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MARVELON TABLETS

Active substance: ETHINYLOESTRADIOL

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PACKAGE LEAFLET: INFORMATION FOR THE USER
®
Marvelon Tablets
(desogestrel/ethinylestradiol)
This product will be referred to as Marvelon throughout the remainder of this leaflet.
Five important things to know about the Pill.
 The Pill is a reliable contraceptive and may reduce your risk of cancer of the ovary and womb if
used in the long term.
 The Pill will not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases.
 This medicine can increase your risk of problems such as blood clots and breast cancer.
 Some women should not take the Pill because of current medical problems or illnesses. Please
read this leaflet to make sure Marvelon is right for you.
 To prevent pregnancy it is important to take Marvelon as instructed and to start each pack on time.
Please make sure that you understand what to do if you miss a pill or if you think you are pregnant.
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine.
 Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
 If you have any questions or need more advice, ask your doctor, family planning nurse or
pharmacist.
 This medicine has been prescribed for you. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them.
 If any of the side effects gets severe, or if you notice any not listed in this leaflet, please tell your
doctor, family planning nurse or pharmacist.
In this leaflet:
1. What Marvelon does
2. Make sure Marvelon is OK for you
3. Taking Marvelon
3.3 A missed Pill
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Marvelon
6. What is in Marvelon and who makes it
1.

What Marvelon does

Marvelon is a combined oral contraceptive pill (‘the Pill’). You take it to stop you getting pregnant.
This low-dose contraceptive contains two types of female sex hormones, oestrogen and progestogen.
These hormones prevent an egg being released from your ovaries so you can’t get pregnant. Marvelon
also makes the fluid (mucus) in your cervix thicker which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the
womb.
Marvelon is a 21-day pill – you take one each day for 21 days, followed by 7 days when you take no
pills.
The benefits of taking the Pill include:
 it is one of the most reliable reversible methods of contraception if used correctly
 it doesn’t interrupt sex
 it usually makes your periods regular, lighter and less painful
 it may help with pre-menstrual symptoms.
Marvelon will not protect you against sexually transmitted infections, such as Chlamydia or HIV. Only
condoms can help to do this.
Marvelon needs to be taken as directed to prevent pregnancy.
2.

Your risk of breast cancer is higher:
 if you have a close relative (mother, sister or grandmother) who has had breast cancer
 if you are seriously overweight
 See a doctor as soon as possible if you notice any changes in your breasts, such as dimpling
of the skin, changes in the nipple or any lumps you can see or feel.
Taking the Pill has also been linked to liver diseases, such as jaundice and non-cancer liver tumours,
but this is rare. Very rarely, the Pill has also been linked with some forms of liver cancer in women who
have taken it for a long time.
See a doctor as soon as possible if you get severe pain in your stomach, or yellow skin or eyes
(jaundice). You may need to stop taking Marvelon.
2.3 Marvelon should not be taken by some women
 Tell your doctor or family planning nurse if you have any medical problems or illnesses.
Do not take Marvelon if any of the following apply to you. Taking Marvelon would put your health
at risk:
 If you are pregnant or might be pregnant, or if you are breast-feeding
 If you have cancer affected by sex hormones – such as some cancers of the breast, womb lining
or ovary
 If you have vaginal bleeding that has not been explained by your doctor
 If you have excessive thickening of the womb lining
 If you have ever had a severe liver disease
 If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to any of the ingredients in Marvelon
 If you or anyone in your close family has ever had a problem with their blood circulation. This
includes a blood clot (thrombosis) in the legs (deep vein thrombosis), lungs (pulmonary
embolism), heart (heart attack), brain (stroke) or any other parts of the body
 If you have any condition which makes you more at risk of a blood clot (thrombosis - see section
2.1, The Pill and blood clots)
 If you have moderate or severe high blood pressure (hypertension)
 If you have high fat levels in your blood (high cholesterol or triglyceride levels)
 If you have gall stones
 If you have had any of the following problems while pregnant or while using steroids:

