Birth Control Medications (Contraceptives) (cont.)
Topical Contraceptive Patch
Norelgestromin/ethinyl estradiol (Ortho Evra)
The topical patch may be applied to clean, dry skin on the shoulders, upper arms, buttocks, or abdomen. It should not be applied to red or inflamed areas of the skin or in areas where tight clothing may rub. The patch may be less effective in women weighing more than 198 pounds (90 kg).
- Use: A new patch is applied on the same day of the week, each week for 3 weeks in a row. The first patch is applied either on the first day of the menstrual period or on the Sunday following menses. On the fourth week, no patch is applied. Menstruation should begin during this time. This 4-week period is considered 1 cycle. Another 4-week cycle is started by applying a new patch following the 7-day patch-free period.
- Side effects: Side effects are similar to other birth control agents containing both estrogen and progesterone. Effects include menstrual irregularities, weight gain, and mood changes. Other specific side effects include a skin reaction at the site of application and problems with contact use.
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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