent pregnancy.

Tri-Previfem® is also used to treat moderate acne vulgaris in females 15 years of age and older, who have no known history of allergies or problems taking birth control pills, and have started their menstrual cycle (“period”). Tri-Previfem® should only be used to treat acne in women who want to take birth control pills to prevent pregnancy.

How does Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® work for contraception?

Your chance of getting pregnant depends on how well you follow the directions for taking your birth control pills. The better you follow the directions, the less chance you have of getting pregnant.

Based on the results of clinical studies, about 1 out of 100 women may get pregnant during the first year they use Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®.

The following chart shows the chance of getting pregnant for women who use different methods of birth control. Each box on the chart contains a list of birth control methods that are similar in effectiveness. The most effective methods are at the top of the chart. The box on the bottom of the chart shows the chance of getting pregnant for women who do not use birth control and are trying to get pregnant.

Who should not take Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®? Do not take Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® if you:

  • smoke and are over 35 years of age
  • had blood clots in your arms, legs, lungs, or eyes
  • had a problem with your blood that makes it clot more than normal
  • have certain heart valve problems or irregular heart beat that increases your risk of having blood clots
  • had a stroke
  • had a heart attack
  • have high blood pressure that cannot be controlled by medicine
  • have diabetes with kidney, eye, nerve, or blood vessel damage
  • have certain kinds of severe migraine headaches with aura, numbness, weakness or changes in vision, or any migraine headaches if you are over 35 years of age
  • have liver problems, including liver tumors
  • have any unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • are pregnant
  • had breast cancer or any cancer that is sensitive to female hormones

If any of these conditions happen while you are taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®, stop taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® right away and talk to your healthcare provider. Use non-hormonal contraception when you stop taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® ?

Tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • are pregnant or think you may be pregnant
  • are depressed now or have been depressed in the past
  • had yellowing of your skin or eyes (jaundice) caused by pregnancy (cholestasis of pregnancy)
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® may decrease the amount of breast milk you make. A small amount of the hormones in Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® may pass into your breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best birth control method for you while breastfeeding.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how well Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® works.

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

How should I take Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®? Read the Instructions for Use at the end of this Patient Information.

What are the possible serious side effects of Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®?

  • Like pregnancy, Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® may cause serious side effects, including blood clots in your lungs, heart attack, or a stroke that may lead to death. Some other examples of serious blood clots include blood clots in the legs or eyes.

Serious blood clots can happen especially if you smoke, are obese, or are older than 35 years of age. Serious blood clots are more likely to happen when you:

  • first start taking birth control pills
  • restart the same or different birth control pills after not using them for a month or more

Call your healthcare provider or go to a hospital emergency room right away if you have:

◦  leg pain that will not go away                    ◦  a sudden, severe headache unlike your usual headaches

◦  sudden severe shortness of breath           ◦  weakness or numbness in your arm or leg

◦  sudden change in vision or blindness       ◦  trouble speaking

◦  chest pain

Other serious side effects include:

  • liver problems, including:
    • rare liver tumors
    • jaundice (cholestasis), especially if you previously had cholestasis of pregnancy. Call your healthcare provider if you have yellowing of your skin or eyes.
  • high blood pressure. You should see your healthcare provider for a yearly check of your blood pressure.
  • gallbladder problems
  • changes in the sugar and fat (cholesterol and triglycerides) levels in your blood
  • new or worsening headaches including migraine headaches
  • irregular or unusual vaginal bleeding and spotting between your menstrual periods, especially during the first 3 months of taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®.
  • depression
  • possible cancer in your breast and cervix
  • swelling of your skin especially around your mouth, eyes, and in your throat (angioedema). Call your healthcare provider if you have a swollen face, lips, mouth tongue or throat, which may lead to difficulty swallowing or breathing. Your chance of having angioedema is higher if you have a history of angioedema.
  • dark patches of skin around your forehead, nose, cheeks and around your mouth, especially during pregnancy (chloasma). Women who tend to get chloasma should avoid spending a long time in sunlight, tanning booths, and under sun lamps while taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®. Use sunscreen if you have to be in the sunlight.

What are the most common side effects of Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®?

  • headache (migraine)
  • breast pain or tenderness, enlargement or discharge
  • stomach pain, discomfort, and gas
  • vaginal infections and discharge
  • mood changes, including depression
  • nervousness
  • changes in weight
  • skin rash

These are not all the possible side effects of Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What else should I know about taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®?

  • If you are scheduled for any lab tests, tell your healthcare provider you are taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®. Certain blood tests may be affected by Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®.
  • Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections.

