It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine does not cause unwanted effects. These visits will usually be every 6 to 12 months, but some doctors require them more often.
Tell the medical doctor or dentist in charge that you are taking this medicine before any kind of surgery (including dental surgery) or emergency treatment. Your doctor will decide whether you should continue taking this medicine.
The following medicines may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. You should use an additional method of birth control during each cycle in which any of the following medicines are used:
- Carbamazepine (e.g., Tegretol)
- Griseofulvin (e.g., Fulvicin)
- Penicillin V
- Phenytoin (e.g., Dilantin)
- Primidone (e.g., Mysoline)
- Rifampin (e.g., Rifadin)
- Ritonavir (e.g., Norvir)
- Tetracyclines (medicine for infection)
- Troglitazone (e.g., Rezulin)
Check with your doctor if you have any questions about this.
Vaginal bleeding of various amounts may occur between your regular menstrual periods during the first 3 months of use. This is sometimes called spotting when slight, or breakthrough bleeding when heavier. If this should occur:
- Continue on your regular dosing schedule.
- The bleeding usually stops within 1 week.
- Check with your doctor if the bleeding continues for more than 1 week.
- After you have been taking oral contraceptives on schedule and for more than 3 months and bleeding continues, check with your doctor.
Missed menstrual periods may occur:
- If you have not taken the medicine exactly as scheduled. Pregnancy must be considered as a possibility.
- If the medicine is not the right strength or type for your needs.
- If you stop taking oral contraceptives, especially if you have taken oral contraceptives for 2 or more years
Check with your doctor if you miss any menstrual periods so that the cause may be determined.
In some patients using estrogen-containing oral contraceptives, tenderness, swelling, or bleeding of the gums may occur. Brushing and flossing your teeth carefully and regularly and massaging your gums may help prevent this. See your dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned. Check with your medical doctor or dentist if you have any questions about how to take care of your teeth and gums, or if you notice any tenderness, swelling, or bleeding of your gums. Also, it has been shown that estrogen-containing oral contraceptives may cause a healing problem called dry socket after a tooth has been removed. If you are going to have a tooth removed, tell your dentist or oral surgeon that you are taking oral contraceptives.
Some people who take oral contraceptives may become more sensitive to sunlight than they are normally. When you begin taking this medicine, avoid too much sun and do not use a sunlamp until you see how you react to the sun, especially if you tend to burn easily. If you have a severe reaction, check with your doctor. Some people may develop brown, blotchy spots on exposed areas. These spots usually disappear gradually when the medicine is stopped.
If you suspect that you may have become pregnant, stop taking this medicine immediately and check with your doctor
If you are scheduled for any laboratory tests, tell your doctor that you are taking birth control pills
Check with your doctor before refilling an old prescription, especially after a pregnancy. You will need another physical examination and your doctor may change your prescription.