Ortho Evra (Ethinyl Estradiol/Norelgestromin)
Ortho Evra is a birth control patch containing the hormones estrogen and progestin. It is used to prevent pregnancy.
Do not use Ortho Evra if you smoke cigarettes and are >35 years. Cigarette smoking increases your risk of serious side effects on your heart and blood vessels, including heart attack, blood clots, or stroke. This risk increases with age, especially if you are >35 years, and if you smoke ≥15 cigarettes a day.
Hormones from Ortho Evra get into your bloodstream and are processed by your body differently than hormones from birth control pills. You will be exposed to about 60% more estrogen if you use Ortho Evra than if you use typical birth control pills containing 35 micrograms of estrogen. Your risk of blood clots in your legs and/or lungs can be increased with Ortho Evra use compared with the use of birth control pills.
Tell your doctor immediately if you experience breast lumps; coughing of blood; crushing chest pain or tightness in your chest; loss of vision; severe pain in your stomach area; severe problems with sleeping, weakness, lack of energy, fatigue, or change in mood; shortness of breath; sudden severe headache or vomiting, dizziness, or fainting; yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes with frequent fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, dark-colored urine, or light-colored bowel movements.
If you use Ortho Evra and need elective surgery, need to stay in bed for a prolonged illness or injury, or have recently delivered a baby, you can be at risk of developing blood clots. Talk to your doctor about stopping Ortho Evra 4 weeks before surgery, and not using it for 2 weeks after surgery or during bedrest. Do not use Ortho Evra soon after delivering a baby. Wait for at least 4 weeks after delivery if you are not breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, you should wait until you have weaned your child before using Ortho Evra.
Ortho Evra can increase your risk of developing strokes, angina (chest pain), heart attacks, gallbladder disease, noncancerous but dangerous liver tumors, and breast cancer.
There may be times when you may not menstruate regularly during your patch-free week. If you used Ortho Evra correctly and miss one menstrual period, continue using your birth control patches for the next cycle but be sure to tell your doctor before doing so. If you have not used Ortho Evra as instructed and missed a menstrual period, or if you missed two menstrual periods in a row, you could be pregnant. Tell your doctor immediately, to determine if you are pregnant. Stop using Ortho Evra if you are pregnant.
Ortho Evra may be less effective if you weigh >198 pounds. If you weight >198 pounds, talk to your doctor about which form of birth control may be best for you.
Ortho Evra does not protect you against HIV infection (AIDS) or any other sexually transmitted disease.