How should I store Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®?

  • Store Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Keep Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® and all medicines out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from light.

General information about the safe and effective use of Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®.

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® for a condition for which it was not prescribed.  Do not give Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have.

This Patient Information summarizes the most important information about Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for information about Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® that is written for health professionals.

For more information, call Qualitest Pharmaceuticals at 1-800-444-4011.

Do birth control pills cause cancer?

Birth control pills do not seem to cause breast cancer. However, if you have breast cancer now, or have had it in the past, do not use birth control pills because some breast cancers are sensitive to hormones.

Women who use birth control pills may have a slightly higher chance of getting cervical cancer. However, this may be due to other reasons such as having more sexual partners.

What if I want to become pregnant?

You may stop taking the pill whenever you wish. Consider a visit with your healthcare provider for a pre-pregnancy checkup before you stop taking the pill.

What should I know about my period when taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®?

Your periods may be lighter and shorter than usual. Some women may miss a period. Irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting may happen while you are taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®, especially during the first few months of use. This usually is not a serious problem.  It is important to continue taking your pills on a regular schedule to prevent a pregnancy.

What are the ingredients in Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®? 

Previfem®

Active ingredients: Each blue tablet contains norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol.

Inactive ingredients:

Blue tablets: FD&C Blue No. 1 HT Aluminum Lake, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol and pregelatinized starch.

Light-green tablets: FD&C Blue No. 2, hypromellose, iron oxide yellow, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol and pregelatinized starch.

Tri-Previfem®

Active ingredients: Each white, light blue and blue tablet contains norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol.

Inactive ingredients:

White tablets: hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, and pregelatinized starch.

Light-blue tablet: FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol and pregelatinized starch.

Blue tablet: FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol and pregelatinized starch.

Light-green tablet: FD&C Blue No. 2, hypromellose, iron oxide yellow, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol and pregelatinized starch.

Instructions For Use

Previfem®
Tri- Previfem®
(norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets, USP)
(nor-JES-ti-mate, ETH-i-nil es-tra-DYE-ol)

Important Information about taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®

  • Take 1 pill every day at the same time. Take the pills in the order directed on your blister pack pill dispenser.
  • Do not skip your pills, even if you do not have sex often. If you miss pills (including starting the pack late) you could get pregnant. The more pills you miss, the more likely you are to get pregnant.
  • If you have trouble remembering to take Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®, talk to your healthcare provider. When you first start taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®, spotting or light bleeding in between your periods may occur. Contact your healthcare provider if this does not go away after a few months.
  • You may feel sick to your stomach (nauseous), especially during the first few months of taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®. If you feel sick to your stomach, do not stop taking the pill. The problem will usually go away. If your nausea does not go away, call your healthcare provider.
  • Missing pills can also cause spotting or light bleeding, even when you take the missed pills later. On the days you take 2 pills to make up for missed pills (see What should I do if I miss any Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® pills? below), you could also feel a little sick to your stomach.
  • It is not uncommon to miss a period. However, if you miss a period and have not taken Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® according to directions, or miss 2 periods in a row, or feel like you may be pregnant, call your healthcare provider. If you have a positive pregnancy test, you should stop taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®.
  • If you have vomiting or diarrhea within 3-4 hours of taking your pill, take another pill of the same color from your extra blister pack pill dispenser. If you do not have an extra blister pack pill dispenser, take the next pill in your blister pack pill dispenser. Continue taking all your remaining pills in order. Start the first pill of your next blister pack pill dispenser the day after finishing your current blister pack pill dispenser. This will be 1 day earlier than originally scheduled. Continue on your new schedule.
  • If you have vomiting or diarrhea for more than 1 day, your birth control pills may not work as well. Use an additional birth control method, like condoms and a spermicide, until you check with your healthcare provider.
  • Stop taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® at least 4 weeks before you have major surgery and do not restart after the surgery without asking your healthcare provider. Be sure to use other forms of contraception (like condoms and spermicide) during this time period.

Before you start taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®:

  • Decide what time of day you want to take your pill. It is important to take it at the same time every day and in the order as directed on your blister pack pill dispenser.
  • Have backup contraception (condoms and spermicide) available and if possible, an extra full blister pack of pills as needed.

When should I start taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®?

