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Estrogen-Progestin Combinations

Class: Contraceptives
- Birth Control Pills
- Oral Contraceptives
- Contraceptives, Oral
- Progestational Agents
VA Class: GU400
CAS Number: 57-63-6

Warning

  • Cigarette smoking during oral contraceptive use increases the risk of serious adverse cardiovascular effects. This risk increases with age and with heavy smoking (≥15 cigarettes daily) and is markedly greater in women >35 years of age. Women who use oral contraceptives should be strongly advised not to smoke.

Introduction

Contraceptive combinations containing estrogenic and progestinic steroids.

Uses for Estrogen-Progestin Combinations

Contraception

Prevention of conception in women.

Postcoital Contraception

Prevention of conception after unprotected intercourse (including known or suspected contraceptive failure) as an emergency contraceptive (“morning-after” pills). Postcoital (emergency) contraceptive regimens are not as effective as most other forms of long-term contraception and should not be used as routine forms of contraception.

An emergency contraceptive regimen employing a progestin alone (levonorgestrel) appears to be more effective and better tolerated than a common estrogen-progestin emergency contraceptive (“Yuzpe”) regimen when the regimens are initiated within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse, and therefore, generally is preferred when readily available.

Contraception and Folate Supplementation

Beyaz, Safyral: Prevention of conception while also increasing folate concentrations (to reduce risk of fetal neural tube defects if pregnancy occurs during or shortly after therapy). US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women of childbearing age receive supplemental folic acid at a dosage of ≥0.4 mg daily. Consider other folate supplementation that a woman may be taking before prescribing this drug combination. Ensure that folate supplementation is maintained if the contraceptive is discontinued due to pregnancy.

Acne Vulgaris

Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrostep: Treatment of moderate acne vulgaris in females ≥15 years of age who have no known contraindications to oral contraceptive therapy, desire contraception, have achieved menarche, and are unresponsive to topical anti-acne medication. Estrostep should be used for the treatment of acne vulgaris only in women who desire oral contraception and plan to take the drug for at least 6 months.

Yaz, Beyaz: Treatment of moderate acne vulgaris in females ≥14 years of age who have no known contraindications to oral contraceptive therapy, desire oral contraception, and have achieved menarche.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Yaz, Beyaz: Management of premenstrual dysphoric disorder in women who desire oral contraception.

Estrogen-Progestin Combinations Dosage and Administration

Administration

Administered orally, intravaginally, or percutaneously by topical application of a transdermal system to the skin.

Oral Administration

Contraception

Take as near as possible to the same time each day (i.e., at regular 24-hour intervals) to ensure maximum contraceptive efficacy.

Take with or after the evening meal or at bedtime to minimize nausea.

Vomiting or diarrhea may decrease absorption of oral contraceptives and potentially result in treatment failures; in such instances, use a back-up method of contraception (e.g., condoms, foam, sponge) until the next clinician contact.

Chewable tablets may be swallowed whole or chewed and consumed with 240 mL of liquid.

Available in a mnemonic dispensing package designed to aid the user in complying with the prescribed dosage schedule.

Postcoital Contraception

Administer first contraceptive dose as soon as possible but preferably within 72 hours following unprotected sex; repeat dose 12 hours later. Schedule first dose as conveniently as possible so that the likelihood of missing the second dose 12 hours later is minimized (e.g., if the first dose were taken at 3 p.m., the second dose would need to be taken at 3 a.m., which might pose a problem of compliance for heavy sleepers).

Most data support administration of the first dose up to 120 hours after unprotected intercourse if necessary, but efficacy decreases as initiation of contraception becomes more remote from unprotected intercourse. Efficacy not established if administered >120 hours after unprotected intercourse.

Consider use of an antiemetic 1 hour before the first dose. The high dosage in the combination regimens may cause severe nausea and vomiting. Food not effective in reducing adverse GI effects (i.e., nausea).

Consider repeating a dose if breakthrough vomiting occurs within 2 hours after administration.

Vaginal Administration

The vaginal contraceptive ring (NuvaRing) is inserted into the vagina by the patient; the exact position of the ring inside the vagina is not critical for its proper functioning.

If the ring is accidentally expelled, rinse with cool or lukewarm water and reinsert it or, if necessary, insert a new ring as soon as possible; in either case, the administration schedule employed should be continued.

If the contraceptive ring is removed from the vagina for longer than 3 hours, use a back-up method of contraception (e.g., condoms, spermicides) until the ring has been used continuously for 7 days.

Topical Administration

Apply transdermal system to a clean and dry area of intact skin on the buttock, abdomen, upper outer arm, or upper torso by firmly pressing the system with the adhesive side touching the skin. Press system firmly in place with the palm of the hand for about 10 seconds; ensure good contact, especially around the edges. Do not apply to sites that are oily, damaged, or irritated. Do not apply transdermal system to the breasts or to areas where tight clothing may cause the system to be rubbed off.

If the system inadvertently gets detached and is removed for less than one day, reapply the system or, if necessary, apply a new system (if the system is no longer sticky); in either case, the application schedule employed should be continued.

If the system is removed for longer than 1 day or for an unknown duration, apply a new system immediately and start a new 4-week cycle; use a back-up method of contraception (e.g., condoms, spermicides, diaphragm) for the first week of the new cycle.

Dosage

The smallest dosage of estrogen and progestin compatible with a low failure rate and the individual needs of the woman should be used.

In establishing an oral contraceptive dosage cycle, the menstrual cycle is usually considered to be 28 days. The first day of bleeding is counted as the first day of the cycle.

Estrogen-progestin oral contraceptives are usually classified according to their formulation:

  • those monophasic preparations containing 50 mcg of estrogen,

  • those monophasic preparations containing <50 mcg of estrogen (usually 20–35 mcg),

  • those containing <50 mcg of estrogen with 2 sequences of progestin doses (biphasic),

  • those containing <50 mcg of estrogen with 3 sequences of progestin doses (triphasic), and

  • those containing 3 sequences of estrogen (e.g., 20, 30, 35 mcg) with a fixed dose of progestin (estrophasic).

Oral contraceptives usually are described in terms of their estrogen content, although the progestin content of the formulations also varies. The estrogenic and progestinic dominance of oral contraceptives depends mainly on the amount of estrogen and the amount and specific progestin contained in the formulation. The estrogenic or progestinic dominance of an oral contraceptive may contribute to hormone-related adverse effects and may be useful in selecting an alternate formulation when unacceptable adverse effects occur with a given formulation.

Biphasic oral contraceptives contain 2 sequentially administered, fixed combinations of hormones per dosage cycle. The first sequence consists of tablets containing a fixed combination of low-dose estrogen and low-dose progestin, and the second sequence consists of tablets containing a fixed combination of low-dose estrogen and higher-dose progestin. Biphasic oral contraceptives are not the same as previously available “sequential” oral contraceptives, which consisted of an estrogen alone for the first sequence.