itching of the whole body (pruritus)

jaundice which was not caused by infection

a blister-like rash, called pemphigoid gestationis

a hearing problem called otosclerosis
 If you have ever had the disease systemic lupus erythematosus
 If you suffer from any of these, or get them for the first time while taking Marvelon, contact your
doctor as soon as possible. Do not take Marvelon.
2.4 Marvelon can make some illnesses worse
Some of the conditions listed below can be made worse by taking the Pill. Or they may mean it is less
suitable for you. You may still be able to take Marvelon but you need to take special care and have
checkups more often.
 If you have ever had problems with your heart, circulation or blood clotting, such as sickle cell
disease
 If you have diabetes
 If you have any gynaecological problems, such as fibroids or endometriosis
 If you have ever had kidney or liver problems, or have had gall stones in the past
 If you have ever had severe depression
 If you have ever had epilepsy or migraines
 If you have brown patches on your face or body (chloasma).
 Tell your doctor or family planning nurse if any of these apply to you. Also tell them if you get
any of these for the first time while taking the Pill, or if any get worse or come back, because you
may need to stop taking Marvelon.

Make sure Marvelon is OK for you

It’s important that you understand the benefits and risks of taking the Pill before you start taking it, or
when deciding whether to carry on taking it. Although the Pill is suitable for most healthy women it isn’t
suitable for everyone.
 Tell your doctor if you have any of the illnesses or risk factors mentioned in this leaflet.
Before you start taking the Pill
 Your doctor will ask about you and your family’s medical problems and check your blood pressure.
You may also need other checks, such as a breast examination.
While you’re on the Pill
 You will need regular check-ups with your doctor or family planning nurse, usually when you need
another prescription of the Pill.
 You should go for regular cervical smear tests.
 Check your breasts and nipples every month for changes – tell your doctor if you can see or feel
anything odd, such as lumps or dimpling of the skin.
 If you need a blood test tell your doctor that you are taking the Pill, because the Pill can affect the
results of some tests.
 If you’re going to have an operation, make sure your doctor knows about it. You may need to
stop taking the Pill about 4–6 weeks before the operation. This is to reduce the risk of a blood clot
(see section 2.1). Your doctor will tell you when you can start taking the Pill again.
2.1 The Pill and blood clots
The Pill may slightly increase your risk of having a blood clot (called a thrombosis) especially in
the first year of taking it.
A clot in a leg vein – a deep vein thrombosis (or DVT) – is not always serious. However, if it moves up
the veins to the lungs, it can cause chest pain, breathlessness, collapse or even death. This is called a
pulmonary embolism and is very rare.
Your chances of having a blood clot are only increased slightly by taking the Pill.
 Of 100,000 women who are not on the Pill and not pregnant, about 5 will have a blood clot in a
year.
 Of 100,000 women taking a Pill such as Marvelon, about 25 will have a blood clot in a year.
 Of 100,000 women who are pregnant, around 60 will have a blood clot in a year.
You are more at risk of having a blood clot in your veins:
 as you get older
 if you are seriously overweight
 if you have a heart valve problem
 if you or any of your close family have had blood clots
 if you have any blood clotting problem that needs treatment with a medicine such as warfarin
 if you have certain rare medical conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or
Crohn’s disease
 if you’re off your feet for a long time because of major surgery, injury or illness
 if you have recently had a baby.
 Tell your doctor if any of these apply to you.
Taking the Pill may add to this risk so Marvelon may not be suitable for you.
Signs of a blood clot include:
 painful swelling in your leg
 sudden chest pain
 difficulty breathing
 See a doctor as soon as possible. Do not take any more Marvelon until your doctor says you
can. Use another method of contraception, such as condoms, in the meantime.
Very rarely, blood clots can also form in the blood vessels of the heart (causing a heart attack) or the
brain (causing a stroke). In healthy young women the chance of having a heart attack or stroke is
extremely small.
You are more at risk of having a heart attack or stroke:
 as you get older
 if you have high blood pressure
 if you smoke cigarettes (or other tobacco)
 if you drink too much alcohol
 if you have an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation)
 if you or someone in your close family has had a heart attack or stroke at a young age
 if you have migraines
 if you have diabetes.
 Tell your doctor if any of these apply to you. Taking the Pill may add to this risk so Marvelon may
not be suitable for you.
Signs of a heart attack or stroke include:
 sudden sharp pains in your chest which may reach your left arm or sharp pains in your
stomach
 sudden weakness or numbness in one side or part of your body
 having a migraine for the first time or any migraine that is worse than normal
 slurred speech or any other difficulties affecting your speech
 any sudden changes to your eyesight (such as loss of vision or blurred vision)
 dizziness, fainting, collapse or seizures.
 See a doctor as soon as possible. Do not take any more Marvelon until your doctor says you
can. Use another method of contraception, such as condoms, in the meantime.
2.2 The Pill and cancer
The Pill reduces your risk of cancer of the ovary and womb if used in the long term. However, it also
seems to slightly increase your risk of cancer of the cervix – although this may be due to having sex
without a condom rather than the Pill itself. All women should have regular smear tests.
If you have breast cancer, of have had it in the past, you should not take the Pill. The Pill slightly
increases your risk of breast cancer. This risk goes up the longer you’re on the Pill, but returns to
normal within about 10 years of stopping it. Because breast cancer is rare in women under the age of
40 the extra number of cases of breast cancer in current and recent users of the Pill is small.
For example:
 Of 10,000 women who have never taken the Pill, about 16 will have breast cancer by the time they
are 35 years.
 Of 10,000 women who take the Pill for 5 years in their early twenties, about 17-18 will have
breast cancer by the time they are 35 years.
 Of 10,000 women who have never taken the Pill, about 100 will have breast cancer by the time
they are 45 years old.
 Of 10,000 women who take the Pill for 5 years in their early thirties, about 110 will have breast
cancer by the time they are 45 years old.