If you start taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® and you have not used a hormonal birth control method before:

  • There are 2 ways to start taking your birth control pills. You can either start on a Sunday (Sunday Start) or on the first day (Day 1) of your natural menstrual period (Day 1 Start). Your healthcare provider should tell you when to start taking your birth control pill.
  • If you use the Sunday Start, use non-hormonal back-up contraception such as condoms and spermicide for the first 7 days that you take Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®. You do not need back-up contraception if you use the Day 1 Start.

If you start taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® and you are switching from another birth control pill:

  • Start your new Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® pack on the same day that you would start the next pack of your previous birth control method.
  • Do not continue taking the pills from your previous birth control pack.

If you start taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® and previously used a vaginal ring or transdermal patch:

  • Start using Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® on the day you would have reapplied the next ring or patch.

If you start taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® and you are switching from a progestin-only method such as an implant or injection:

  • Start taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® on the day of removal of your implant or on the day when you would have had your next injection.

If you start taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® and you are switching from an intrauterine device or system (IUD or IUS):

  • Start taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® on the day of removal of your IUD or IUS.
  • You do not need back-up contraception if your IUD or IUS is removed on the first day (Day 1) of your period.  If your IUD or IUS is removed on any other day, use non-hormonal back-up contraception such as condoms and spermicide for the first 7 days that you take Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®.

Keep a calendar to track your period:

If this is the first time you are taking birth control pills, read, “When should I start taking Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®?” above. Follow these instructions for either a Sunday Start or a Day 1 Start.

Sunday Start:

You will use a Sunday Start if your healthcare provider told you to take your first pill on a Sunday.

  • Take pill 1 on the Sunday after your period starts.
  • If your period starts on a Sunday, take the first pill that day and refer to Day 1 Start instructions below.
  • Take 1 pill every day in the order on the blister pack pill dispenser at the same time each day for 28 days.
  • After taking the last pill on Day 28 from the blister pack pill dispenser, start taking the first pill from a new blister pack, on the same day of the week as the first blister pack (Sunday). Take the first pill in the new blister pack whether or not you are having your period.
  • Use non-hormonal back-up contraception such as condoms and spermicide for the first 7 days of the first cycle that you take Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®.

Day 1 Start:

You will use a Day 1 Start if your doctor told you to take your first pill (Day 1) on the first day of your period.

  • Take 1 pill every day in the order of the blister pack pill dispenser, at the same time each day, for 28 days.
  • After taking the last pill on Day 28 from the blister pack pill dispenser, start taking the first pill from a new blister pack, on the same day of the week as the first blister pack. Take the first pill in the new blister pack whether or not you are having your period.

Previfem® and Tri-Previfem® come in a blister pack pill dispenser. Read the instructions below for using your blister pack pill dispenser.

Your blister package consists of three parts, the calendar label, the sleeve and the blister pack containing 28 individually sealed pills. Note that the pills are arranged in four numbered rows of 7 pills, with the pre-printed days of the week printed above them.  Refer to the sample of the blister pack below:

Previfem® consists of 21 blue “active” birth control pills and 7 light green “reminder” pills.

Tri-Previfem® consists of 7 white “active” pills, 7 light-blue “active” pills, 7 blue “active” pills and 7 light green “reminder” pills.

There are two ways to start taking birth-control pills, Sunday Start or Day 1 Start. Your healthcare professional will tell you which to use.

How to use Blister Cards for the 28 tablets

1. If Sunday Start, discard the sticker and take the first active pill on the first Sunday after your menstrual period begins. Due to the potential risk of becoming pregnant, use additional non-hormonal contraception (such as condom and spermicide) for the first seven days of your first cycle pack of Previfem® or Tri-Previfem®.

2. If Day 1 Start, pick the Days of the Week Sticker that starts the first day of your period. (This is the day you begin bleeding or spotting, even if it is midnight when bleeding begins.)When you have picked the right sticker, throw away the others and place the sticker on the blister card over the preprinted days of the week and make sure it lines up with the pills.

3. Remove the first pill by pushing down on the pill.  Swallow the pill. You will take 1 pill every day, at the same time each day. Wait 24 hours to take your next pill. Continue to take 1 pill each day until all the pills have been taken.

4. It is important to take the correct pill each day and not miss any pills. To help you remember, take your pill at the same time as another daily activity, like turning off your alarm clock or brushing your teeth.

5. After taking the last pill, start a new blister pack the very next day, no matter when your next period starts.

6. Take the pills in each new package as before. Start with the pill on row #1 and take one pill each day, left to right, until the last pill has been taken.

