Proper Use

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

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 make using hormonal contraceptives as safe and reliable as possible, you should understand how and when to use 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. 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, such as a condom, spermicide, or diaphragm, for the first 7 days of your first cycle of pills.

Take this medicine at the same time each day. You may take this medicine with or without food.

You may chew and swallow the chewable tablet or swallow it whole. Drink a full glass of water (8 ounces) immediately after chewing or swallowing this medicine.

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 have light bleeding or spotting when you first take the pill.

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

If you vomit or have diarrhea within 3 to 4 hours of taking this medicine, follow the instructions in the patient leaflet or call your doctor.

If you are switching from a combination hormonal method (eg, another pill, patch, vaginal ring) to using Lo Loestrin® Fe or Minastrin® 24 Fe, take the medicine on the day you would have taken your next pill. If you do not start your period, see your doctor for a pregnancy test. If you have used a vaginal ring or patch, finish the 21 days of use, and wait 7 days after the ring or patch is removed before you start taking this medicine. You must also use a second method of birth control (eg, condom, diaphragm, spermicide) for the first 7 days you take this medicine.

If you are switching from a progestin-only method (eg, progestin-only pill, implant, injection, intrauterine system) to using Lo Loestrin® Fe or Minastrin® 24 Fe, take the medicine on the day you would have taken your next progestin-only pill, or on the day your implant is removed, or on the day you would have your next injection. If you switch from an IUD, talk to your doctor when to start taking this medicine. You must also use a second method of birth control (eg, condom, diaphragm, spermicide) for the first 7 days you take this medicine.

If you are switching from another hormonal method to using FEMCON® Fe, take the medicine on the day you would have taken your next pill.

If you are switching from another birth control method to using FEMCON® Fe:

  • Transdermal patch, vaginal ring, or injection—Start FEMCON® Fe on the day that you would usually apply, insert, or inject the medicine.
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)—Start FEMCON® Fe on the day of removing the IUD. Use a second form of birth control for the first 7 days if the IUD has not been removed on the first day of your menstrual cycle.
  • Implant—Start FEMCON® Fe on the day of removing the implant.

If you have a miscarriage or an abortion in the first trimester of your pregnancy, you may startFEMCON® Fe right away. You do not need a second form of birth control. If you start this medicine 5 days or more after the miscarriage or abortion, you should use a second form of non-hormonal birth control for the first 7 days of your first pill cycle. If you have a miscarriage or abortion after the second trimester, you should wait for 4 weeks before starting this medicine. Use another form of birth control for the first 7 days of your first pill cycle if you use this medicine on a Sunday.

If you use this medicine after giving birth and choose not to breastfeed, you may start 4 weeks after childbirth to prevent the risk of having blood clots.

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), on the fifth day (called Day 5 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, check with your doctor about changing it. For the Day 5 start and Sunday start, you need to use another form of birth control (eg, condom, diaphragm, spermicide) for the first 7 days.

  • For oral dosage forms (chewable tablets or tablets):
    • For contraception (to prevent pregnancy):
      • Adults and teenagers—
        • FEMCON® Fe: One white tablet (active) taken at the same time each day for 21 consecutive days followed by one brown (inert) tablet daily for 7 days per menstrual cycle.
        • Lo Loestrin® Fe: One blue or white tablet (active) taken at the same time each day for 21 consecutive days followed by one brown (inert) tablet daily for 7 days per menstrual cycle.
        • Minastrin® 24 Fe: One white tablet (active) taken at the same time each day for 21 consecutive days followed by one brown (inert) tablet daily for 7 days per menstrual cycle.
        • Norminest® Fe: One blue tablet (active) taken at the same time each day for 21 consecutive days followed by one brown (inert) tablet daily for 7 days per menstrual cycle.
        • Norquest® Fe: One yellow-green tablet (active) taken at the same time each day for 21 consecutive days followed by one brown (inert) tablet 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.

  • FEMCON® Fe:
    • If you miss one white active tablet in weeks 1, 2, or 3: Take the tablet as soon as possible and take the next tablet at your regular schedule. Continue taking one tablet a day until you finish the pack.
    • If you miss two white active tablets in week 1 or 2: Take the two tablets as soon as possible and the next two tablets the next day. Continue taking one tablet 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 white active tablets in week 3, or you miss three or more white active tablets in a row in weeks 1, 2, or 3:
      • Day 1 start: 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.
      • Sunday start: Continue taking one tablet 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.
  • Norminest® Fe or Norquest® Fe:
    • If you miss one blue or yellow-green active tablet: Take the tablet as soon as possible and take the next tablet at your regular schedule. This means that you may take 2 pills in 1 day. You do not need to use another form of birth control if you have sex.
    • If you miss more than one blue or yellow-green active tablets: Skip the two tablets. Take the next tablet at your regular schedule. Continue taking one tablet 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.
    • You could have light bleeding or spotting any time you do not take a pill on schedule. The more pills you miss, the more likely you are to have bleeding.
    • If you miss two periods in a row, call your doctor for a pregnancy test before you take any more pills.

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.