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ethinyl estradiol and norgestrel (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ethinyl estradiol and norgestrel (Cryselle 28, Lo/Ovral-28, Low-Ogestrel, Ogestrel-28)?

This medication can cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away 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 birth control pills (6 weeks if you are breast-feeding).

Do not use this medication if you have:

  • a history of a stroke or blood clot;
  • circulation problems (especially if caused by diabetes);
  • a hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer;
  • unusual vaginal bleeding;
  • liver disease or liver cancer;
  • severe high blood pressure;
  • severe migraine headaches;
  • a heart valve disorder; or
  • a history of jaundice caused by birth control pills.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests:

The hormones in birth control pills can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. This medication may also slow breast milk production. You should not breast-feed while you are taking birth control pills.

How should I take ethinyl estradiol and norgestrel (Cryselle 28, Lo/Ovral-28, Low-Ogestrel, Ogestrel-28)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Take your first pill on the first day of your period or on the first Sunday after your period begins (follow your doctor's instructions).

You may need to use back-up birth control, such as condoms or a spermicide, when you first start using this medication. Follow your doctor's instructions.

The 28-day birth control pack contains seven "reminder" pills to keep you on your regular cycle. Your period should 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.

Take one pill every day, no more than 24 hours apart. When the pills run out, start a new pack the following day. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of pills completely.

If you need medical tests or surgery, or if you will be on bed rest, you may need to stop using this medication for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using birth control pills.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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