Three Ways to Remember in What Order to Take the Pills

1.  Follow the sticker with the days of the week (placed above the pills).

2.  Always go from left to right.

3.  Always finish all your pills.

What should I do if I miss any Previfem® or Tri-Previfem® pills?

If you miss 1 pill in Weeks 1, 2, or 3, follow these steps:

  • Take it as soon as you remember. Take the next pill at your regular time. This means you may take 2 pills in 1 day.
  • Then continue taking 1 pill every day until you finish the pack.
  • You do not need to use a back-up birth control method if you have sex.

If you miss 2 pills in Week 1 or Week 2 of your pack, follow these steps:

  • Take the 2 missed pills as soon as possible and the next 2 pills the next day.
  • Then continue to take 1 pill every day until you finish the pack.
  • Use a non-hormonal birth control method (such as a condom and spermicide) as a back-up if you have sex during the first 7 days after missing your pills.

If you miss 2 pills in a row in Week 3, or you miss 3 or more pills in a row during Weeks 1, 2, or 3 of the pack, follow these steps:

  • If you are a Day 1 Starter:
    • Throw out the rest of the pill pack and start a new pack 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 healthcare provider because you might be pregnant.
    • You could become pregnant if you have sex during the first 7 days after you restart your pills. You MUST use a non-hormonal birth control method (such as a condom and spermicide) as a back-up if you have sex during the first 7 days after you restart your pills.
  • 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.
    • Use a non-hormonal birth control method (such as a condom and spermicide) as a back-up if you have sex during the first 7 days after you restart your pills.

If you have any questions or are unsure about the information in this leaflet, call your healthcare provider.

This Patient Information and Instructions for Use has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

All brand names listed are registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not trademarks of Qualitest Pharmaceuticals.

Manufactured In Canada By:
Patheon Inc.
Ontario, Canada L5N 7K9

Manufactured For:
QUALITEST PHARMACEUTICALS USA
Huntsville, AL 35811

Revised 7/2015

PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL - Previfem® (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) 6 count carton

PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL - Previfem® (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) blister sleeve

PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL - Tri-Previfem® (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) 6 count carton

PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL - Tri-Previfem® (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) blister sleeve

Previfem 
norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol kit
Product Information
Product Type HUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG LABEL Item Code (Source) NDC:0603-7642
Packaging
# Item Code Package Description
1 NDC:0603-7642-17 6 BLISTER PACK in 1 CARTON
1 NDC:0603-7642-01 1 KIT in 1 BLISTER PACK
Quantity of Parts
Part # Package Quantity Total Product Quantity
Part 1 21 
Part 2
Part 1 of 2
Previfem 
norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablet, film coated
Product Information
     
Route of Administration ORAL DEA Schedule     
Active Ingredient/Active Moiety
Ingredient Name Basis of Strength Strength
NORGESTIMATE (NORGESTIMATE) NORGESTIMATE 0.25 mg
ETHINYL ESTRADIOL (ETHINYL ESTRADIOL) ETHINYL ESTRADIOL 0.035 mg
Inactive Ingredients
Ingredient Name Strength
FD&C BLUE NO. 1  
HYPROMELLOSE 2910 (6 MPA.S)  
LACTOSE MONOHYDRATE  
MAGNESIUM STEARATE  
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL 400  
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL 8000  
STARCH, CORN  
Product Characteristics
Color BLUE Score no score
Shape ROUND Size 6mm
Flavor Imprint Code 93;748
Contains         
Marketing Information
Marketing Category Application Number or Monograph Citation Marketing Start Date Marketing End Date
ANDA ANDA076334 01/09/2004
Part 2 of 2
INERT 
inert tablet, film coated
Product Information
     
Route of Administration ORAL DEA Schedule     
Inactive Ingredients
Ingredient Name Strength
FD&C BLUE NO. 2  
HYPROMELLOSE 2910 (6 MPA.S)  
FERRIC OXIDE YELLOW  
LACTOSE MONOHYDRATE  
MAGNESIUM STEARATE  
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL 400  
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL 8000  
STARCH, CORN  
Product Characteristics
Color GREEN (light-green) Score no score
Shape ROUND Size 6mm
Flavor Imprint Code 93;743
Contains         
Marketing Information
Marketing Category Application Number or Monograph Citation Marketing Start Date Marketing End Date
ANDA ANDA076334 01/09/2004
Marketing Information
Marketing Category Application Number or Monograph Citation Marketing Start Date Marketing End Date
ANDA ANDA076334 01/09/2004
TRI-Previfem 
norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol kit
Product Information
Product Type HUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG LABEL Item Code (Source) NDC:0603-7663
Packaging
# Item Code Package Description
1 NDC:0603-7663-17 6 BLISTER PACK in 1 CARTON
1 NDC:0603-7663-01 1 KIT in 1 BLISTER PACK
Quantity of Parts
Part # Package Quantity Total Product Quantity
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 1 of 4
TRI-Previfem 
norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablet, film coated
Product Information
     
