Ovral is made up of the components Ethinyl estradiol and norgestrel. These components contain a combination of female hormones that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medication 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. Ovral is used as contraception to prevent pregnancy.
Start by taking the white tablet in the circle on the package on the first day of your menstrual cycle (i.e. the day bleeding commences).
Take one white tablet each day immediately after the evening meal or at bedtime, as nearly as possible at the same time each day for 21 days, following the arrows until all 21 white tablets are finished.
Then start taking one red colored tablet each day (again following the arrows) until all the red tablets are finished.
On the following day start a new package taking the first white tablet in the circle to commence the next course.
NOTE: There must be no interval between finishing one course and starting the next.
The changes you can expect:
You will probably have a menstrual period two or three days after taking the last white tablet in each package. The blood flow may be slightly less or more than you had before you started taking the tablets
Healthy women who do not smoke cigarettes have almost no chance of having a severe side effect from taking oral contraceptives. For most women, more problems occur because of pregnancy than will occur from taking oral contraceptives. However, for some women who have special health problems, oral contraceptives can cause some unwanted effects. Some of these unwanted effects include benign (not cancerous) liver tumors, liver cancer, or blood clots or related problems, such as a stroke. Although these effects are very rare, they can be serious enough to cause death. You may want to discuss these effects with your doctor.
Smoking cigarettes during the use of oral contraceptives has been found to greatly increase the chances of these serious side effects occurring. To reduce the risk of serious side effects, do not smoke cigarettes while you are taking oral contraceptives. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from oral contraceptive use. The risk increases with age and with heavy smoking (15 or more cigarettes per day) and is quite marked in women over 35 years of age.
The following side effects may be caused by blood clots. Get emergency help immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Abdominal or stomach pain (sudden, severe, or continuing); coughing up blood; headache (severe or sudden); loss of coordination (sudden); loss of vision or change in vision (sudden); pains in chest, groin, or leg (especially in calf of leg); shortness of breath (sudden or unexplained); slurring of speech (sudden); weakness, numbness, or pain in arm or leg (unexplained)
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
More common-usually less common after the first 3 months of oral contraceptive use
Changes in the uterine bleeding pattern at menses or between menses, such as decreased bleeding at menses, breakthrough bleeding or spotting between periods, prolonged bleeding at menses, complete stopping of menstrual bleeding that occurs over several months in a row, or stopping of menstrual bleeding that only occurs sometimes
Headaches or migraines (although headaches may lessen in many users, in others, they may increase in number or become worse); increased blood pressure; vaginal infection with vaginal itching or irritation, or thick, white, or curd-like discharge
For women with diabetes mellitus
Mild increase of blood sugar-Faintness, nausea, pale skin, or sweating
Mental depression; swelling, pain, or tenderness in upper abdominal area
For women who smoke tobacco
Pains in stomach, side, or abdomen; yellow eyes or skin
For women with a history of breast disease
Lumps in breast
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Abdominal cramping or bloating; acne (usually less common after first 3 months and may improve if acne already exists); breast pain, tenderness, or swelling; dizziness; nausea; swelling of ankles and feet; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting
Brown, blotchy spots on exposed skin; gain or loss of body or facial hair; increased or decreased interest in sexual intercourse; increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight; weight gain or loss.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
There are some adverse effects of the pill that are very important. Even though they rarely occur, you should be aware of them. Stop taking tablets and see your doctor immediately if you have persistent vaginal bleeding or discomfort, constant leg or chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe headache or vomiting, dizziness, difficulty seeing or talking, numb or weak feeling in an arm or leg, if you become very sad or irritable, if you cough up blood, or have other unusual symptoms.
If you omit one or more pills and miss a menstrual period, see your doctor. Discontinue taking Ovral until he says you can resume. If, while on Ovral you develop an illness with vomiting and diarrhea that lasts over 24hours, the absorption of oral contraceptives may be diminished and women should be advised to use additional methods of contraception at a time of such disorders.
Ovral tablets are to be used only on the advice, or on the recommendation of your doctor, who will give you more complete information on the use of Ovral and will advise you about possible contra-indications (conditions in which you should not take this type of medication).
Some drugs can make birth control pills less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Before using birth control pills, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ascorbic acid (vitamin C);
phenylbutazone (Azolid, Butazolidin);
dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol);
seizure medicines such as phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), topiramate (Topamax), and others;
a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); or
HIV medicines such as amprenavir (Agenerase), atazanavir (Reyataz), indinavir (Crixivan), saquinavir (Invirase), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), ritonavir (Norvir), and others.
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can affect birth control pills. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Ovral is designed to protect you from pregnancy. It will do this as long as you follow the schedule carefully. However, should you forget to take one or more pills, your body may not have enough of these substances left to prevent pregnancy. In such cases, use an additional birth-control method (other than oral contraceptive tablets).
If you miss taking 1 tablet, take it in the morning or as soon as possible, then take the next tablet at the usual time and continue the course as before. Remember to use an oral contraceptive method until you finish the package.
Suppose you forget to take 2 tablets in a row; take the 2 missed pills when you remember, and the pill for that day at the regular time. In this case, you take 3pills on the day you remember. Continue your schedule until the package is finished. An additional contraceptive method is necessary until you finish the package.
If you forget 3 or more tablets in a row, do NOT take them when you remember and do NOT finish the package. Wait 4 more days.Then begin a new package on DAY 8, even if you are still bleeding. During the 7days without tablets, and until you have taken a tablet daily for seven days from the new OVRAL28 package, use an additional birth-control method. If you omit any of the pills in a package and do not menstruate when you expect to, see your doctor or health advisor. Do not take any more tablets until he says you can.
Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and 30 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep away from children and pets.