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Oral Contraceptives

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Contraceptive Mercilon®, Microgynon®, Yasmin®, Yaz®, Liza®, Drospera®, Adult

Oral Contraceptives - What is it for

Oral contraceptives are used to prevent pregnancy and promote regular menstrual bleeding.

Oral Contraceptives - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Oral Contraceptives cause?

Spotting or bleeding may occur between your periods during the first few months of taking oral contraceptives. However, if this continues after the third month, consult your doctor.

Other common side effects that you may experience include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, bloating and abdominal cramps. Take the medication after food to minimise gastric side effects.
  • Breast tenderness. Decrease salt intake and drink more water to help your body expel excess water.
  • Headache or migraine. Paracetamol can be taken to manage headaches.
  • Intolerance to contact lenses
  • Weight changes, mood swings. To take the medication at the same time everyday to avoid large hormonal fluctuations.
  • Pigmentation of the skin. Apply sunblock when outdoors and avoid long hours of sun exposure.

Consult your doctor about any symptom that becomes bothersome.​​

Using a combined hormonal pill increases a woman’s risk of developing blood clots compared with a woman not taking any combined hormonal pill. The risk of developing blood clots in a vein is highest during the first year a woman uses the pill. Other risk factors of developing blood clots include smoking and obesity. However, blood clot formation is rare and the doctor would have evaluated and weighed its benefits over risks before making the recommendation.

Report to your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Any unusual sudden cough
  • Severe pain in the chest which may reach the left arm
  • Change in your speech, including slurring of words
  • Change in your senses of hearing, smell or taste
  • Breathlessness or difficulty in breathing
  • Unusual, severe or long lasting headache or worsening of migraine
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Severe pain in your abdomen
  • Severe pain in legs or swelling in either of your legs
  • Weakness or numbness in any part of your body

Before taking Oral Contraceptives, what precautions must I follow?

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Oral Contraceptives?

Oral Contraceptives - Dosage and How to Use

How should Oral Contraceptives be used?

The tablets should be taken at the same time daily after food. A barrier method of contraception e.g. condoms, is recommended for the first 7 days the first time you begin taking the oral contraceptives.

For the first pack of oral contraceptives, take the first tablet on the ____ day of your menses.

  • 21-day packing, your menses should begin during the 7-day tablet-free period. Even if your menses is still ongoing, subsequent pack is to be started after the 7-day tablet free period has elapsed.
  • 28-day packing, your menses should begin during the intake of the “inactive pills”. When you finish all the 28 pills in the pack, start immediately with a new pack even if you are still having your menses.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If a dose is missed, contraceptive protection may be reduced. In some cases, what you do depends on which week you missed the doses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mercilon®/ Microgynon® / Yasmin®/Liza®

<12hrs: Take the missed pill as soon as remembered, then resume taking the next one at the regular time.

>12 hrs: Refer to the following:

Week 1: Take the missed pill as soon as remembered, even if it means taking 2 pills at the same time. Continue to take pills at your usual time. Use a barrier method for the next 7 days. If you had intercourse in the week before the missed pill, consult a doctor as there is a possibility of pregnancy

Week 2: Take the missed pill as soon as remembered, even if it means taking 2 pills at the same time. Continue to take pills at your usual time. If you did not take your pills correctly in the 7 days before you missed the first pill, or if you missed more than 1 pill, use a barrier method for the next 7 days.

Week 3: Adhere to either of the following options:

  • Take the missed pill as soon as remembered, even if it means taking 2 pills at the same time. Continue to take pills at your usual time and start the next pack right away i.e. no gap should be left between packs. You are unlikely to have a withdrawal bleed until the end of the second pack, but may experience spotting or breakthrough bleeding on tablet-taking days
  • Stop taking pills and have a tablet-free interval of up to 7 days, including the day pill was missed, then start a new pack.

Note: If pills were taken correctly 7 days before you missed the first pill, you may adhere to either option. However, if pills were not taken correctly or more than 1 pill was missed, you will need to follow option 1 and barrier method to be used for the next 7 days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yaz®/Drospera® (contains 24 pink “active” and 4 white “inactive” tablets)

Missed “inactive” tablets: Remove the missed tablet and discard it.

Missed “active” tablets:

<24hrs: Take the missed pill as soon as remembered, then resume taking the next one at the regular time.

>24 hrs: Refer to the following:

Day 1-7: Take the missed pill as soon as remembered, even if it means taking 2 pills at the same time. Continue to take pills at your usual time. Use a barrier method for the next 7 days .If you had intercourse in the week before the missed pill, consult a doctor as there is a possibility of pregnancy.

Day 8-14: Take the missed pill as soon as remembered, even if it means taking 2 pills at the same time. Continue to take pills at your usual time. If you did not take your pills correctly in the 7 days before you missed the first pill, or if you missed more than 1 pill, use a barrier method for the next 7 days.

Day 15-24: Adhere to either of the following options:

  • Take the missed pill as soon as remembered, even if it means taking 2 pills at the same time. Continue to take pills at your usual time until all pink “active” pills are used up. Discard the 4 white “inactive” pills and start the next pack right away.  You are unlikely to have a withdrawal bleed until the end of the "active" tablets section of the second blister strip, but may experience spotting or breakthrough bleeding on tablet-taking days.
  • Stop taking pills and have a tablet-free interval of up to 4 days, including the day pill was missed, then start a new pack.

Note: If pills were taken correctly 7 days before you missed the first pill, you may adhere to either option. However, if pills were not taken correctly or more than 1 pill was missed, you will need to follow option 1 and barrier method to be used for the next 7 days.

 

**If you miss your period (especially with missed tablets), consult your doctor to determine if you are pregnant before continuing to take the next cycle of contraceptives.

If vomiting and diarrhea occurs within 3-4 hours of taking oral contraceptives, the tablet may not be absorbed. It is considered a missed dose. You should then follow the instructions above.

What should I do if I overdose?

Oral Contraceptives - Handling and Storage

How should I handle Oral Contraceptives safely?

How should I store Oral Contraceptives?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store at room temperature;#

How should I dispose of Oral Contraceptives safely?

Oral Contraceptives - Additional Information

Other medications such as antibiotics may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Be sure to inform other doctors/dentists about the oral contraceptives you are taking if you are seeing them for other medical conditions.

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The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

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