Common Name: norgestimate - ethinyl estradiol
How does Cyclen work?Norgestimate - ethinyl estradiol is an estrogen and progestin combination pill used to prevent pregnancy. It is a birth control pill that works by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary) and causing changes in the mucus of the cervix which make it difficult for sperm to penetrate and for an egg to implant. Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than the ones listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
How should I use Cyclen?21-day pack: Take one tablet daily for 21 days, then take no pills for 7 days. 28-day pack: Take one tablet daily for 21 days, then one "reminder" pill daily for 7 days. Talk with your doctor about the best time to start your pills. The first day of your menstrual period (bleeding ) is known as "Day 1." Your doctor may have you start your pills on the first Sunday after your period starts or on Day 1 of your period. The pills should be taken approximately the same time every day. It may be advisable to use a second method of birth control (e.g., latex condoms and spermicidal foam or gel) for the first seven days of the first cycle of pill use. Many women have spotting or light bleeding or may feel sick to their stomach during the first three months taking the pill. If you do feel sick, do not stop taking the pill. The problem will usually go away. If it does not go away, check with your doctor or clinic. If you experience vomiting or diarrhea, or if you take certain medications (such as antibiotics), your pills may not work as well. Use a backup method, such as latex condoms and spermicidal foam or gel, until you can check with your doctor or clinic. Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor. It is very important that you take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss pills at any time, the risk of becoming pregnant increases. If you miss one pill, take it as soon as you remember, and take the next pill at the usual time. This means that you might take two pills in one day. If you miss two pills in a row during the first two weeks of your cycle, take two pills the day you remember and two pills the next day, then take one pill a day until you finish the pack. Use a second method of birth control if you have sex in the seven days after you miss the pills. If you miss two pills in a row during the third week of your cycle or three or more pills in a row anytime in your cycle and you start your pills on Sunday, keep taking one pill a day until Sunday. On Sunday, safely discard the rest of the pack and start a new pack that day. You may not have a period this month. If you miss two periods in a row, call your doctor or clinic. If you miss two pills in a row during the third week of your cycle or three or more pills at anytime during your cycle and you start your pills on Day 1, safely dispose of the rest of the pill pack and start a new pack that same day. Use another method of birth control if you have sex in the seven days after you miss the pills. You may not have a period this month. If you miss two periods in a row, call your doctor or clinic.
What form(s) does Cyclen come in?Each blue tablet, with "C 250" engraved on each side, contains norgestimate 0.25 mg and ethinyl estradiol 0.035 mg. In the 28-day regimen, the green tablets, engraved on each side with "C-C" within a diamond shape, contain inert ingredients. Nonmedicinal ingredients: blue tablets: FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, lactose, magnesium stearate, and starch; green tablets: D&C Yellow No. 10 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and starch.
What should I NOT take with Cyclen?Norgestimate - ethinyl estradiol should not be taken by anyone who: has or has had thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders (blood clotting problems) has or has had cerebrovascular disorders (e.g, stroke) has had a heart attack or coronary artery disease has liver disease has or has had benign or malignant liver tumours has, has had, or may have breast cancer has or may have a tumour dependent on estrogen has undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding has any eye lesion resulting from vascular disease of the eye, such as partial or complete loss of vision or defect in visual field is or may be pregnant
Are there any other precautions or warnings for Cyclen?Breast cancer: Increasing age and a strong family history are the most significant risk factors for the development of breast cancer. Other established risk factors include obesity, not having had children, and a late age at first full-term pregnancy. The identified groups of women that may be at increased risk of developing breast cancer before menopause are long-term users of birth control pills (more than eight years) and starters at early age. For a few women, the use of birth control pills may accelerate the growth of an existing but undiagnosed breast cancer. If you are taking birth control pills, learn breast self-examination. Notify your doctor any time you detect a lump. A yearly clinical breast examination is also recommended because, if breast cancer develops, medications that contain estrogen may cause a rapid progression. Depression: Women with a history of depression may be more likely to have a recurrence while taking this medication. Diabetes: Current low-dose birth control pills affect glucose control very little. People with diabetes and those with a family history of diabetes should monitor blood glucose closely to detect any worsening of carbohydrate metabolism after starting birth control pills. Eyes: Women who are pregnant or who take birth control pills may experience fluid build-up in the cornea of the eye which may cause visual disturbances and changes in tolerance to contact lenses, especially of the rigid type. Wearers of soft contact lenses usually do not experience difficulties. If visual changes or alterations in tolerance to contact lenses occur, you may need to stop wearing the lenses temporarily or permanently. Fibroids: Women with fibroids (leiomyomata) should be closely monitored by their doctors. If sudden enlargement, pain, or tenderness occurs, the medication should be stopped. Heart disease: Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious heart disease and death. Taking birth control pills increases this risk, especially with increasing age. Studies show evidence to support an upper age limit of 35 years for birth control pill use by women who smoke. Other women who have a high risk for heart disease include those with diabetes, high blood pressure, or abnormal cholesterol levels, or those with a family history of these conditions. Whether taking birth control pills increases this risk is unclear. For low-risk, non-smoking women of any age, the benefits of birth control pill use outweigh the possible cardiovascular risks of low-dose pills. Regular check-ups: Physical examinations and follow-up visits should be done yearly by your doctor. Return to fertility: After stopping birth control therapy, you should delay pregnancy until at least one normal spontaneous cycle has occurred in order to date the pregnancy. An alternative birth control method (e.g., condoms) should be used during this time. If you do not menstruate for six months or more after stopping birth control pills, notify your doctor. Sexually transmitted diseases: Birth control pills do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. For protection against these, use latex condoms. Breast-feeding: The use of birth control pills while breast-feeding is not recommended. The hormonal components of the medication pass into breast milk and may reduce its quantity and quality. The long-term effects on the developing child are not known.