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 3; increased norepinephrine-induced 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 serum.
- Sex-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 may be increased.
- Glucose tolerance may be decreased.
- Serum folate levels may be depressed by oral contraceptive therapy. This may be of clinical significance if a woman becomes pregnant shortly after discontinuing oral contraceptives.
See WARNINGS section.
Small amounts of oral contraceptive steroids have been identified in the milk of nursing mothers 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.
Although a cause-and-effect relationship has not been clearly established, several cases of oral contraceptive failure have been reported in association with vomiting and/or diarrhea. If significant gastrointestinal disturbance occurs in any woman receiving contraceptive steroids, the use of a back-up method of contraception for the remainder of that cycle is recommended.
Safety and efficacy of OVCON 50 (norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol tablets, USP) have been established in women of reproductive age. Safety and efficacy are expected to be the same in postpubertal adolescents under the age of 16 years and in users ages 16 years and older. Use of this product before menarche is not indicated.
See Patient Labeling Printed Below
An increased risk of the following serious adverse reactions has been associated with the use of oral contraceptives (see WARNINGS section):
- Arterial thromboembolism
- Pulmonary embolism
- Myocardial infarction
- Cerebral hemorrhage
- Cerebral thrombosis
- Gallbladder disease
- Hepatic adenomas or benign liver tumors
There is evidence of an association between the following conditions and the use of oral contraceptives, although additional confirmatory studies are needed:
- Mesenteric thrombosis
- Retinal thrombosis
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
- Temporary infertility after discontinuation of treatment
- Melasma which may persist
- Breast changes: tenderness, enlargement, and secretion
- Change in weight (increase or decrease)
- Change in cervical ectropion and secretion
- Possible 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 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
- Budd-Chiari syndrome
- Changes in libido
Serious ill effects have not been reported following acute ingestion of large doses of oral contraceptives by young children. Overdosage may cause nausea, and withdrawal bleeding may occur in females.
The following noncontraceptive health benefits related to the use of oral contraceptives are supported by epidemiological studies which largely utilized oral contraceptive formulations containing estrogen doses exceeding 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol or 0.05 mg of mestranol.
Effects on menses:
- Increased menstrual cycle regularity
- Decreased blood loss and decreased incidence of iron deficiency anemia
- Decreased incidence of dysmenorrhea
Effects related to inhibition of ovulation:
- Decreased incidence of functional ovarian cysts
- Decreased incidence of ectopic pregnancies
Effects from long-term use:
- Decreased incidence of fibroadenomas and fibrocystic disease of the breast
- Decreased incidence of acute pelvic inflammatory disease
- Decreased incidence of endometrial cancer
- Decreased incidence of ovarian cancer
The following is a summary of the instructions given to the patient in the “HOW TO TAKE THE PILL” section of the DETAILED PATIENT PACKAGE INSERT.
The patient is given instructions in five (5) categories.
- IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER: The patient is told (a) that she should take one pill every day at the same time, (b) many women have spotting or light bleeding or gastric distress during the first one to three cycles, (c) missing pills can also cause spotting or light bleeding, (d) she should use a back-up method for contraception if she has vomiting or diarrhea or takes some concomitant medications, and/or if she has trouble remembering the pill, (e) if she has any other questions, she should consult her physician.
- BEFORE SHE STARTS TAKING HER PILLS: She should decide what time of day she wishes to take the pill, check whether her pill pack has 21 or 28 pills, and note the order in which she should take the pills (diagrammatic drawings of the pill pack are included in the patient insert).
- WHEN SHE SHOULD START THE FIRST PACK: The Day-One start is listed as the first choice and the Sunday start (the Sunday after her period starts) is given as the second choice. If she uses the Sunday start she should use a back-up method in the first cycle if she has intercourse before she has taken seven pills.
- WHAT TO DO DURING THE CYCLE: The patient is advised to take one pill at the same time every day until the pack is empty. If she is on a 21-day regimen, she should wait seven days to start the next pack. If she is on the 28-day regimen, she should start the next pack the day after the last inactive tablet and not wait any days between packs.
- WHAT TO DO IF SHE MISSES A PILL OR PILLS: The patient is given instructions about what she should do if she misses one, two or more than two pills at varying times in her cycle for both the Day-One and the Sunday start. The patient is warned that she may become pregnant if she has unprotected intercourse in the seven days. To avoid this, she must use another birth control method such as condom, foam, or sponge in these seven days.
All MedLibrary.org resources are included in as near-original form as possible, meaning that the information from the original provider has been rendered here with only typographical or stylistic modifications and not with any substantive alterations of content, meaning or intent.