Triphasic oral contraceptives contain graduated sequences of progestin or estrogen per dosage cycle. With most commercially available triphasic oral contraceptives, each dosage cycle consists of 3 sequentially administered fixed combinations of the hormones in which the ratio of progestin to estrogen progressively increases with each sequence. The first sequence consists of tablets containing a fixed combination of low-dose estrogen and low-dose progestin, the second sequence consists of tablets containing a fixed combination of low-dose or low but slightly higher-dose estrogen and higher-dose progestin, and the third sequence consists of tablets containing low-dose estrogen and either an even higher-dose progestin or low-dose progestin.

Estrophasic oral contraceptives are triphasic preparations in which the estrogen component progressively increases with each sequence.

Fixed-combination, conventional-cycle oral contraceptives are available as 21- or 28-day dosage preparations. Some 28-day preparations contain 21 hormonally active tablets and 7 inert or ferrous fumarate-containing tablets. Other 28-day preparations contain 24 hormonally active tablets and 4 inert or ferrous fumarate-containing tablets.

One monophasic, fixed-combination, extended-cycle oral contraceptive (e.g., Seasonale) is available as a 91-day dosage preparation containing 84 hormonally active tablets and 7 inert tablets. Other extended-cycle oral contraceptive preparations (e.g., LoSeasonique, Seasonique) are available as 91-day preparations with 84 hormonally active tablets containing estrogen/progestin and 7 tablets containing low-dose estrogen.

One fixed-combination, continuous-regimen (noncyclic) oral contraceptive (i.e., Lybrel) is available as a 28-day dosage preparation containing 28 hormonally active tablets.

The transdermal system (Ortho Evra) is applied topically in a cyclic regimen using a 28-day cycle.

The vaginal contraceptive ring (NuvaRing) is intended to be used for 1 cycle, which consists of a 3-week period of continuous use of the ring followed by a 1-week ring-free period.

Adults

Contraception
Oral (21- or 28-day conventional-cycle preparations)

Start on the first Sunday after or on which menstrual bleeding begins or on the first day of the menstrual cycle.

If the first dose is on the first Sunday on or after menstrual bleeding starts, use a back-up method of contraception (e.g., condoms, foam, sponge) for 7 days following initiation of oral contraceptive therapy. If the first dose is on the first day of the menstrual cycle, a back-up method of contraception is not necessary.

With 21-day conventional-cycle preparations, take 1 estrogen/progestin tablet once daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by 7 days without tablets. Begin repeat dosage cycles on the eighth day after the last hormonally active tablet (i.e., on the same day of the week as the initial cycle).

With 28-day conventional-cycle preparations containing 21 hormonally active tablets, take 1 estrogen/progestin tablet once daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by inert tablets or ferrous fumarate tablets for 7 days. Begin repeat dosage cycles on the eighth day after the last hormonally active tablet (i.e., on the same day of the week as the initial cycle).

With 28-day conventional-cycle preparations containing 24 hormonally active tablets, take 1 estrogen/progestin tablet once daily for 24 consecutive days, followed by inert tablets or ferrous fumarate tablets for 4 days. Begin repeat dosage cycles on the fifth day after the last hormonally active tablet (i.e., on the same day of the week as the initial cycle).

When 1 estrogen/progestin tablet of a conventional-cycle oral contraceptive is missed, take the missed tablet as soon as it is remembered, followed by resumption of the regular schedule. Additional contraceptive methods are not necessary if only 1 tablet is missed.

When 2 estrogen/progestin tablets are missed during the first 1 or 2 weeks of the cycle, take the 2 missed tablets as soon as they are remembered, take 2 tablets the next day, then resume the regular schedule. If 2 consecutive estrogen/progestin tablets are missed during the third or fourth week of a dosage cycle that was initiated on the first day of the menstrual cycle, discard the remainder of the tablets in the pack for that cycle and start a new dosage cycle the same day. If 2 consecutive estrogen/progestin tablets are missed during the third or fourth week of a dosage cycle that was initiated on the first Sunday on or after menstruation started, continue to take 1 tablet daily until Sunday, then discard the remainder of the tablets for that cycle and start a new dosage cycle that same day. When 2 or more estrogen/progestin tablets are missed on consecutive days, a back-up method of contraception should be used for each sexual encounter until a hormonally active tablet has been taken for 7 consecutive days.

If 3 or more consecutive estrogen/progestin tablets are missed during a dosage cycle that was initiated on the first day of the menstrual cycle, discard the remainder of the tablets in that cycle and start a new dosage cycle the same day. If 3 or more consecutive estrogen/progestin tablets are missed during a dosage cycle that was initiated on the first Sunday on or after menstruation started, take 1 tablet daily until Sunday, then discard the remainder of the tablets for that cycle and start a new dosage cycle that same day. A back-up method of contraception should be used for each sexual encounter until a hormonally active tablet has been taken for 7 consecutive days.

During week 4 of a 28-day dosage cycle, any inactive or ferrous fumarate tablets that are missed should be discarded; continue to take the remaining tablets until the cycle is finished. A back-up contraceptive method is not required during the fourth week as a result of missed inactive or ferrous fumarate tablets.

With 28-day contraceptive cycles, a new cycle of tablets should be started the day after taking the last tablet of the previous 28-day dosage cycle (i.e., no days without tablets).

If unsure of what drug regimen to take as a result of missed tablets, use a back-up method of contraception for each sexual encounter and take 1 estrogen/progestin tablet daily until the next clinician contact.

Oral (91-day extended-cycle preparations)

Start on the first Sunday after or on which bleeding begins. Use a back-up method of contraception (e.g., condom, spermicide) for 7 days following initiation of therapy.

Take 1 estrogen/progestin tablet daily for 84 days, followed by inert tablets or tablets containing 10 mcg of estrogen for 7 days. Repeat dosage cycles begin on the same day of the week (Sunday) as the initial cycle. If a repeat cycle is started later than the scheduled day, use a back-up method of contraception until an estrogen/progestin tablet has been taken for 7 consecutive days.

When 1 estrogen/progestin tablet is missed, take the missed tablet as soon as it is remembered, followed by resumption of the regular schedule. Additional contraceptive measures are not necessary if only one tablet is missed.

When 2 estrogen/progestin tablets are missed, take the 2 missed tablets as soon as they are remembered, 2 tablets the next day, then resume the regular cycle. Use a back-up method of contraception until an estrogen/progestin tablet has been taken for 7 consecutive days.

When 3 or more consecutive estrogen/progestin tablets are missed, continue to take 1 tablet daily; the missed tablets should be discarded. Use a back-up method of contraception until an estrogen/progestin tablet has been taken for 7 consecutive days.

If unsure of what drug regimen to take as a result of missed tablets, use a back-up method of contraception for each sexual encounter, and take 1 tablet daily until the next clinician contact.

Discard inert tablets or estrogen-containing tablets that are missed; continue to take the remaining tablets until the cycle is finished. If inert tablets or estrogen-containing tablets are missed, a back-up contraceptive method is not required.