2.5 Taking other medicines
If you ever need to take another medicine at the same time as being on the Pill, always tell your doctor,
pharmacist or dentist that you’re taking Marvelon. Also check the leaflets that come with all your
medicines to see if they can be taken with hormonal contraceptives.
Some medicines can stop Marvelon from working properly – for example:
 some medicines used to treat epilepsy
 certain antibiotics
 certain sedatives (called barbiturates)
 St. John’s Wort (a herbal remedy)
 Griseofulvin (an antifungal drug)
 certain laxatives and medical charcoal.
If you do need to take one of these medicines, Marvelon may not be suitable for you, or you may be
able to take Marvelon and use extra contraception for a while. Your doctor, pharmacist or dentist can
tell you if this is necessary and for how long.
Marvelon can also affect how well other medicines work. For example, if you have diabetes, you
may need to take more insulin or other anti-diabetic drugs while you take Marvelon. Your doctor will tell
you if this is necessary.
2.6 Taking Marvelon with food and drink
There are no special instructions about food and drink while on Marvelon.
2.7 Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Do not use Marvelon if you are pregnant. If you think you might be pregnant, do a pregnancy test to
confirm that you are before you stop taking Marvelon.
 If you are breast-feeding, you should not take Marvelon. Ask your doctor or family planning nurse
about alternative contraception. Breast-feeding will not stop you getting pregnant.
2.8 Driving and using machines
Marvelon has no known effect on the ability to drive or use machines.
2.9 Marvelon contains lactose
If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor
before using Marvelon.
2.10 Use in adolescents
No clinical data on efficacy and safety are available in adolescents below 18 years.
3.