Route of Administration ORAL DEA Schedule     
Active Ingredient/Active Moiety
Ingredient Name Basis of Strength Strength
NORGESTIMATE (NORGESTIMATE) NORGESTIMATE 0.18 mg
ETHINYL ESTRADIOL (ETHINYL ESTRADIOL) ETHINYL ESTRADIOL 0.035 mg
Inactive Ingredients
Ingredient Name Strength
HYPROMELLOSES  
LACTOSE MONOHYDRATE  
MAGNESIUM STEARATE  
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOLS  
STARCH, CORN  
Product Characteristics
Color WHITE Score no score
Shape ROUND Size 6mm
Flavor Imprint Code 93;746
Contains         
Marketing Information
Marketing Category Application Number or Monograph Citation Marketing Start Date Marketing End Date
ANDA ANDA076335 03/26/2004
Part 2 of 4
INERT 
inert tablet, film coated
Product Information
     
Route of Administration ORAL DEA Schedule     
Inactive Ingredients
Ingredient Name Strength
FD&C BLUE NO. 2  
HYPROMELLOSES  
FERRIC OXIDE YELLOW  
LACTOSE MONOHYDRATE  
MAGNESIUM STEARATE  
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOLS  
STARCH, CORN  
Product Characteristics
Color GREEN (light-green) Score no score
Shape ROUND Size 6mm
Flavor Imprint Code 93;743
Contains         
Marketing Information
Marketing Category Application Number or Monograph Citation Marketing Start Date Marketing End Date
ANDA ANDA076335 03/26/2004
Part 3 of 4
TRI-Previfem 
norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablet, film coated
Product Information
     
Route of Administration ORAL DEA Schedule     
Active Ingredient/Active Moiety
Ingredient Name Basis of Strength Strength
NORGESTIMATE (NORGESTIMATE) NORGESTIMATE 0.215 mg
ETHINYL ESTRADIOL (ETHINYL ESTRADIOL) ETHINYL ESTRADIOL 0.035 mg
Inactive Ingredients
Ingredient Name Strength
FD&C BLUE NO. 1  
HYPROMELLOSES  
LACTOSE MONOHYDRATE  
MAGNESIUM STEARATE  
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOLS  
STARCH, CORN  
Product Characteristics
Color BLUE (light-blue) Score no score
Shape ROUND Size 6mm
Flavor Imprint Code 93;747
Contains         
Marketing Information
Marketing Category Application Number or Monograph Citation Marketing Start Date Marketing End Date
ANDA ANDA076335 03/26/2004
Part 4 of 4
TRI-Previfem 
norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablet, film coated
Product Information
     
Route of Administration ORAL DEA Schedule     
Active Ingredient/Active Moiety
Ingredient Name Basis of Strength Strength
NORGESTIMATE (NORGESTIMATE) NORGESTIMATE 0.25 mg
ETHINYL ESTRADIOL (ETHINYL ESTRADIOL) ETHINYL ESTRADIOL 0.035 mg
Inactive Ingredients
Ingredient Name Strength
FD&C BLUE NO. 1  
HYPROMELLOSES  
LACTOSE MONOHYDRATE  
MAGNESIUM STEARATE  
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOLS  
STARCH, CORN  
Product Characteristics
Color BLUE Score no score
Shape ROUND Size 6mm
Flavor Imprint Code 93;748
Contains         
Marketing Information
Marketing Category Application Number or Monograph Citation Marketing Start Date Marketing End Date
ANDA ANDA076335 03/26/2004
Marketing Information
Marketing Category Application Number or Monograph Citation Marketing Start Date Marketing End Date
ANDA ANDA076335 03/26/2004
Labeler - Qualitest Pharmaceuticals (011103059)
Establishment
Name Address ID/FEI Operations
Patheon Inc. 240769596 ANALYSIS(0603-7642, 0603-7663), MANUFACTURE(0603-7663, 0603-7642)
Establishment
Name Address ID/FEI Operations
Sharp Corporation 002346625 PACK(0603-7663, 0603-7642)
Revised: 07/2015
 
Qualitest Pharmaceuticals
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