Oral (continuous-regimen [noncyclic] preparation)

Women who did not use hormonal contraception in the preceding month: Start on the first day of the menstrual cycle. If the first dose is on the first day of the menstrual cycle, a back-up method of contraception is not necessary.

Women switching from cyclic estrogen-progestin oral contraceptives: Start on the first day of withdrawal bleeding, within 7 days of the last hormonally active tablet. A back-up method of contraception is not needed.

Women switching from progestin-only oral contraceptives: Start on the day after the last progestin tablet. Use a back-up method of contraception (e.g., condom, spermicide) until an estrogen/progestin tablet has been taken for 7 consecutive days.

Women switching from a progestin-only implant: Start on the day that the implant is removed. Use a back-up method of contraception until an estrogen/progestin tablet has been taken for 7 consecutive days.

Women switching from a progestin-only contraceptive injection: Start on the day that the next contraceptive injection would have been due. Use a back-up method of contraception until an estrogen/progestin tablet has been taken for 7 consecutive days.

Take 1 estrogen/progestin tablet each day and continue daily without interruption.

When 1 tablet is missed, take the missed tablet as soon as it is remembered, then resume the regular schedule (2 tablets may be taken on the same day). Use a back-up method of contraception until an estrogen/progestin tablet has been taken for 7 consecutive days.

When 2 tablets are missed and the missed doses are remembered on the day of the second missed dose, take the 2 missed tablets as soon as remembered, then resume the regular schedule. When the 2 tablets are missed and the missed doses are remembered on the day after the second missed dose, take the 2 missed tablets as soon as remembered, take 2 tablets the next day, then resume the regular schedule. Use a back-up method of contraception until an estrogen/progestin tablet has been taken for 7 consecutive days.

When 3 or more tablets are missed, contact clinician and continue to take 1 tablet daily until clinician contact. Use a back-up method of contraception until an estrogen/progestin tablet has been taken for 7 consecutive days.

If unsure of what drug regimen to take as a result of missed tablets, use a back-up method of contraception for each sexual encounter.

Nonlactating postpartum women may start the fixed-combination, continuous-regimen oral contraceptive no earlier than 28 days after delivery; a back-up method of contraception is needed until an estrogen/progestin tablet has been taken for 7 consecutive days.

Women may start the continuous regimen immediately after a complete first-trimester abortion; a back-up method of contraception is not needed.

Women may start the continuous regimen no earlier than 28 days after a second-trimester abortion; a back-up method of contraception is needed until an estrogen/progestin tablet has been taken for 7 consecutive days.

Vaginal

To initiate therapy in women who did not use hormonal contraception in the preceding month, insert the vaginal contraceptive ring (NuvaRing) on or before day 5 of the cycle. During the first cycle, use a back-up method of contraception (e.g., condom, spermicide) until the vaginal ring has been used continuously for 7 days.

After 3 weeks, remove the vaginal ring on the same day of the week as it was inserted and at about the same time of day. For contraceptive effectiveness, insert a new vaginal ring 1 week after the previous vaginal ring is removed even if menstrual bleeding is not finished.

Women switching from estrogen-progestin oral contraceptives: Insert the vaginal ring within 7 days of the last hormonally active tablet and no later than the day that a new oral contraceptive cycle would have been started; a back-up method of contraception is not needed.

Women switching from progestin-only oral contraceptives: Insert the vaginal ring on any day of the month (without skipping any day between receiving the last progestin oral contraceptive and the initial administration of the vaginal ring). Use a back-up method of contraception until the vaginal ring has been used continuously for 7 days.

Women switching from a progestin-only contraceptive injection: Insert the vaginal ring on the same day as the next contraceptive injection would have been due. Use a back-up method of contraception until the vaginal ring has been used continuously for 7 days.

Women who are switching from a progestin-only implant or a progestin-containing intrauterine device: Insert the vaginal ring on the same day as the implant or intrauterine device is removed. Use a back-up method of contraception until the vaginal ring has been used continuously for 7 days.

If a woman forgets to insert a new vaginal ring at the start of any cycle, insert the ring as soon as remembered; use a back-up method of contraception until the ring has been used continuously for 7 days. If the vaginal ring is left in place for up to 1 extra week (up to 4 weeks total), remove the ring and insert a new ring after a 1-week drug-free interval. If the ring is left in place for longer than 4 weeks, rule out pregnancy and use a back-up method of contraception until a new ring has been used continuously for 7 days.

Women may start using the vaginal contraceptive ring in the first 5 days following a complete first-trimester abortion; a back-up method of contraception is not needed in these women. If the contraceptive ring is not used within the first 5 days, follow the general instructions for women who did not use hormonal contraception in the preceding month.

If a nonlactating woman chooses to initiate contraception postpartum with the contraceptive vaginal ring before menstruation has started, consider the possibility that ovulation and conception may have occurred prior to initiation of contraceptive therapy; use a back-up method of contraception for the first 7 days.

Topical

To initiate therapy, start on the first day of the menstrual cycle or on the first Sunday after menstrual bleeding has started. Use a back-up method of contraception (condom, spermicide, diaphragm) for the first 7 days if therapy is started after day 1 of the menstrual cycle. A back-up method of contraception is not needed if the first system is applied on the first day of the menstrual cycle.

One transdermal system (containing ethinyl estradiol 0.75 mg and norelgestromin 6 mg) is applied once weekly (same day each week) for 3 weeks, followed by a 1-week drug-free interval (drug-free interval should not exceed 7 days); the regimen is then repeated.

Women switching from estrogen-progestin oral contraceptives: Apply the transdermal system on the first day of withdrawal bleeding. If there is no withdrawal bleeding within 5 days of the last hormonally active tablet, rule out pregnancy. If therapy with the transdermal system is initiated after the first day of bleeding, use a back-up method of contraception for 7 days. If more than 7 days elapse after receiving the last hormonally active tablet, consider the possibility of ovulation and conception.

When a woman has not adhered to the prescribed transdermal contraceptive regimen by not applying the estrogen and progestin-containing system at the initiation of any cycle (i.e., day 1/first week), apply the system as soon as it is remembered and start a new dosage cycle the same day; use a back-up method of contraception for the first 7 days of the new cycle.

If, in the middle of the cycle (i.e., on day 8/week 2 or day 15/week 3), the transdermal system has not been changed for 1–2 days (<48 hours), apply a new system as soon as it is remembered and continue the application schedule employed; back-up contraception is not needed. If, in the middle of the cycle the transdermal system has not been changed for more than 2 days (≥48 hours), start a new dosage cycle; use a back-up method of contraception for the first 7 days of the new cycle.

When the transdermal system is not removed at the end of the application schedule (i.e., on day 22/week 4), remove the system as soon as it is remembered and continue the application schedule employed (i.e., apply system on day 28); back-up contraception is not needed.

Women may start using the transdermal contraceptive system immediately after a first-trimester abortion; a back-up method of contraception is not needed. If the contraceptive preparation is not used within 5 days of a first-trimester abortion, follow instructions as if initiating transdermal contraception for the first time.

