It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly and does not cause unwanted effects. These visits will usually be every 3 months, but some doctors require them more often. Your doctor will check your blood pressure once a year.
Although you are using this medicine to prevent pregnancy, you should know that using this medicine while you are pregnant could harm the unborn baby. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
This medicine may cause your bones to lose calcium, which can lead to osteoporosis (thin or weak bones). This calcium loss could continue the whole time you are receiving this medicine. Your bones should start to rebuild calcium after you stop using this medicine. This is more of a concern if you are a teenager, smoke or drink alcohol regularly, have other bone problems, anorexia nervosa (an eating disorder), a family history of osteoporosis, or use other medicines that also affect your bones (such as steroids or medicine to treat seizures).
You will need to talk with your doctor if you want to use this medicine for more than 2 years. You might need to be tested to make sure your bones are not losing too much calcium.
Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves; difficulty with breathing; a sudden, severe headache; slurred speech; a sudden, unexplained shortness of breath; a sudden loss of coordination; or vision changes while using this medicine.
Check with your doctor immediately if you have blurred vision, difficulty with reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
There is a very slight chance that this medicine could increase risk of breast cancer in some women. Talk to your doctor about this risk. Make sure your doctor knows if anyone in your family has had breast cancer.
Call your doctor right away if you have severe lower abdominal or stomach pain 3 to 5 weeks after receiving this medicine. You may have a pregnancy outside of the uterus (womb), which is called an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy can be a serious and life-threatening condition. It can also cause problems that may make it harder for you to become pregnant in the future.
Most women have changes in their menstrual periods while using this medicine. You might have irregular bleeding, spotting, or heavier or lighter periods. Many women stop having periods. Call your doctor if you have very heavy or nonstop bleeding.
This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; hoarseness; trouble breathing; trouble swallowing; or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after receiving this medicine.
Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach; pale stools; dark urine; loss of appetite; nausea; unusual tiredness or weakness; or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
This medicine may cause fluid retention (edema) and weight gain in some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you have bloating or swelling of face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet; tingling of hands or feet; or unusual weight gain or loss.
If you plan to have children after you stop using this medicine, it may take up to year or longer before you can become pregnant. However, do not depend on this medicine to prevent pregnancy for more than 13 weeks.
This medicine will not protect you from getting HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted infections. If this is a concern for you, talk with your doctor.
Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are using this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (e.g., St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.