ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES (cont.)
HOW TO USE: Take this medication with food or immediately after a meal to prevent stomach upset. Try to take this medication at the same time each day. This may help you to remember to take it. Learn proper use of your particular brand of medication. Follow your dosing schedule carefully. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Use a supplemental form of birth control during the first week of taking this medication since it takes a while to be effective. Follow your doctor's directions exactly if this drug is being used as a "morning after" pill.
SIDE EFFECTS: This medication may cause dizziness, headache, lightheadedness, stomach upset, bloating, or nausea. If these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor. Notify your doctor if you experience: severe depression, groin or calf pain, sudden severe headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, lumps in the breast, weakness or tingling in the arms or legs, yellowing of the eyes or skin. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
PRECAUTIONS: Before you take this medication, tell your doctor your entire medical history, including family medical history, especially: asthma, high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, stroke, history of jaundice (yellowing skin/eyes) or high blood pressure during pregnancy, excessive weight gain or fluid retention during menstrual cycle, blood clots, heart attack, seizures, migraine headaches, breast cancer, high blood level of cholesterol or lipids (fats), diabetes, depression. Depending on strength, this drug may cause a patchy, darkening of the skin on the face (melasma). Higher strengths are more likely to cause melasma. Sunlight may intensify this darkening and you may need to avoid prolonged sun exposure and sunlamps. Consult your doctor regarding use of sunscreens and protective clothing. It may take a long time for you to become pregnant after you stop taking birth control pills. Consult your doctor. Do not smoke cigarettes. Birth-control pills slightly increase your risk of strokes, blood clots, high blood pressure, heart attacks, gallbladder disease, vision problems, and liver tumors. Cigarette smoking (especially 15 or more cigarettes daily) and age (women older than 35/smokers or 40/nonsmokers years of age) further increase the risk of stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure and heart attacks. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the patient labeling which explains these risks in more detail. Consult your doctor for any questions, including possible use in nonsmokers over 40 years of age. If you are near-sighted or wear contact lenses, you may develop vision problems. Also, your tolerance of the lenses may decrease. Contact your eye doctor if these problems occur. If you will be having surgery, be confined to a chair or bed for a long period of time (e.g., a long plane flight), or have recently delivered a baby, notify your doctor beforehand. Special precautions may need to be taken in these circumstances while you are taking this drug. This drug must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. This medication passes into breast milk. This may affect milk production and may have harmful effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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