Postcoital Contraception
Oral

“Yuzpe” regimen: Take 100 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 1 mg of norgestrel within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse, repeating the dose 12 hours later.

Other regimens: Take 100–120 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 1.2 mg of norgestrel or 0.5–0.6 mg of levonorgestrel within 72 hours after intercourse, repeating the dose 12 hours later.

If necessary, the first dose can be administered up to 120 hours after unprotected intercourse, but efficacy decreases the longer initiation of contraception is delayed.

Repeated postcoital (emergency) contraception use indicates need for counseling about other contraceptive options. Safety of recurrent use not established but risk appears low, even within same menstrual cycle. Consider possibility that risk of adverse effects may be increased with frequently repeated postcoital contraception.

* Dose is administered initially and then repeated 12 hours later

Dosage of Estrogen-progestin Combinations for Postcoital Contraception

Estrogen-progestin Combination Formulation [Brand Name]

Number and Color of Tablets per Dose*

Ethinyl estradiol (50 mcg) with norgestrel (0.5 mg) [Ovral]

2 white tablets (any of 21 tablets)

Ethinyl estradiol (50 mcg) with norgestrel (0.5 mg) [Ovral-28]

2 white tablets (any of first 21 tablets)

Ethinyl estradiol (30 mcg) with norgestrel (0.3 mg) [Lo-Ovral]

4 white tablets (any of 21 tablets)

Ethinyl estradiol (30 mcg) with norgestrel (0.3 mg) [Lo-Ovral-28]

4 white tablets (any of first 21 tablets)

Ethinyl estradiol (30 mcg) with levonorgestrel (0.15 mg) [Nordette]

4 light-orange tablets (any of 21 tablets)

Ethinyl estradiol (30 mcg) with levonorgestrel (0.15 mg) [Nordette-28]

4 light-orange tablets (any of first 21 tablets)

Ethinyl estradiol (30 mcg) with levonorgestrel (0.15 mg) [Levlen 21]

4 light-orange tablets (any of 21 tablets)

Ethinyl estradiol (30 mcg) with levonorgestrel (0.15 mg) [Levlen 28]

4 light-orange tablets (any of first 21 tablets)

Ethinyl estradiol (30 mcg) with levonorgestrel (0.125 mg) [Tri-Levlen 21]

4 yellow tablets (any of last 10 tablets)

Ethinyl estradiol (30 mcg) with levonorgestrel (0.125 mg) [Tri-Levlen 28]

4 yellow tablets (any of tablets 12–21)

Ethinyl estradiol (30 mcg) with levonorgestrel (0.125 mg) [Tri-Phasil 21]

4 yellow tablets (any of last 10 tablets)

Ethinyl estradiol (30 mcg) with levonorgestrel (0.125 mg) [Tri-Levlen 28]

4 yellow tablets (any of tablets 12–21)

Ethinyl estradiol (20 mcg) with levonorgestrel (0.1 mg) [Lessina 28]

5 pink tablets (any of first 21 tablets)

Contraception and Folate Supplementation
Oral

Beyaz or Safyralis used in the same dosage and administration (i.e., timing of initiation of therapy) as used in contraception.

Acne Vulgaris
Oral

Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrostep, Yaz, or Beyaz is used in the same dosage and administration (i.e., timing of initiation of therapy) as used in contraception.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Oral

Yaz or Beyazis used in the same dosage and administration (i.e., timing of initiation of therapy) as used in contraception. (See Oral [21- or 28-day conventional-cycle preparations] under Dosage and Administration.)

Cautions for Estrogen-Progestin Combinations

Contraindications

  • Hypersensitivity to the drug or any ingredient in the formulation.

  • Known or suspected pregnancy.

  • Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding.

  • Diplopia or any ocular lesion arising from ophthalmic vascular disease.

  • Classical migraine.

  • Active liver disease or history of cholestatic jaundice with pregnancy or with prior use of oral contraceptives.

  • Breast-feeding.

  • Thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders.

  • Cerebrovascular disease or CAD (including MI).

  • Severe hypertension.

  • Diabetes with vascular involvement.

  • Known or suspected carcinoma of the breast.

  • Known or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia (e.g., carcinoma of the endometrium).

  • Benign or malignant liver tumor that developed during oral contraceptive or other estrogen use.

  • Oral contraceptives containing drospirenone: Contraindicated in women with renal impairment, hepatic tumors (benign or malignant) or hepatic disease, adrenal insufficiency, high risk of arterial or venous thrombotic diseases, undiagnosed abnormal uterine bleeding, history of breast cancer or other estrogen- or progestin-sensitive cancer, and in pregnancy.

  • Most experts state that there currently is no real contraindication to postcoital (emergency) contraception with the recommended regimens and that the benefits generally outweigh any theoretical or proven risk.

Warnings/Precautions

Warnings

Increased risk of several serious conditions, including thromboembolism, stroke, MI, liver tumor, gallbladder disease, visual disturbances, fetal abnormalities, and hypertension. However, risk of serious morbidity or mortality is very small in healthy women without underlying risk factors.

Ethinyl Estradiol/Norelgestromin Transdermal System

Overall exposure to ethinyl estradiol and norelgestromin is higher in women receiving Ortho Evra than in women receiving an oral contraceptive preparation containing ethinyl estradiol 35 mcg and norgestimate 0.25 mg. (See Absorption under Pharmacokinetics.) Increased exposure to estrogen may increase the risk of certain adverse effects (e.g., venous thromboembolism). Case controlled, epidemiologic studies evaluating the risk of venous thromboembolism with Ortho Evra relative to use of oral contraceptives containing norgestimate or levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol 30–35 mcg reported odds ratios from 0.9 (indicating no increased risk) to 2.4 (indicating increased risk).

Continuous Regimen of Ethinyl Estradiol/Levonorgestrel

Exposure to ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel is higher in women receiving Lybrel than in women receiving a conventional-cycle oral contraceptive containing the same ethinyl estradiol dose and a similar dose of the progestin component; use of Lybrel results in 13 additional weeks of hormone intake per year.

Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disorders

Positive association observed between the amount of estrogen and progestin in oral contraceptives and the risk of vascular disease. Use smallest dosage of estrogen and progestin compatible with a low failure rate and the individual needs of the woman.

Use with caution in women with cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Increased risk of MI, mainly in women who smoke or who have risk factors for CAD (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, diabetes, preeclamptic toxemia).

Women who smoke cigarettes during oral contraceptive use have an increased risk of serious adverse cardiovascular effects; risk increases with age and heavy smoking (≥15 cigarettes daily). (See Boxed Warning.) Women who use oral contraceptives should be strongly advised not to smoke.

Increases in BP may occur. Perform regular BP measurements prior to and during therapy.

Fluid retention may occur. Exercise caution and carefully monitor patients with conditions that might be aggravated by fluid retention.