Taking Marvelon

3.1 How to take it
To prevent pregnancy, always take Marvelon exactly as described below. Check with your doctor or
family planning nurse if you are not sure.
Take Marvelon every day for 21 days
Marvelon comes in strips of 21 pills, each marked with a day of the week.
 Take your pill at the same time every day.
 Start by taking a pill marked with the correct day of the week.
 Follow the direction of the arrows on the strip. Take one pill each day, until you have finished all 21
pills.
 Swallow each pill whole, with water if necessary. Do not chew the pill.
Then have seven pill-free days
After you have taken all 21 pills in the strip, you have seven days when you take no pills. So if you take
the last pill of one pack on a Friday, you will take the first pill of your next pack on the Saturday of the
following week.
Within a few days of taking the last pill from the strip, you should have a withdrawal bleed like a period.
This bleed may not have finished when it is time to start your next strip of pills. You don’t need to use
extra contraception during these seven pill-free days – as long as you have taken your pills correctly
and start the next strip of pills on time.
Then start your next strip
Start taking your next strip of Marvelon after the seven pill-free days – even if you are still bleeding.
Always start the new strip on time.
As long as you take Marvelon correctly, you will always start each new strip on the same day of the
week.
3.2 Starting Marvelon
As a new user or starting the Pill again after a break
Either take your first Marvelon pill on the first day of your next period. By starting in this way, you will
have contraceptive protection with your first pill.
Or if your period has already begun start taking Marvelon on day 5 (counting the first day of your period
as day 1) whether or not your bleeding has stopped. You must also use extra contraception, such as
condoms, until you have taken the first seven pills correctly.
Changing to Marvelon from another contraceptive Pill
 If you are currently on a 21-day Pill: start taking Marvelon the next day after the end of the
previous strip. You will have contraceptive protection with your first pill but you will not have a bleed
until after you finish your first strip of Marvelon.
 If you are currently on a 28-day Pill: start taking Marvelon the day after your last active pill. You
will have contraceptive protection with your first pill. You will not have a bleed until after you finish
your first strip of Marvelon.
 Or if you are taking a progestogen-only Pill (mini-Pill or POP): start Marvelon on the first day of
bleeding, even if you have already taken the POP for that day. You will have contraceptive cover
straight away. If you don’t usually have any bleeding while you are taking a progestogen-only Pill,
you can stop taking it any day and start Marvelon the next day. You will need to use extra
contraception, such as a condom, for seven days.
Starting Marvelon after a miscarriage or abortion
If you have had a miscarriage or an abortion, your doctor may tell you to start taking Marvelon straight
away. This means that you will have contraceptive protection with your first pill.
Contraception after having a baby
If you have just had a baby, ask your doctor for advice about contraception.
If you are not breast-feeding:
 you can start taking Marvelon three weeks after the birth or,
 you can start taking Marvelon more than three weeks after the birth but you need to use extra
contraception, such as a condom until you have taken the first seven pills correctly.



If you have had sex since the birth there is a chance that you could be pregnant, you should
therefore use another form of contraception, such as a condom. In this case, take your first
Marvelon pill on the first day of your next period.

3.3 A missed pill
If you miss a pill, follow these instructions:
START HERE

When were you due to take the missed Pill?

Less than 12 hours ago

More than 12 hours ago, or you have missed
more than one Pill

 Take the delayed pill straight away, and further
pills as usual. This may mean taking two pills in
one day.
 Don't worry your contraceptive protection should
not be reduced.

 Take the most recently missed pill straight away.
 Leave any earlier missed pills in the strip
 Take your further pills as usual. This may mean
taking two pills in one day.
 Use extra precautions (condoms for
instance) for the next 7 days.
 Check how many pills are left in the strip after the
most recently missed pill.

