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21 pink active tablets each containing 0.1 mg of levonorgestrel, d(-)-13β-ethyl-17α-ethinyl-17β-hydroxygon-4-en-3-one, a totally synthetic progestogen, and 0.02 mg of ethinyl estradiol, 17α-ethinyl-1,3,5(10)-estratriene-3, 17β-diol. The inactive ingredients present are FD&C red #40 aluminum lake, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, pregelatinized starch and vitamin E.7 light-green inert tablets, each containing FD&C blue #2, hypromellose, iron oxide yellow, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol and pregelatinized starch.
Mode Of Action
Combination oral contraceptives act by suppression of gonadotropins. Although the primary mechanism of this action is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus (which increase the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus) and the endometrium (which reduce the likelihood of implantation).
No specific investigation of the absolute bioavailability of levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol in humans has been conducted. However, literature indicates that levonorgestrel is rapidly and completely absorbed after oral administration (bioavailability about 100%) and is not subject to first-pass metabolism. Ethinyl estradiol is rapidly and almost completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract but, due to first-pass metabolism in gut mucosa and liver, the bioavailability of ethinyl estradiol is between 38% and 48%.After a single dose of levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol to 22 women under fasting conditions, maximum serum concentrations of levonorgestrel are 2.8 ± 0.9 ng/mL (mean ± SD) at 1.6 ± 0.9 hours. At steady state, attained from day 19 onwards, maximum levonorgestrel concentrations of 6.0 ± 2.7 ng/mL are reached at 1.5 ± 0.5 hours after the daily dose. The minimum serum levels of levonorgestrel at steady state are 1.9 ± 1.0 ng/mL. Observed levonorgestrel concentrations increased from day 1 (single dose) to days 6 and 21 (multiple doses) by 34% and 96%, respectively (FIGURE I). Unbound levonorgestrel concentrations increased from day 1 to days 6 and 21 by 25% and 83%, respectively. The kinetics of total levonorgestrel are non-linear due to an increase in binding of levonorgestrel to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which is attributed to increased SHBG levels that are induced by the daily administration of ethinyl estradiol.Following a single dose, maximum serum concentrations of ethinyl estradiol of 62 ± 21 pg/mL are reached at 1.5 ± 0.5 hours. At steady state, attained from at least day 6 onwards, maximum concentrations of ethinyl estradiol were 77 ± 30 pg/mL and were reached at 1.3 ± 0.7 hours after the daily dose. The minimum serum levels of ethinyl estradiol at steady state are 10.5 ± 5.1 pg/mL. Ethinyl estradiol concentrations did not increase from days 1 to 6, but did increase by 19% from days 1 to 21 (FIGURE I).TABLE I provides a summary of levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol pharmacokinetic parameters.TABLE I: MEAN (SD) PHARMACOKINETIC PARAMETERS OF LEVONORGESTREL AND ETHINYL ESTRADIOL OVER A 21 DAY DOSING PERIOD Levonorgestrel DayCmaxng/mLTmaxh AUCng•h/mL CL/FmL/h/kg Vλz/FL/kg SHBGnmol/L1 2.75(0.88)1.6 (0.9)35.2(12.8) 53.7(20.8)2.66(1.09) 57(18) 64.52(1.79) 1.5(0.7) 46.0(18.8) 40.8(14.5)2.05(0.86) 81(25) 216.00(2.65) 1.5(0.5)68.3(32.5) 28.4(10.3)1.43(0.62) 93(40) Unbound Levonorgestrel pg/mL h pg•h/mL L/h/kg L/kgfu% 151.2(12.9) 1.6(0.9) 654(201) 2.79(0.97) 135.9(41.8) 1.92(0.30) 6 77.9(22.0) 1.5(0.7) 794(240) 2.24(0.59) 112.4(40.5) 1.80(0.24) 21 103.6(36.9) 1.5(0.5) 1177(452) 1.57(0.49) 78.6(29.7) 1.78(0.19) Ethinyl Estradiol pg/mL h pg•h/mL mL/h/kgL/kg 162.0(20.5)1.5(0.5)653(227) 567(204) 14.3(3.7) 6 76.7(29.9) 1.3(0.7) 604(231) 610(196) 15.5(4.0) 21 82.3(33.2) 1.4(0.6) 776(308) 486(179) 12.4(4.1)
Levonorgestrel in serum is primarily bound to SHBG. Ethinyl estradiol is about 97% bound to plasma albumin. Ethinyl estradiol does not bind to SHBG, but induces SHBG synthesis.
