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What is Desogestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol?
Desogestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol also sold under the name Linessa, Elogen among several others is a combination birth control pill, the most common type of oral contraception. It contains two female sex hormones namely an estrogen in the form of ethinyl estradiol and a progestin in the form of desogestrel. This pill prevents pregnancy by stopping the release of an egg from the ovaries and by making the cervical mucus thicker thereby preventing the sperm from reaching the female egg. It also alters the uterine lining and prevents a fertilized egg to implant itself in the walls of uterus.
Important information about Desogestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol
Avoid taking this pill if you are allergic to any ingredient in it. Your doctor may direct you after examining you and all your past medical conditions and history. Also don’t take this pill if you are pregnant or if you are planning a pregnancy; have a history of blood clotting; a history of heart conditions like angina, chest pain, or stroke; a history of breast, cervix or uterine cancer, unusual vaginal bleeding; problems related to diabetes; uncontrolled high blood pressure; migraines with aura; unbearable headaches; had a recent surgery or confined to bed rest. The list of conditions is non exhaustive and there may be other conditions which may prevent you from taking these pills. Everything is on your doctor’s discretion.
You should generally not take this desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol pill for at least 4 weeks after you have delivered a baby. Again consult your doctor in such circumstances.
Desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol may lead to an elevated risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure, or similar conditions. The risk increases many folds if you are a smoker.
Always store desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol pills in a cool and dry place, away from heat, moisture and light. Also ensure that no child or pet gets access to the pills
Before taking Desogestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol
Some medical conditions as mentioned above and any present medications which you may be taking can pose as a constraint to safe ingestion of this pill. Tell your doctor about your medical history and any current medications including OTC and herbal products. Also, you must take care if you are prone to allergies from certain foods, medicines and other substances.
How should I take Desogestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol
Take this pill exactly as directed by your doctor. Check the prescription label more and exact details. In case of doubt, don’t hesitate to seek help from your doctor. An extra leaflet for patients is available with the package for detailed information.
Take desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol via the oral route with or without food. If you also take colesevelam, remember to keep a gap of at least 4 hours between the two medications. To get the maximum benefit out of this pill, it must be taken every 24 hours without fail and at the same point of time every day. Timing is very important for the effectiveness of this pill. Be sure to have a reserve pack at all times to be safe. Don’t miss a single dose.
What if I miss a dose?
Missing even a single dose can compromise on your safety and result in pregnancy. So don’t ever forget a dose. However if you happen to miss a dose due to unforeseen reasons, take it as soon as you remember. Take the next dose as per the original schedule. That means you may take 2 doses on the same day. You will not need an alternative contraceptive method as a backup if you miss just 1 dose. If you miss more doses, read the patient leaflet which came along with the medicine. You may also contact your doctor for any doubts. Do not hesitate to seek medical advice at the simplest of your doubts. To be extra safe, if you have missed a dose or doses, you may want to use a backup contraception like a condom.
What if I Overdose?
Overdosing on desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol may not cause any life threatening effects but it is strictly discouraged that you overdose on the pills. You may experience severe nausea and unusual vaginal bleeding due to overdose.
Things to avoid while taking Desogestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol
There are no reports of anything that needs to be avoided while taking desogestrel and ethinyl Estradiol apart from some medications which may interact with these pills.
Desogestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol Side Effects
All medicines can cause side effects but that depends on patient to patient. Some experience serious side effects while some may not show anything. Some common side effects of desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol are tender and enlarged breasts; appetite changes; unexpected weight gain or loss; hair loss; nausea; nervousness; cramps in stomach or bloating; vaginal spotting or breakthrough bleeding; or vomiting. Seek urgent medical help by calling your doctor if these conditions persist or deteriorate.
Some of the serious side effects of this pill are: grave allergic reactions (hives, rash, itching, breathing difficulty, chest tightness, swelling of the face, lips, mouth or tongue); diarrhea with blood; lumps in breasts with pain or discharge; eyes bulge; swellings and redness in limbs; vision problems; bloody cough; frequent and painful urination; migraines with focal aura; symptoms of liver malfunctioning(dark urine, pale stools); heart conditions; symptoms of stroke (weakness on one side of the body); odorous vaginal discharge; lethargy. Seek immediate medical attention in case of such symptoms and conditions.
Again the list above is non exhaustive and you may experience other side effects. Don’t forget to report this to your doctor for better treatment.
Interaction with other drugs
Some medications may interact with desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol and vice versa. Don’t start taking a new medication on your own without medical advice. Also don’t stop or alter the course of other medicines. Let your doctor know about any medicines or herbal products you might be using to proper examination of your case.
Some medications may interfere with desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol and you may want to tell your doctor if you are taking these medicines: tranexamic acid, anitfungals, bartbiturates, modafinil, carbamazepine, griseofulvin; mifepristone, tizanidine, mifepriston, oxcarbazepine, topiramate, penicillins, efavirenz, felbamate, or lamotrigine or valproic acid.
Again, the list above is non exhaustive and there may be other drugs which can interact with desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol. So consult your doctor for an effective way of birth control.
|US Brand Name||Linessa|
|Strength||0.15mg and 0.02 mg|
|Generic Name||Desogestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol|
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