 Tell your doctor, pharmacist or family planning nurse if you are worried about any side effects
which you think may be due to Marvelon. Also tell them if any existing conditions get worse while
you are taking Marvelon.
4.3 Bleeding between periods should not last long
A few women have a little unexpected bleeding or spotting while they are taking Marvelon, especially
during the first few months. Normally, this bleeding is nothing to worry about and will stop after a day or
two. Keep taking Marvelon as usual; the problem should disappear after the first few strips.
You may also have unexpected bleeding if you are not taking your pills regularly, so try to take your pill
at the same time every day. Also, unexpected bleeding can sometimes be caused by other medicines.
Make an appointment to see your doctor if you get breakthrough bleeding or spotting that:
 carries on for more than the first few months
 starts after you’ve been taking Marvelon for a while
 carries on even after you’ve stopped taking Marvelon.
5.

6.
7 or more pills left in the pack

 Don't forget to use extra precautions for the next
7 days.
 When you have finished the strip. Leave the
usual 7-day break before starting the next strip
 If you have missed one or more pills from the
first week of your strip (days 1 to 7) and you had
sex in that week, you could become pregnant.
Contact your doctor, family planning nurse or
pharmacist for advice as soon as possible. They
may recommend you use emergency
contraception.

How to store Marvelon

KEEP OUT OF THE SIGHT AND REACH OF CHILDREN.
Do not store above 30°C.
Store in the original package to protect from light and moisture.
Do not use after the expiry date which is stated on the label. The expiry date refers to the last day of
that month
Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste. These measures will help
protect the environment. Return any leftover tablets to your pharmacist
Further Information

Fewer than 7 pills left in the pack

 Don't forget to use extra precautions for the next
7 days.
 When you finish the strip of pills, start the next
strip the next day without a break.
 If you do not have a withdrawal bleed after you
have finished the second strip, do a pregnancy
test before starting another strip.
 If you have missed one or more pills from the
first week of your strip (days 1 to 7) and you
had sex in that week, you could become
pregnant. Contact your doctor, family planning
nurse or pharmacist for advice as soon as
possible.

If you have missed any of the pills in a strip, and you do not bleed in the first pill-free break, you
may be pregnant. Contact your doctor or family planning clinic, or do a pregnancy test yourself.
If you start a new strip of pills late, or make your “week off” longer than seven days, you may not be
protected from pregnancy. If you had sex in the last seven days, ask your doctor, family planning nurse
or pharmacist for advice. You may need to consider emergency contraception. You should also use
extra contraception, such as a condom, for seven days.

What Marvelon contains:
 Each tablet contains: 150 micrograms of the progestogen desogestrel, and 30 micrograms of the
oestrogen ethinyl estradiol.
 Marvelon also contains the inactive ingredients: dl-alpha-tocopherol, potato starch, povidone,
stearic acid, silica colloidal anhydrous and lactose.
What Marvelon contains and the contents of the pack:
Each tablet is round, measures 6mm across, has TR5 marked on one side and ORGANON * on the
other side.
Each box of Marvelon contains three strips of 21 tablets.
Each strip of Marvelon contains 21 white tablets.
Manufacturer
Manufactured by Organon Ireland, Ltd. Drynam Road, Swords, 2857 County Dublin, Ireland.
Or
NV Organon, Kloosterstraat 6, 5349 AB Oss, Holland.
Procured from within the EU and repackaged by the product licence holder: G Pharma Ltd., Salford
M50 2PU.
POM