Increased risk of thromboembolic and thrombotic disorders, including arterial thrombosis (e.g., stroke, MI). Risk of thrombotic events is even higher in women with other risk factors for such events. Known risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE) include smoking, obesity, family history, and other factors (see Contraindications under Cautions).

Increased risk of cerebrovascular disorders, including thrombotic and hemorrhagic stroke; risk generally is greatest in older (>35 years of age) hypertensive women who smoke. Risk of stroke also increased in women with other underlying risk factors.

Risk of VTE is highest during first year of oral contraceptive therapy. Some data suggest risk is highest during first 6 months of use. Highest VTE risk reported after initiation or resumption of therapy (after ≥4-week drug-free interval) with the same or a different oral contraceptive combination. Risk of thromboembolic disease gradually disappears after oral contraceptive therapy discontinued.

Clinicians and women should be alert to earliest possible manifestations of thromboembolic and thrombotic disorders (e.g., thrombophlebitis, pulmonary embolism, cerebrovascular insufficiency, coronary occlusion, retinal thrombosis, mesenteric thrombosis); discontinue contraceptive immediately when any of these disorders occurs or is suspected.

FDA safety review indicates that oral contraceptives containing drospirenone may be associated with increased risk of VTE compared with oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel or other progestins; in epidemiologic studies, increase in risk with drospirenone-containing combinations ranged from no increase to threefold increase. Because of data limitations, causality is unclear. FDA will provide updates when available.

Before initiating use of drospirenone-containing oral contraceptives in new users or in women switching from other oral contraceptives, consider risks and benefits of drospirenone-containing combinations, including VTE risk, specific to that woman. Discontinue use if arterial or venous thrombotic event occurs. (See Advice to Patients.)

Discontinue estrogen-progestin contraceptive therapy, when feasible, at least 4 weeks before surgery associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism or prolonged immobilization. Wait 2 weeks after elective surgery associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism or after immobilization before resuming use.

Do not start estrogen-progestin contraceptive therapy earlier than 4 weeks after delivery in women who elect not to breast-feed or in women who have had a midtrimester pregnancy termination. Risk of thromboembolism decreases while risk of ovulation increases after first 3 weeks postpartum.

Carcinoma of Breast and Reproductive Organs

Many studies have shown no increased risk of breast cancer in women receiving oral contraceptives or estrogens. Some studies, however, have suggested an overall increased risk of breast cancer in women receiving oral contraceptives; certain subgroups of women may be at increased risk (e.g., women <45 years of age, use early in childbearing years, use for extended periods of time, use before a first full-term pregnancy). These findings have occurred in only some studies and other large studies have shown no such possible associations.

Some evidence suggests that use of oral contraceptives may be associated with an increased risk of cervical carcinoma.

All users of estrogen-progestin contraceptives should be monitored carefully with physical examinations and Papanicolaou tests, at least annually.

Hepatic Effects

Benign hepatic adenomas associated with oral contraceptive use; risk appears to increase after ≥4 years of use. Rupture of benign hepatic adenomas may cause death through intraabdominal hemorrhage.

Increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in women using oral contraceptives for >8 years; these cancers are rare.

May alter liver function test results. If such test results are abnormal, repeat 2 months after contraceptive has been discontinued. Discontinue if jaundice occurs.

Ocular Effects

Retinal thrombosis reported. Discontinue contraceptive and initiate evaluation for retinal vein thrombosis immediately along with other appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures upon occurrence of unexplained, sudden or gradual, partial or complete loss of vision; proptosis or diplopia; papilledema; or retinal vascular lesions.

Obtain ophthalmologist assessment for contact lens wearers who develop visual disturbances or changes in lens tolerance and consider temporary or permanent cessation of contact lens wear.

Gallbladder Disease

Oral contraceptive use and estrogens associated with an increased lifetime relative risk of gallbladder disease/surgery, especially in young women. Recent studies indicate that risk may be minimal in patients using low-dose formulations.

Endocrine and Metabolic Effects

Decreased glucose tolerance reported. Monitor prediabetic and diabetic patients.

Increased concentrations of plasma triglyceride, low-density lipoproteins, and total phospholipids may occur. Closely monitor women with hyperlipidemia receiving estrogen-progestin oral contraceptives.

Potential exists for hyperkalemia to occur in high-risk patients (e.g., those with renal or hepatic impairment, adrenal insufficiency) receiving oral contraceptives containing drospirenone because of its antimineralocorticoid activity.

Headache

Discontinue contraceptive and evaluate cause if migraine occurs or is exacerbated, or when a new headache pattern develops that is recurrent, persistent, or severe.

Bleeding Irregularities

Breakthrough bleeding and/or spotting (especially within the first 3 months of use), changes in menstrual flow, missed menses (during use), or amenorrhea (after use) may occur. Evaluate for non-hormonal causes, malignancy, or pregnancy; if pathology is excluded, change to another formulation may solve the problem, or it may resolve with time. Rule out pregnancy in patients with amenorrhea.

Use of an extended-cycle oral contraceptive (e.g., LoSeasonique, Seasonale, Seasonique) results in fewer planned menses (4 per year) than a conventional-cycle oral contraceptive (13 per year) but is more often associated with bleeding irregularities.

Use of a fixed-combination, continuous-regimen (noncyclic) oral contraceptive (i.e., Lybrel) eliminates withdrawal bleeding; however, irregular bleeding and/or spotting occurs in some women.

Postcoital (emergency) contraception: Irregular vaginal bleeding possible; rule out pregnancy if menses is delayed >7 days after anticipated onset.

General Precautions

Physical Examination and Follow-up

Annual medical history and physical examination advised. The physical examination may be deferred until after initiation of these contraceptives if requested by the woman and judged appropriate by the clinician. Physical examination should include special attention to blood pressure, breasts, abdomen, and pelvic organs and should include a Papanicolaou test (Pap smear) and relevant laboratory tests. Exercise particular care in women with a strong family history of breast cancer or who have breast nodules.

Emotional Disorders

Exercise caution in women with a history of depression; discontinue if severe depression recurs during use.

Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Category X.

Rule out pregnancy in any patient receiving conventional-cycle estrogen-progestin contraceptives who has missed 2 consecutive menstrual periods. Consider possibility of pregnancy after the first missed period in patients who have not adhered to the prescribed contraceptive regimen and in those receiving an extended-cycle estrogen-progestin contraceptive (e.g., LoSeasonique, Seasonale, Seasonique). Discontinue estrogen-progestin contraceptive use if pregnancy confirmed.

Current evidence does not suggest an association between inadvertent use of oral contraceptives in early pregnancy and teratogenic effects. In addition, extensive epidemiologic studies have revealed no increased risk of birth defects in neonates born to women who used estrogen-progestin contraceptives prior to pregnancy.

Estrogens and/or progestins previously used to treat threatened or habitual abortion; estrogens and/or progestins now considered ineffective for this use.

Progestin-only or estrogen-progestin contraceptives should not be used to induce withdrawal bleeding as a test for pregnancy.

