Oral contraceptives may cause some degree of fluid retention. They should be prescribed with caution, and only with careful monitoring, in patients with conditions that might be aggravated by fluid retention, such as convulsive disorders, migraine syndrome, asthma, or cardiac, hepatic, or renal dysfunction.
Women with a history of depression should be carefully observed and the drug discontinued if depression recurs to a serious degree.
Contact lens wearers who develop visual changes or changes in lens tolerance should be assessed by an ophthalmologist.
Reduced efficacy and increased incidence of breakthrough bleeding and menstrual irregularities have been associated with concomitant use of rifampin. A similar association, though less marked, has been suggested for barbiturates, phenylbutazone, phenytoin sodium, and possibly with griseofulvin, ampicillin, and tetracyclines. Administration of troglitazone concomitantly with a combination oral contraceptive (estrogen and progestin) reduced the plasma concentrations of both hormones by approximately 30%. This could result in loss of contraceptive efficacy.
Concomitant Use with HCV Combination Therapy – Liver Enzyme Elevation
Do not co-administer Kelnor with HCV drug combinations containing ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir, due to potential for ALT elevations (see WARNINGS, Risk of Liver Enzyme Elevations with Concomitant Hepatitis C Treatment).
Certain endocrine and liver function tests and blood components may be affected by oral contraceptives:
- Increased prothrombin and factors VII, VIII, IX and X; decreased antithrombin III; increased platelet aggregability.
- Increased thyroid binding globulin (TBG), leading to increased circulating total thyroid hormone as measured by protein-bound iodine (PBI), T4 by column or by radioimmunoassay. Free T3 resin uptake is decreased, reflecting the elevated TBG; free T4 concentration is unaltered.
- Other binding proteins may be elevated in the serum.
- Sex-steroid binding globulins are increased and result in elevated levels of total circulating sex steroids and corticoids; however, free or biologically active levels remain unchanged.
- Triglycerides and phospholipids may be increased.
- Glucose tolerance may be decreased.
- Serum folate levels may be depressed. This may be of clinical significance if a woman becomes pregnant shortly after discontinuing oral contraceptives.
- Increased sulfobromophthalein and other abnormalities in liver function tests may occur.
- Plasma levels of trace minerals may be altered.
- Response to the metyrapone test may be reduced.
Pregnancy Category X
Small amounts of oral contraceptive steroids have been identified in the milk of nursing mothers141-143 and a few adverse effects on the child have been reported, including jaundice and breast enlargement. In addition, oral contraceptives given in the postpartum period may interfere with lactation by decreasing the quantity and quality of breast milk. If possible, the nursing mother should be advised not to use oral contraceptives, but to use other forms of contraception until she has completely weaned her child.
Safety and efficacy of Kelnor has been established in women of reproductive age. Safety and efficacy are expected to be the same for postpubertal adolescents under the age of 16 and for users 16 years and older. Use of this product before menarche is not indicated.
Oral contraceptives are of no value in the prevention or treatment of venereal disease. The prevalence of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in oral contraceptive users is increased several-fold.144, 145 It should not be assumed that oral contraceptives afford protection against pelvic inflammatory disease from chlamydia.144 Patients should be counseled that this product does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.
a. The pathologist should be advised of oral contraceptive therapy when relevant specimens are submitted.
b. Treatment with oral contraceptives may mask the onset of the climacteric. (See WARNINGS regarding risks in this age group.)
See patient labeling printed below.
Post Marketing Experience
Five studies that compared breast cancer risk between ever-users (current or past use) of COCs and never-users of COCs reported no association between ever use of COCs and breast cancer risk, with effect estimates ranging from 0.90 to 1.12 (Figure 2).
Three studies compared breast cancer risk between current or recent COC users (<6 months since last use) and never users of COCs (Figure 2). One of these studies reported no association between breast cancer risk and COC use. The other two studies found an increased relative risk of 1.19 to 1.33 with current or recent use. Both of these studies found an increased risk of breast cancer with current use of longer duration, with relative risks ranging from 1.03 with less than one year of COC use to approximately 1.4 with more than 8 to 10 years of COC use.
Figure 2. Risk of Breast Cancer with Combined Oral Contraceptive Use
RR = relative risk; OR = odds ratio; HR = hazard ratio. “ever COC” are females with current or past COC use; “never COC use” are females that never used COCs.
An increased risk of the following serious adverse reactions has been associated with the use of oral contraceptives (see WARNINGS):
- Thrombophlebitis and thrombosis
- Arterial thromboembolism
- Pulmonary embolism
- Myocardial infarction and coronary thrombosis
- Cerebral hemorrhage
- Cerebral thrombosis
- Gallbladder disease
- Benign and malignant liver tumors, and other hepatic lesions
There is evidence of an association between the following conditions and the use of oral contraceptives, although additional confirmatory studies are needed:
- Mesenteric thrombosis
- Neuro-ocular lesions (e.g., retinal thrombosis and optic neuritis)
The following adverse reactions have been reported in patients receiving oral contraceptives and are believed to be drug-related:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal cramps and bloating)
- Breakthrough bleeding
- Change in menstrual flow
- Amenorrhea during or after use
- Temporary infertility after discontinuation of use
- Chloasma or melasma, which may persist
- Breast changes: tenderness, enlargement, secretion
- Change in weight (increase or decrease)
- Change in cervical erosion or secretion
- Diminution in lactation when given immediately postpartum
- Cholestatic jaundice
- Rash (allergic)
- Mental depression
- Reduced tolerance to carbohydrates
- Vaginal candidiasis
- Change in corneal curvature (steepening)
- Intolerance to contact lenses
The following adverse reactions or conditions have been reported in users of oral contraceptives and the association has been neither confirmed nor refuted:
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Changes in appetite
- Cystitis-like syndrome
- Loss of scalp hair
- Erythema multiforme
- Erythema nodosum
- Hemorrhagic eruption
- Impaired renal function
- Hemolytic uremic syndrome
- Changes in libido
- Budd-Chiari syndrome
- Endocervical hyperplasia or ectropion
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