PL 16369/1530
rd

3.4 A lost pill
If you lose a pill,
Either take the last pill of the strip in place of the lost pill. Then take all the other pills on their proper
days. Your cycle will be one day shorter than normal, but your contraceptive protection won’t be
affected. After your seven pill-free days you will have a new starting day, one day earlier than before.
Or if you do not want to change the starting day of your cycle, take a pill from a spare strip. Then take
all the other pills from your current strip as usual. You can then keep the opened spare strip in case you
lose any more pills.
3.5 If you are sick or have diarrhoea
If you are sick (vomit) or have very bad diarrhoea your body may not get its usual dose of hormones
from that pill. If you are better within 12 hours of taking Marvelon, take another pill from a spare strip.
Carry on taking your pills as normal. You won’t need to use extra protection.
If you are still sick or have diarrhoea more than 12 hours after taking Marvelon follow the instructions
for if you are more than 12 hours late – see section 3.3, A missed pill.
 Talk to your doctor if your stomach upset carries on or gets worse. He or she may
recommend another form of contraception.
3.6 Missed a period – could you be pregnant?
Occasionally, you may miss a withdrawal bleed. This could mean that you are pregnant, but that is very
unlikely if you have taken your pills correctly. Start your next strip at the normal time. If you think that
you might have put yourself at risk of pregnancy (for example, by missing pills or taking other
medicines), or if you miss a second bleed, you should do a pregnancy test. You can buy these from the
chemist or get a free test at your family planning clinic or doctors surgery. If you are pregnant, stop
taking Marvelon and see your doctor.
3.7 Taking more than one pill should not cause harm
It is unlikely that taking more than one pill will do you any harm, but you may feel sick, vomit or have
some vaginal bleeding. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
3.8 You can delay a period
If you want to delay having a period, finish the strip of pills you are taking. Start the next strip the next
day without a break. Take this strip the usual way. After the second strip, leave seven pill-free days as
usual, then start your next strip of pills in the normal way. When you use the second strip, you may
have some unexpected bleeding or spotting on the days that you take the pill, but don’t worry.
3.9 When you want to get pregnant
If you are planning a baby, it’s best to use another method of contraception after stopping Marvelon
until you have had a proper period. Your doctor or midwife relies on the date of your last natural period
before you get pregnant to tell you when your baby is due. However, it will not cause you or the baby
any harm if you get pregnant straight away.
4.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, Marvelon can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
 Tell your doctor, pharmacist or family planning nurse if you are worried about any side effects
which you think may be due to Marvelon.
4.1 Serious side effects – see a doctor straight away
Signs of a blood clot include:
 painful swelling in your leg
 sudden chest pain
 difficulty breathing.
Signs of heart attack or stroke include:
 a migraine for the first time, or a migraine that is worse than normal
 any sudden changes to your eyesight (such as loss of vision or blurred vision)

dizziness, fainting, collapse or seizures
 sudden weakness or numbness in one side or part of your body
 slurred speech or any other difficulties affecting your speech
 sudden sharp pains in your chest which may reach your left arm or sharp pains in your
stomach.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction to Marvelon
 swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat.
Signs of breast cancer include:
 dimpling of the skin
 changes in the nipple
 any lumps you can see or feel.
Signs of cancer of the cervix include:
 vaginal discharge that smells and contains blood
 Unusual vaginal bleeding
 pelvic pain
 painful sex.
Signs of severe liver problems include:
 severe pain in your upper abdomen
 yellow skin or eyes (jaundice).
 If you think you may have any of these, see a doctor straight away. You may need to stop
taking Marvelon.
4.2 Other possible side effects
 Migraine or headache (see a doctor as soon as possible if this is your first migraine or it’s worse
than usual, or if the headache is severe, unusual or long lasting)
 Putting on weight or losing weight
 Problems with blood sugar
 Breast problems, such as sore or larger breasts; producing a milky fluid from the nipples
 Depression or mood changes
 Heart or circulation problems, such as increased blood pressure, swollen hands, ankles or feet
 Gynaecological and vaginal problems, such as fibroids or endometriosis (disorders of the womb)
may get worse; changes in secretions; fungal infection, such as thrush; delay in return to normal
periods after stopping the pill
 Bleeding and spotting between your periods for the first few months (though this usually stops
when your body adjusts to Marvelon) -see section 4.3, Bleeding between periods should not last
long
 Skin problems, such as rash; brown patches on your face or body (chloasma); bruise-like swelling
to the shins (erythema nodosom)
 Stomach problems, such as nausea; vomiting
 Discomfort of the eyes if you wear contact lenses

Gall stones
 Chorea (a problem with the nervous system causing jerky movements that you can’t control)
 Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; when your immune system attacks your body causing, for
example, joint ache and tiredness)

Leaflet Revision: 23 May 2013

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Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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