Postcoital (emergency) contraception: No need to rule out pregnancy with postcoital contraceptive regimens. Postcoital contraceptive regimens (i.e., levonorgestrel, estrogen-progestins regimens) do not exhibit abortifacient properties and do not interrupt pregnancy once endometrial implantation has occurred. No known harm to pregnant woman, course of pregnancy, or fetus from postcoital contraceptive regimens.

Lactation

Estrogen-progestin contraceptives may decrease the quantity and quality of milk if given in the immediate postpartum period. Small amounts of the hormonal agents are distributed into milk and adverse effects such as jaundice and breast enlargement have been reported in infants. Defer the use of estrogen-progestin contraceptives, if possible, until the infant has been weaned.

Some clinicians recommend that lactating women receiving high-dose postcoital contraceptive regimens use alternative milk sources for their infants for at least 24 hours after completion of the regimen. Other authorities state that nursing can continue during postcoital contraceptive regimens.

Pediatric Use

Safety and efficacy of estrogen-progestin contraceptives have been established in women of reproductive age. Safety and efficacy are expected to be identical for postpubertal adolescents <16 years of age and users ≥16 years of age.

Safety and efficacy of oral contraceptives containing drospirenone are expected to be the same for postpubertal adolescents <18 years of age and users ≥18 years of age. Not indicated before menarche.

Geriatric Use

Oral contraceptives have not been evaluated in women ≥65 years of age and are not indicated in this population.

Hepatic Impairment

Steroid hormones (including oral contraceptives) may be poorly metabolized in patients with hepatic dysfunction; use with caution in these individuals. (See Contraindications under Cautions.)

Common Adverse Effects

Nausea, chloasma or melasma, breakthrough bleeding and/or spotting, breast changes (tenderness, enlargement, secretion).

Interactions for Estrogen-Progestin Combinations

Estrogens metabolized by CYP3A4.

Drugs Affecting or Metabolized by Hepatic Microsomal Enzymes

Pharmacokinetic interactions likely with drugs that are inhibitors, inducers, or substrates of CYP3A4 with possible alteration in metabolism of estrogen and/or other drug.

Specific Drugs

Drug

Interaction

Comments

Acetaminophen

Possible increased estrogen concentration; decreased acetaminophen concentration

Anticonvulsants (carbamazepine, phenytoin, felbamate, oxcarbazepine, topiramate, primidone)

Possible reduced contraceptive efficacy; increased breakthrough bleeding

Antifungal agents

Increased concentrations of ethinyl estradiol and etonogestrel (NuvaRing vaginal contraceptive ring) when miconazole nitrate oil-based vaginal suppository used concomitantly

Increased plasma concentrations of contraceptive steroids with fluconazole, itraconazole, or ketoconazole

Effects of long-term administration of miconazole nitrate vaginal suppositories in women using NuvaRing not known; contraceptive ring efficacy not expected to be affected

Anti-infective agents

Anti-infective agents that alter GI bacterial flora may decrease contraceptive efficacy and increase breakthrough bleeding

Concomitant use of anti-infective agents (e.g., ampicillin, chloramphenicol, neomycin, nitrofurantoin, penicillin V, sulfonamides, tetracyclines) may result in decreased contraceptive efficacy

Antimycobacterial agents (rifabutin, rifampin)

Rifampin: Decreased contraceptive efficacy; increased breakthrough bleeding

Rifabutin: Similar effects may occur

Antiretroviral agents

Possible changes in pharmacokinetics of the estrogen and/or progestin with some HIV-protease inhibitors and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors

Possible reduced efficacy of the oral contraceptive; not known whether this applies to vaginal or transdermal contraceptives

Ascorbic acid

Possible increased estrogen concentration

Atorvastatin

Increased estrogen and progestin concentrations

Barbiturates

Possible reduced contraceptive efficacy; increased breakthrough bleeding

Benzodiazepines

Decrease metabolism of some benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam, chlordiazepoxide); increased metabolism of other benzodiazepines (e.g., lorazepam, oxazepam, temazepam)

Changes in benzodiazepine dosage may be necessary

β-Adrenergic blocking agents

Increased metoprolol AUC; possible increased concentrations of other β-adrenergic blocking agents that undergo first-pass metabolism

Reduction in the β-adrenergic blocking agent dosage may be needed

Bosentan

Possible reduced contraceptive efficacy; increased breakthrough bleeding

Corticosteroids

Enhanced anti-inflammatory effect of hydrocortisone

Increased plasma concentrations of prednisolone and other corticosteroids; possible decreased hepatic metabolism of corticosteroids or changes in corticosteroid protein binding

With concurrent use of dexamethasone, possible reduced contraceptive efficacy and increased breakthrough bleeding

Observe for signs of excessive corticosteroid effects; dosage adjustment of corticosteroid may be needed when oral contraceptives are started or discontinued

Cyclosporine

Increased cyclosporine concentration

Griseofulvin

Possible reduced contraceptive efficacy; increased breakthrough bleeding

Drugs that increase serum potassium concentrations (ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonists, potassium-sparing diuretics, heparin, aldosterone antagonists [spironolactone], NSAIAs)

Potential for increased serum potassium concentrations with drospirenone-containing oral contraceptives (Beyaz, Safyral, Yasmin, Yaz)

Determine serum potassium concentrations during first oral contraceptive cycle

Lamotrigine

Decreased lamotrigine concentrations

May reduce seizure control; dosage adjustment of lamotrigine may be needed

Meperidine

Possible decrease in metabolism of meperidine; conflicting data

Modafinil

Possible reduced contraceptive efficacy; increased breakthrough bleeding

Morphine

Increased clearance of morphine

Nonoxynol 9 spermicide gel

Pharmacokinetic interaction unlikely with vaginal contraceptive ring (NuvaRing)

Effects of long-term concomitant use of nonoxynol 9 spermicide gel with the contraceptive vaginal ring not known

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Decreased contraceptive efficacy; increased breakthrough bleeding

Theophylline

Increased theophylline concentrations

Tricyclic antidepressants

Possible decreased metabolism of antidepressant

Clinical importance unknown

Estrogen-Progestin Combinations Pharmacokinetics

Absorption

Bioavailability

Well absorbed through skin and mucous membranes and from the GI tract.

Transdermal contraceptive system containing ethinyl estradiol and norelgestromin (Ortho Evra): Average plasma concentration and AUC0-168 of ethinyl estradiol at steady state with Ortho Evra are 55–60% higher and peak plasma concentrations are 25% lower than with oral contraceptive preparations containing ethinyl estradiol 35 mcg; exposure to norelgestromin also is increased with Ortho Evra. Interindividual variation in plasma ethinyl estradiol concentrations is greater with Ortho Evra than with oral contraceptives.

Food

Effect of food on oral bioavailability, contraceptive efficacy, and adverse GI effects of the postcoital regimens not known.

Distribution

Extent

Widely distributed. Distributed into bile and milk.

Plasma Protein Binding

Ethinyl estradiol: 98% protein bound, mainly to albumin.

