What Is Desogestrel Ethinyl Estradiol?

Ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel is a combination birth control pill that contains female hormones to prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medicine also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.

Ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel is used to prevent pregnancy.

Ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Do not use birth control pills if you are pregnant or if you have recently had a baby.

You should not take birth control pills if you have any of the following conditions: uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart disease, a blood-clotting disorder, circulation problems, diabetic problems with your eyes or kidneys, unusual vaginal bleeding, liver disease, liver cancer, severe migraine headaches, if you smoke and are over 35, or if you have ever had breast or uterine cancer, jaundice caused by birth control pills, a heart attack, a stroke, or a blood clot.

Taking birth control pills can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack, especially if you have certain other conditions, or if you are overweight.

  • Smoking can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack.
  • You should not take birth control pills if you smoke and are over 35 years old.
  • Taking birth control pills can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack.

You are even more at risk if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or if you are overweight. Your risk of stroke or blood clot is highest during your first year of taking birth control pills. Your risk is also high when you restart birth control pills after not taking them for 4 weeks or longer.

Smoking can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack.

Your risk increases the older you are and the more you smoke. You should not take combination birth control pills if you smoke and are over 35 years old.

Do not use if you are pregnant.

Stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor if you become pregnant, or if you miss two menstrual periods in a row. If you have recently had a baby, wait at least 4 weeks before taking birth control pills.

You should not take birth control pills if you have:

untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure;

  • heart disease (coronary artery disease, uncontrolled heart valve disorder, history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot);
  • a blood-clotting disorder or circulation problems;
  • problems with your eyes, kidneys or circulation caused by diabetes;
  • a history of hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer;
  • unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor;
  • liver disease or liver cancer;
  • severe migraine headaches (with aura, numbness, weakness, or vision changes);
  • a history of jaundice caused by pregnancy or birth control pills; or
  • if you smoke and are over 35 years old.

To make sure birth control pills are safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • high blood pressure, varicose veins;
  • high cholesterol or triglycerides;
  • a history of depression;
  • underactive thyroid, gallbladder disease;
  • seizures or epilepsy;
  • a history of irregular menstrual cycles;
  • tuberculosis; or
  • a history of fibrocystic breast disease, lumps, nodules, or an abnormal mammogram.

Uses

This combination hormone medication is used to prevent pregnancy. It contains 2 hormones: a progestin (desogestrel) and an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol). It works mainly by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) during your menstrual cycle.

It also makes vaginal fluid thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg (fertilization) and changes the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg. If a fertilized egg does not attach to the uterus, it passes out of the body.

Besides preventing pregnancy, birth control pills may make your periods more regular, decrease blood loss and painful periods, decrease your risk of ovarian cysts, and also treat acne.

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, headache, bloating, breast tenderness, swelling of the ankles/feet (fluid retention), or weight change may occur. Vaginal bleeding between periods (spotting) or missed/irregular periods may occur, especially during the first few months of use. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. If you miss 2 periods in a row (or 1 period if the pill has not been used properly), contact your doctor for a pregnancy test.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Precautions

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to ethinyl estradiol or desogestrel; or to any other estrogen or progestin; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood clots (for example, in the legs, eyes, lungs), blood clotting disorders (such as protein C or protein S deficiency), high blood pressure, abnormal breast exam, cancer (especially endometrial or breast cancer), high cholesterol or triglyceride (blood fat) levels, depression, diabetes, family medical history (especially angioedema), gallbladder problems, severe headaches/migraines, heart problems .

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: aromatase inhibitors (such as anastrozole, exemestane), ospemifene, tamoxifen, tizanidine, tranexamic acid, a certain combination product used to treat chronic hepatitic C (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir/dasabuvir).

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