LevonorgestrelThe most important metabolic pathway occurs in the reduction of the Δ4-3-oxo group and hydroxylation at positions 2α, 1β, and 16β, followed by conjugation. Most of the metabolites that circulate in the blood are sulfates of 3α, 5β-tetrahydro-levonorgestrel, while excretion occurs predominantly in the form of glucuronides. Some of the parent levonorgestrel also circulates as 17β-sulfate. Metabolic clearance rates may differ among individuals by several-fold, and this may account in part for the wide variation observed in levonorgestrel concentrations among users.Ethinyl estradiolCytochrome P450 enzymes (CYP3A4) in the liver are responsible for the 2-hydroxylation that is the major oxidative reaction. The 2-hydroxy metabolite is further transformed by methylation and glucuronidation prior to urinary and fecal excretion. Levels of Cytochrome P450 (CYP3A) vary widely among individuals and can explain the variation in rates of ethinyl estradiol 2-hydroxylation. Ethinyl estradiol is excreted in the urine and feces as glucuronide and sulfate conjugates, and undergoes enterohepatic circulation.
The elimination half-life for levonorgestrel is approximately 36 ± 13 hours at steady state. Levonorgestrel and its metabolites are primarily excreted in the urine (40% to 68%) and about 16% to 48% are excreted in feces. The elimination half-life of ethinyl estradiol is 18 ± 4.7 hours at steady state.
Based on the pharmacokinetic study with levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol, there are no apparent differences in pharmacokinetic parameters among women of different races.
No formal studies have evaluated the effect of hepatic disease on the disposition of levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol. However, steroid hormones may be poorly metabolized in patients with impaired liver function.
No formal studies have evaluated the effect of renal disease on the disposition of levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol.
See PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions.
Indications And Usage
ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) is indicated for the prevention of pregnancy in women who elect to use oral contraceptives as a method of contraception.Oral contraceptives are highly effective. TABLE II lists the typical accidental pregnancy rates for users of combination oral contraceptives and other methods of contraception. The efficacy of these contraceptive methods, except sterilization, the IUD, and levonorgestrel implants, depends upon the reliability with which they are used. Correct and consistent use of methods can result in lower failure rates.TABLE II: Percentage of Women Experiencing an Unintended Pregnancy During the First Year of Typical Use and the First Year of Perfect Use of Contraception and the Percentage Continuing Use at the End of the First Year. United States. % of Women Experiencing anUnintended Pregnancy Within theFirst Year of Use % of Women ContinuingUse at One Year3Method (1)Typical Use1 (2)Perfect Use2 (3)(4)Chance485 85 Spermicides526 6 40 Periodic abstinence 25 63 Calendar 9 Ovulation Method 3 Sympto-Thermal6 2 Post-Ovulation 1 Cap7 Parous Women 40 26 42 Nulliparous Women 20 9 56 Sponge Parous Women 40 20 42 Nulliparous Women 20 9 56 Diaphragm720 6 56 Withdrawal 19 4 Condom8 Female (Reality) 21 556 Male 14 361 Pill 5 71 Progestin only 0.5 Combined 0.1 IUD Progesterone T 2.0 1.5 81 Copper T380A 0.8 0.6 78 LNg 20 0.1 0.1 81 Injectable Progestogen0.3 0.3 70 Levonorgestrel Implants0.05 0.05 88 Female Sterilization 0.5 0.5 100 Male Sterilization 0.15 0.10 100 Emergency Contraceptive Pills: The FDA has concluded that certain combined oral contraceptives containing ethinyl estradiol and norgestrel or levonorgestrel are safe and effective for use as postcoital emergency contraception. Treatment initiated within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse reduces the risk of pregnancy by at least 75%.9Lactation Amenorrhea Method: LAM is a highly effective, temporary method of contraception.10Source: Trussell J. Contraceptive efficacy. In: Hatcher RA, Trussell J, Stewart F, Cates W, Stewart GK, Kowel D, Guest F. Contraceptive Technology: Seventeenth Revised Edition. New York NY: Irvington Publishers; 1998. 