Desogestrel + ethinylestradiol - oral

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Desogestrel and Ethinylestradiol are combined in this medicine.

Desogestrel + Ethinylestradiol is a combination oral contraceptive (birth control pill). This medicine is used to prevent pregnancy.

This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
How do I take this medicine?
Take Desogestrel + Ethinylestradiol exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

Try to take it at the same time each day.

Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water.

Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist on how to manage your dose if you vomit within 3-4 hours after taking this medicine.
What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
If you missed a dose and it is within 12 hours of your usual schedule, take the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

If you are more than 12 hours late, take the missed dose as soon as you remember (even if this means taking 2 doses in 1 day) and return to your normal dosing schedule. You may also need to use additional birth control methods, such as condom, for the next 7 days.

Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist how to properly manage your missed dose.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
When should I not use this medicine?
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • current or previous breast cancer and other sex hormone-sensitive cancers
  • unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • liver disease e.g. liver tumour
  • with or a history of blood clot formation e.g. deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in your leg veins), pulmonary embolism (blood clots in a lung artery), recent heart attack or stroke
  • serious risk factors for blood clot formation e.g. uncontrolled high blood pressure, migraine, prolonged immobilisation
  • hereditary predisposition to blood clot formation
  • inflammation of pancreas
  • porphyria (an inherited disorder that causes skin or nervous system abnormalities)
as Desogestrel + Ethinylestradiol may not be suitable for you.

Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while on Desogestrel + Ethinylestradiol therapy, alert your doctor immediately. This medicine may cause harm to your unborn child.

Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.

Do not take Desogestrel + Ethinylestradiol with medicines used to treat hepatitis C. Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • risk factors for heart disease e.g. high cholesterol or triglyceride levels
  • diabetes
  • diseases of the gallbladder
  • depression
  • asthma
  • epilepsy (fits or seizures)
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation)
  • history of chloasma gravidarum (discolouration of the skin especially on the face or neck during pregnancy)
  • hereditary angioedema (inherited disorder characterised by swelling of the limbs, face or airways)
  • long-term inflammation of the bowel
  • other risk factors for blood clot formation e.g. obesity, smoking
  • kidney disease
Desogestrel + Ethinylestradiol does not lower the risk of getting HIV or any other sexually transmitted diseases. Ensure that you use proper precautions to avoid getting these diseases.

If you are going to have an operation or certain laboratory tests (e.g. thyroid, adrenal, liver and kidney function tests), inform your doctor that you are taking this medicine.

Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
  • Pregnancy tests and certain diagnostic procedures must be done before treatment to know if this medicine is suited for you to take.
  • Routine blood tests (e.g. liver function, sugar, and cholesterol levels) may be done while you are being treated with Desogestrel + Ethinylestradiol. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
  • Your blood pressure may rise to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure before and during treatment.
  • Regular monitoring for signs of depression, vision changes, and unusual bleeding may also be needed.
If you smoke, you should try to quit. Smoking is harmful to your blood pressure, heart and overall health. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to kick your smoking habit.
What side effects could I experience?
Desogestrel + Ethinylestradiol may cause any of the following side effects: headache, acne, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased weight, decreased sex drive, breast pain or tenderness, and irregular menstruation.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly of you experience any of the following:
  • pain, swelling and tenderness in your leg accompanied by redness and warmth
  • shortness of breath and chest pain
  • slurring or trouble speaking, blurred or immediate loss of vision
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes, severe stomach pain, dark coloured urine, tiredness
  • unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I take this with other medicines?
Do not take Desogestrel + Ethinylestradiol with medicines used in hepatitis C combination therapy that includes ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir, and dasabuvir.

Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital
  • medicines to treat TB (infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin, rifabutin
  • cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. atorvastatin, rosuvastatin
  • medicines for HIV infection e.g. ritonavir, nelfinavir, nevirapine
  • medicines for hepatitis C infection e.g. boceprevir, telaprevir
  • medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. ketoconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole
  • certain antibiotics e.g. clarithromycin, erythromycin
  • St. John’s wort (herbal medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Desogestrel + Ethinylestradiol.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol.

Avoid excessive consumption of grapefruit or grapefruit juice (more than 1 litre a day).
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on desogestrel + ethinylestradiol - oral and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2023 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by
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