Proper Use

It is very important that you use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

To use oral contraceptives as safe and reliable as possible, you should understand how and when to take them and what effects may be expected.

This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

This medicine is available in blister packs with a tablet dispenser. Each blister pack contains 28 tablets with different colors that need to be taken in the same order as directed on the blister pack.

When you begin using this medicine, your body will require at least 7 days to adjust before a pregnancy will be prevented. Use a second form of contraception (eg, condom, spermicide, or diaphragm) for the first 7 days of your first cycle of pills.

Take this medicine at the same time each day. Birth control pills work best when no more than 24 hours pass between doses.

Do not skip or delay taking your pill by more than 24 hours. If you miss a dose, you could get pregnant. Ask your doctor for ways to help you remember to take your pills or about using another method of birth control.

You may feel sick or nauseated, especially during the first few months that you take this medicine. If your nausea is continuous and does not go away, call your doctor.

Follow the instructions in the patient leaflet or call your doctor if you vomit or have diarrhea within 3 to 4 hours of taking this medicine. Treat this as a missed dose.

If you are using colesevelam, take it at least 4 hours before or after using this medicine.

Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may change the amount of this medicine that is absorbed in the body.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Your doctor may ask you to begin your dose on the first day of your menstrual period (called Day 1 start) or on the first Sunday after your menstrual period starts (called Sunday start). When you begin on a certain day it is important that you follow that schedule, even if you miss a dose. Do not change your schedule on your own. If the schedule that you use is not convenient, talk with your doctor about changing it. For a Sunday start, you need to use another form of birth control (eg, condom, diaphragm, spermicide) for the first 7 days.

You should begin your next and all subsequent 28-day regimens of treatment on the same day of the week as the first regimen began and follow the same schedule.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For contraception (to prevent pregnancy):
      • Adults and teenagers:
        • Desogen®—One white tablet (active) taken at the same time each day for 21 consecutive days followed by one green tablet (inert) daily for 7 days per menstrual cycle.
        • Ortho-Cept®—One light orange tablet (active) taken at the same time each day for 21 consecutive days followed by one green tablet (inert) daily for 7 days per menstrual cycle.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

This medicine has specific patient instructions on what to do if you miss a dose. Read and follow these instructions carefully and call your doctor if you have any questions.

Use a second form of birth control for 7 days after you miss a dose to prevent pregnancy.

Make sure your doctor knows if you miss your period 2 months in a row, because this could mean that you are pregnant.

You may not have a period for that month if you miss more than one dose or change your schedule.

You could have light bleeding or spotting if you do not take a pill on time. The more pills you miss, the more likely you are to have bleeding.

  • If you miss one light orange or white pill: Take the pill as soon as possible and take the next pill at your regular schedule.
  • If you miss two light orange or white pills in week 1 or 2: Take the two pills as soon as possible and the next two pills the next day. Continue taking one pill a day until you finish the pack. Use a second form of birth control (eg, condom, spermicide) for 7 days after you miss a dose.
  • If you miss two light orange or white pills in week 3, or if you miss three or more light orange or white pills in any week:
    • Day 1 start: Throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that same day.
    • Sunday start: Continue taking one pill a day until Sunday, then throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that same day. Use a second form of birth control (eg, condom, spermicide) for 7 days after you miss a dose, to prevent pregnancy. If you miss your menstrual period 2 months in a row, check with your doctor because you might be pregnant.
  • If you miss any of the seven green pills in week 4: Throw away the pills you missed. Continue taking one pill a day until you finish the pack.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.