Generic Name: ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel (EH thih nill ess tra DYE ole and des oh JESS trel)
Brand Names: Apri, Azurette, Caziant, Cyclessa, Desogen, Emoquette, Enskyce, Juleber, Kariva, Kimidess, Mircette, Ortho-Cept, Reclipsen, Velivet, Viorele
What is Desogen?
Desogen (ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel) contains a combination of female hormones that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medicine also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.
Desogen is a birth control pill used for contraception to prevent pregnancy.
Desogen may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use Desogen if you are pregnant or if you have recently had a baby.
You should not take Desogen if you have any of the following conditions: uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart disease, a blood-clotting disorder, circulation problems, diabetic problems with your eyes or kidneys, unusual vaginal bleeding, liver disease, liver cancer, severe migraine headaches, if you smoke and are over 35, or if you have ever had breast or uterine cancer, jaundice caused by Desogen, a heart attack, a stroke, or a blood clot.
Taking Desogen can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack, especially if you have certain other conditions, or if you are overweight.
Smoking can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. You should not take Desogen if you smoke and are over 35 years old.
Before taking this medicine
Taking Desogen can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. You are even more at risk if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or if you are overweight. Your risk of stroke or blood clot is highest during your first year of taking birth control pills. Your risk is also high when you restart Desogen after not taking it for 4 weeks or longer.
Smoking can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. Your risk increases the older you are and the more you smoke. You should not take combination birth control pills if you smoke and are over 35 years old.
Do not use if you are pregnant. Stop taking Desogen and tell your doctor if you become pregnant, or if you miss two menstrual periods in a row. If you have recently had a baby, wait at least 4 weeks before taking Desogen.
You should not take Desogen if you have:
untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure;
heart disease (coronary artery disease, uncontrolled heart valve disorder, history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot);
a blood-clotting disorder or circulation problems;
problems with your eyes, kidneys or circulation caused by diabetes;
a history of hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer;
unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor;
liver disease or liver cancer;
severe migraine headaches (with aura, numbness, weakness, or vision changes);
a history of jaundice caused by pregnancy or birth control pills; or
if you smoke and are over 35 years old.
To make sure Desogen are safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
high blood pressure, varicose veins;
high cholesterol or triglycerides;
a history of depression;
underactive thyroid, gallbladder disease;
seizures or epilepsy;
a history of irregular menstrual cycles;
a history of fibrocystic breast disease, lumps, nodules, or an abnormal mammogram.
The hormones in Desogen can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. This medicine may also slow breast milk production. Do not use if you are breast feeding a baby.
How should I take Desogen?
Take Desogen exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
You will take your first pill on the first day of your period or on the first Sunday after your period begins. You may need to use back-up birth control, such as condoms or a spermicide, when you first start using Desogen. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Take one pill every day, no more than 24 hours apart. When the pills run out, start a new pack the following day. You may get pregnant if you do not take one pill daily. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of pills completely.
The 28-day Desogen packet contains seven "reminder" pills to keep you on your regular cycle. Your period will usually begin while you are using these reminder pills.
You may have breakthrough bleeding, especially during the first 3 months. Tell your doctor if this bleeding continues or is very heavy.
Use a back-up birth control if you are sick with severe vomiting or diarrhea.
If you need surgery or medical tests or if you will be on bed rest, you may need to stop using this medicine for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using Desogen.
While taking Desogen, you will need to visit your doctor regularly.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Follow the patient instructions provided in the Desogen packet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions. Missing a pill increases your risk of becoming pregnant.
If you miss one active pill, take two pills on the day you remember. Then take one pill per day for the rest of the pack.
If you miss two active pills in a row in Week 1 or 2, take two pills per day for two days in a row. Then take one pill per day for the rest of the pack. Use back-up birth control for at least 7 days following the missed pills.
If you miss two active pills in a row in Week 3, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack the same day if you are a Day 1 starter. If you are a Sunday starter, keep taking a pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that day.
If you miss three active pills in a row in Week 1, 2, or 3, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack on the same day if you are a Day 1 starter. If you are a Sunday starter, keep taking a pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that day.
If you miss two or more pills, you may not have a period during the month. If you miss a period for two months in a row, call your doctor because you might be pregnant.
If you miss a reminder pill, throw it away and keep taking one reminder pill per day until the pack is empty. You do not need back-up birth control if you miss a reminder pill.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking Desogen?
Do not smoke while taking Desogen, especially if you are older than 35 years of age.
Birth control pills will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases - including HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to protect yourself from these diseases.
Desogen side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Desogen: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Desogen and call your doctor at once if you have:
signs of a stroke - sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
signs of a blood clot in the lung - chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;
signs of a blood clot in your leg - pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
heart attack symptoms - chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
liver problems - severe stomach pain, fever, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches;
swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
a breast lump; or
symptoms of depression - sleep problems, weakness, tired feeling, mood changes.
Common Desogen side effects may include:
light vaginal bleeding or spotting;
nausea (especially when you first start taking this medicine), vomiting, bloating;
changes in weight or appetite;
breast tenderness or swelling;
freckles or darkening of facial skin, increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair;
vaginal itching or discharge.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Desogen?
Many drugs can interact with ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel and make them less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Ethinyl estradiol can also affect blood levels of certain other drugs, making them less effective or increasing side effects. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about Desogen (desogestrel / ethinyl estradiol)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 25 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: contraceptives
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Desogen.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Desogen only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2017 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.01. Revision Date: 2016-02-29, 2:20:52 PM.