1 Among typical couples who initiate use of a method (not necessarily for the first time), the percentage who experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year if they do not stop use for any other reason. 2 Among couples who initiate use of a method (not necessarily for the first time) and who use it perfectly (both consistently and correctly), the percentage who experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year if they do not stop use for any other reason. 3 Among couples attempting to avoid pregnancy, the percentage who continue to use a method for one year. 4 The percents becoming pregnant in columns (2) and (3) are based on data from populations where contraception is not used and from women who cease using contraception in order to become pregnant. Among such populations, about 89% become pregnant within one year. This estimate was lowered slightly (to 85%) to represent the percent who would become pregnant within one year among women now relying on reversible methods of contraception if they abandoned contraception altogether. 5 Foams, creams, gels, vaginal suppositories, and vaginal film. 6 Cervical mucus (ovulation) method supplemented by calendar in the pre-ovulatory and basal body temperature in the post-ovulatory phases. 7 With spermicidal cream or jelly. 8 Without spermicides. 9 The treatment schedule is one dose within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse, and a second dose 12 hours after the first dose. The FDA has declared the following dosage regimens of oral contraceptives to be safe and effective for emergency contraception: for tablets containing 50 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 500 mcg of norgestrel 1 dose is 2 tablets; for tablets containing 20 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 100 mcg of levonorgestrel 1 dose is 5 tablets; for tablets containing 30 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 150 mcg of levonorgestrel 1 dose is 4 tablets.10 However, to maintain effective protection against pregnancy, another method of contraception must be used as soon as menstruation resumes, the frequency or duration of breastfeeds is reduced, bottle feeds are introduced, or the baby reaches 6 months of age. In a clinical trial with levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets, 1,477 subjects had 7,720 cycles of use and a total of 5 pregnancies were reported. This represents an overall pregnancy rate of 0.84 per 100 woman-years. This rate includes patients who did not take the drug correctly. One or more pills were missed during 1,479 (18.8%) of the 7,870 cycles; thus all tablets were taken during 6,391 (81.2%) of the 7,870 cycles. Of the total 7,870 cycles, a total of 150 cycles were excluded from the calculation of the Pearl index due to the use of back-up contraception and/or missing 3 or more consecutive pills.
Combination oral contraceptives should not be used in women with any of the following conditions:Thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disordersA history of deep-vein thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disordersCerebrovascular or coronary artery disease (current or past history)Valvular heart disease with thrombogenic complicationsThrombogenic rhythm disordersHereditary or acquired thrombophiliasMajor surgery with prolonged immobilizationDiabetes with vascular involvementHeadaches with focal neurological symptomsUncontrolled hypertensionKnown or suspected carcinoma of the breast or personal history of breast cancerCarcinoma of the endometrium or other known or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasiaUndiagnosed abnormal genital bleedingCholestatic jaundice of pregnancy or jaundice with prior pill useHepatic adenomas or carcinomas, or active liver diseaseKnown or suspected pregnancyHypersensitivity to any of the components of levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiolAre receiving Hepatitis C drug combinations containing ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir, due to the potential for ALT elevations (see Warnings, RISK OF LIVER ENZYME ELEVATIONS WITH CONCOMITANT HEPATITIS C TREATMENT).