Norethindrone: >95% protein bound to albumin and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).

Levonorgestrel: 93–98% protein bound, 34–50% to albumin, 48–65% to SHBG.

3-Keto-desogestrel (the active metabolite of desogestrel): 96% protein bound, 64% to albumin, 32% to SHBG.

Drospirenone: 97% protein bound, presumably to albumin.

Etonogestrel: 66% bound to albumin, 32% bound to SHBG.

Norelgestromin: ≥97% bound to serum proteins (mainly albumin).

Norgestimate, norelgestromin, drospirenone, and ethinyl estradiol do not appear to bind to SHBG.

Elimination

Metabolism

Oral contraceptive steroids are metabolized mainly in the liver and/or GI mucosa during absorption.

Ethinyl estradiol is mainly metabolized via aromatic hydroxylation by CYP3A4. Ethinyl estradiol and its metabolites undergo glucuronidation and sulfate conjugation; ethinyl estradiol undergoes extensive enterohepatic circulation as glucuronide and sulfate conjugates. Bacteria in the GI tract hydrolyze these conjugates, allowing reabsorption of ethinyl estradiol.

Mestranol is metabolized to ethinyl estradiol.

Levonorgestrel and norethindrone are metabolized mainly by reduction, hydroxylation, or oxidation, and by glucuronide and sulfate conjugation. Levonorgestrel and norethindrone do not undergo appreciable enterohepatic circulation.

Desogestrel is rapidly and completely metabolized by hydroxylation in the intestinal mucosa and on first pass through the liver to the active metabolite 3-keto-desogestrel.

Norgestimate is metabolized extensively, mainly by hydrolysis, reduction, and hydroxylation, to 17-deacetyl norgestimate, 3-keto-norgestimate, and levonorgestrel; these metabolites subsequently may undergo glucuronide and sulfate conjugation.

Limited information is available on the pharmacokinetics of norethindrone acetate and ethynodiol diacetate; the drugs reportedly are rapidly metabolized to norethindrone.

Drospirenone is metabolized to 2 major inactive metabolites; one study suggests these metabolites are formed independently of the CYP enzyme system. Manufacturer states that drospirenone is metabolized only to a minor extent in vitro, mainly by CYP3A4.

Elimination Route

Contraceptive steroids are excreted in urine and feces, principally as metabolites and glucuronide and sulfate conjugates.

Half-life

Ethinyl estradiol: 6–45 hours.

Norethindrone: 5–14 hours.

Levonorgestrel: 11–45 hours.

Norelgestromin: 28 hours.

Drospirenone or etonogestrel: 30 hours.

3-Keto-desogestrel (the active metabolite of desogestrel): 12–58 hours.

Stability

Storage

Oral

Tablets

Room temperature.

Vaginal

Ethinyl estradiol in fixed combination with etonogestrel for vaginal administration (NuvaRing): 2–8°C until dispensed. Once dispensed, store for up to 4 months at 25°C (may be exposed to 15–30°C).

Transdermal

Transdermal ethinyl estradiol in fixed combination with norelgestromin (Ortho Evra): 25°C (may be exposed to 15–30°C). After removal from the protective pouch, apply immediately.

Actions

  • Estrogen-progestin contraceptives elicit many of the pharmacologic responses produced by endogenous estrogens and progestins.

  • Estrogen-progestin contraceptives produce contraceptive effects mainly by suppressing the hypothalamic-pituitary system, resulting in prevention of ovulation.

  • The mechanism of contraceptive activity of estrogen-progestin combinations administered after intercourse (postcoital) is not known. Estrogen-progestin combinations in high dosage provide a short, potent burst of hormonal exposure that may effectively prevent conception by delaying or inhibiting ovulation and/or producing changes in endometrial development that are hostile to uterine implantation of the fertilized ovum, depending on when the drugs are administered relative to the menstrual cycle and the time period since intercourse. When used for postcoital contraception, high-dosage estrogen-progestin combinations are only effective before pregnancy is established; these preparations are not effective after implantation of a fertilized ovum.

Advice to Patients

  • Importance of avoiding cigarette smoking while taking estrogen-progestin contraceptives. (See Boxed Warning.)

  • Importance of reading the patient information provided by the manufacturer.

  • Importance of informing women that estrogen-progestin oral contraceptives increase risk of thrombotic and thromboembolic disorders; risk of VTE is greatest after initiation or resumption of therapy (after ≥4-week drug-free interval) with the same or a different oral contraceptive combination. Importance of discussing VTE risk with a clinician before choosing a contraceptive method (e.g., oral contraceptive).

  • Importance of advising women that risk of VTE may be higher with drospirenone-containing oral contraceptives than with oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel or other progestins. Importance of not discontinuing use of drospirenone-containing oral contraceptive without consulting clinician.

  • Importance of handling the used transdermal system carefully (e.g., fold the system in half with the sticky sides together) and then discarding the system.

  • Importance of informing women using the Ortho Evra transdermal system that use of this preparation will result in exposure to about 60% more estrogen than use of an oral contraceptive containing 35 mcg of estrogen.

  • Postcoital contraception: Importance of scheduling the initial dose as conveniently as possible (but no later than 72 hours after intercourse) and of taking the second dose 12 hours after the initial dose.

  • Importance of informing women that estrogen-progestin contraceptives, like all nonbarrier contraceptive methods, do not protect against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or other sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Importance of women informing clinicians if they are or plan to become pregnant or plan to breast-feed.

  • Importance of informing clinicians of existing or contemplated concomitant therapy, including prescription and OTC drugs, as well as concomitant illnesses.

  • Importance of informing patients of other important precautionary information. (See Cautions.)

Preparations

Excipients in commercially available drug preparations may have clinically important effects in some individuals; consult specific product labeling for details.

Please refer to the ASHP Drug Shortages Resource Center for information on shortages of one or more of these preparations.

Ethinyl Estradiol Combinations

Routes

Dosage Forms

Strengths

Brand Names

Manufacturer

Oral

Tablets, monophasic regimen

20 mcg with Drospirenone 3 mg*

Beyaz (24 tablets with levomefolate calcium 0.451 mg plus 4 tablets containing only levomefolate calcium 0.451 mg)

Bayer HealthCare

Yaz (24 tablets plus 4 inert tablets)

Bayer HealthCare

20 mcg with Levonorgestrel 0.09 mg

Lybrel (28 tablets)

Wyeth

20 mcg with Levonorgestrel 0.1 mg

Alesse-21 (21 tablets)

Wyeth

Alesse-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Wyeth

Aviane 28 ( 21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Barr

Lessina 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Barr

Levlite 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Berlex

LoSeasonique (84 tablets plus 7 tablets containing ethinyl estradiol 10 mcg)

Duramed

20 mcg with Norethindrone Acetate 1 mg

Loestrin 21 1/20 (21 tablets)

Pfizer

Loestrin Fe 1/20 (21 tablets plus 7 tablets containing only ferrous fumarate 75 mg)

Pfizer

Loestrin 24 Fe (24 tablets plus 4 tablets containing only ferrous fumarate 75 mg)

Warner Chilcott

Microgestin Fe 1/20 (21 tablets plus 7 tablets containing only ferrous fumarate 75 mg)

Watson

30 mcg with Desogestrel 0.15 mg

Apri 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Barr

Desogen (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Organon

Ortho-Cept 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Ortho-McNeil

30 mcg with Drospirenone 3 mg*

Safyral (21 tablets with levomefolate calcium 0.451 mg plus 7 tablets containing only levomefolate calcium 0.451 mg)

Bayer HealthCare

Yasmin (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Bayer HealthCare

30 mcg with Levonorgestrel 0.15 mg

Levlen 21 (21 tablets)

Berlex

Levlen 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Berlex

Levora 0.15/30-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

Nordette-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Monarch

Portia 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Barr

Seasonale (84 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Duramed

Seasonique (84 tablets plus 7 tablets containing ethinyl estradiol 10 mcg)

Duramed

30 mcg with Norethindrone Acetate 1.5 mg

Loestrin 21 1.5/30 (21 tablets)

Pfizer

Loestrin Fe 1.5/30 (21 tablets plus 7 tablets containing only ferrous fumarate 75 mg)

Pfizer

Microgestin Fe 1.5/30 (21 tablets plus 7 tablets containing only ferrous fumarate 75 mg)

Watson

30 mcg with Norgestrel 0.3 mg

Cryselle (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Barr

Lo/Ovral (21 tablets)

Wyeth

Lo/Ovral-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Wyeth

Low-Ogestrel 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

35 mcg with Ethynodiol Diacetate 1 mg

Demulen 1/35-21 (21 tablets)

Pfizer

Demulen 1/35-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Pfizer

Zovia 1/35E-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

35 mcg with Norethindrone 0.4 mg

Ovcon/35. 21-Day (21 tablets)

Warner Chilcott

Ovcon/35 28-Day (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Warner Chilcott

35 mcg with Norethindrone 0.5 mg

Brevicon 28-Day (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

Modicon 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Ortho-McNeil

Necon-0.5/35-21 (21 tablets)

Watson

Necon-0.5/35-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

Nelova 0.5/35E 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Warner Chilcott

Nortrel 0.5/35 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Barr

35 mcg with Norethindrone 1 mg

Necon-1/35 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

Norinyl 1+35 28-Day (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

Nortrel 1/35 21 (21 tablets)

Barr

Nortrel 1/35 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Barr

Ortho-Novum 1/35 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Ortho-McNeil

35 mcg with Norgestimate 0.25 mg

MonoNessa (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

Ortho-Cyclen 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Ortho-McNeil

Sprintec (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Barr

50 mcg with Ethynodiol Diacetate 1 mg

Demulen 1/50-21 (21 tablets)

Pfizer

Demulen 1/50-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Pfizer

Zovia 1/50E-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

50 mcg with Norethindrone 1 mg

Ovcon/50 28-Day (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Warner Chilcott

50 mcg with Norgestrel 0.5 mg

Ogestrel 0.5/50-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

Ovral (21 tablets)

Wyeth

Ovral-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Wyeth

20 mcg with Desogestrel 0.15 mg (21 tablets), and 10 mcg (5 tablets),

Kariva (26 tablets plus 2 inert tablets)

Barr

Mircette (26 tablets plus 2 inert tablets)

Organon

Tablets, chewable

35 mcg with Norethindrone 0.4 mg

Ovcon 35 Fe (21 tablets plus 7 tablets containing only ferrous fumarate 75 mg)

Warner Chilcott

Femcon Fe (21 tablets plus 7 tablets containing only ferrous fumarate 75 mg)

Warner Chilcott

Tablets, biphasic regimen

35 mcg with Norethindrone 0.5 mg (10 tablets) and 35 mcg with Norethindrone 1 mg (11 tablets)

Necon 10/11-21 (21 tablets)

Watson

Necon 10/11-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

Tablets, triphasic regimen

20 mcg with Norethindrone Acetate 1 mg (5 tablets), 30 mcg with Norethindrone Acetate 1 mg (7 tablets), and 35 mcg with Norethindrone Acetate 1 mg (9 tablets)

Estrostep 21 (21 tablets)

Pfizer

Estrostep Fe (21 tablets plus 7 tablets containing only ferrous fumarate 75 mg)

Pfizer

25 mcg with Desogestrel 0.1 mg (7 tablets), 25 mcg with Desogestrel 0.125 mg (7 tablets), and 25 mcg with Desogestrel 0.150 mg (7 tablets)

Cyclessa (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Organon

25 mcg with Norgestimate 0.18 mg (7 tablets), 25 mcg with Norgestimate 0.215 mg (7 tablets), and 25 mcg with Norgestimate 0.25 mg (7 tablets)

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Ortho-McNeil

30 mcg with Levonorgestrel 0.05 mg (6 tablets), 40 mcg with Levonorgestrel 0.075 mg (5 tablets), and 30 mcg with Levonorgestrel 0.125 mg (10 tablets)

Enpresse 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Barr

Tri-Levlen 21 (21 tablets)

Berlex

Tri-Levlen 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Berlex

Triphasil-21 (21 tablets)

Wyeth

Triphasil-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Wyeth

Trivora-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

35 mcg with Norethindrone 0.5 mg (7 tablets), 35 mcg with Norethindrone 0.75 mg (7 tablets), and 35 mcg with Norethindrone 1 mg (7 tablets)

Necon 7/7/7 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

Ortho-Novum 7/7/7 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Ortho-McNeil

35 mcg with Norethindrone 0.5 mg (7 tablets), 35 mcg with Norethindrone 1 mg (9 tablets), and 35 mcg with Norethindrone 0.5 mg (5 tablets)

Tri-Norinyl-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

35 mcg with Norgestimate 0.18 mg (7 tablets), 35 mcg with Norgestimate 0.215 mg (7 tablets), and 35 mcg with Norgestimate 0.25 mg (7 tablets)

Ortho Tri-Cyclen 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Ortho-McNeil

Tri-Sprintec (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Barr

Topical

Transdermal System

0.75 mg with 6 mg Norelgestromin/20 cm2

Ortho Evra

Ortho-McNeill

Vaginal

Ring

0.015 mg with 0.12 mg Etonogestrel/24 hours (2.7 mg with 11.7 mg Etonogestrel/ring)

NuvaRing

Organon

Mestranol Combinations

Routes

Dosage Forms

Strengths

Brand Names

Manufacturer

Oral

Tablets, monophasic regimen

50 mcg with Norethindrone 1 mg

Necon 1/50-21 (21 tablets)

Watson

Necon 1/50-28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

Norinyl 1+50 28-Day (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Watson

Ortho-Novum 1/50 28 (21 tablets plus 7 inert tablets)

Ortho-McNeil

AHFS DI Essentials™. © Copyright 2021, Selected Revisions September 22, 2016. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.

† Use is not currently included in the labeling approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

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