A. Myocardial Infarction
An increased risk of myocardial infarction has been attributed to oral-contraceptive use. This risk is primarily in smokers or women with other underlying risk factors for coronary-artery disease such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, morbid obesity, and diabetes. The relative risk of heart attack for current oral-contraceptive users has been estimated to be two to six. The risk is very low under the age of 30.Smoking in combination with oral-contraceptive use has been shown to contribute substantially to the incidence of myocardial infarction in women in their mid-thirties or older with smoking accounting for the majority of excess cases. Mortality rates associated with circulatory disease have been shown to increase substantially in smokers over the age of 35 and nonsmokers over the age of 40 (FIGURE II) among women who use oral contraceptives.CIRCULATORY DISEASE MORTALITY RATES PER 100,000 WOMAN YEARS BY AGE, SMOKING STATUS AND ORAL-CONTRACEPTIVE USEFIGURE II: (Adapted From P.M. Layde and V. Beral, Lancet, 1:541-546, 1981.)Oral contraceptives may compound the effects of well-known risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemias, age, and obesity. In particular, some progestogens are known to decrease HDL cholesterol and cause glucose intolerance, while estrogens may create a state of hyperinsulinism. Oral contraceptives have been shown to increase blood pressure among users (see section 10 in WARNINGS). Similar effects on risk factors have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Oral contraceptives must be used with caution in women with cardiovascular disease risk factors.
B. Venous Thrombosis And Thromboembolism
An increased risk of venous thromboembolic and thrombotic disease associated with the use of oral contraceptives is well established. Case control studies have found the relative risk of users compared to non-users to be 3 for the first episode of superficial venous thrombosis, 4 to 11 for deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, and 1.5 to 6 for women with predisposing conditions for venous thromboembolic disease. Cohort studies have shown the relative risk to be somewhat lower, about 3 for new cases and about 4.5 for new cases requiring hospitalization. The approximate incidence of deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in users of low dose (< 50 mcg ethinyl estradiol) combination oral contraceptives is up to 4 per 10,000 woman-years compared to 0.5 to 3 per 10,000 woman-years for non-users. However, the incidence is less than that associated with pregnancy (6 per 10,000 woman-years). The excess risk is highest during the first year a woman ever uses a combined oral contraceptive. Venous thromboembolism may be fatal. The risk of thromboembolic disease due to oral contraceptives is not related to length of use and gradually disappears after pill use is stopped. A two- to four-fold increase in relative risk of postoperative thromboembolic complications has been reported with the use of oral contraceptives. The relative risk of venous thrombosis in women who have predisposing conditions is twice that of women without such medical conditions. If feasible, oral contraceptives should be discontinued at least four weeks prior to and for two weeks after elective surgery of a type associated with an increase in risk of thromboembolism and during and following prolonged immobilization. Since the immediate postpartum period is also associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism, oral contraceptives should be started no earlier than four weeks after delivery in women who elect not to breast-feed or after a midtrimester pregnancy termination.
C. Cerebrovascular Diseases
Oral contraceptives have been shown to increase both the relative and attributable risks of cerebrovascular events (thrombotic and hemorrhagic strokes), although, in general, the risk is greatest among older (> 35 years), hypertensive women who also smoke. Hypertension was found to be a risk factor for both users and nonusers, for both types of strokes, while smoking interacted to increase the risk for hemorrhagic strokes. In a large study, the relative risk of thrombotic strokes has been shown to range from 3 for normotensive users to 14 for users with severe hypertension. The relative risk of hemorrhagic stroke is reported to be 1.2 for nonsmokers who used oral contraceptives, 2.6 for smokers who did not use oral contraceptives, 7.6 for smokers who used oral contraceptives, 1.8 for normotensive users and 25.7 for users with severe hypertension. The attributable risk is also greater in older women. Oral contraceptives also increase the risk for stroke in women with other underlying risk factors such as certain inherited or acquired thrombophilias. Women with migraine (particularly migraine/headaches with focal neurological symptoms, see CONTRAINDICATIONS) who take combination oral contraceptives may be at an increased risk of stroke.
A positive association has been observed between the amount of estrogen and progestogen in oral contraceptives and the risk of vascular disease. A decline in serum high-density lipoproteins (HDL) has been reported with many progestational agents. A decline in serum high-density lipoproteins has been associated with an increased incidence of ischemic heart disease. Because estrogens increase HDL cholesterol, the net effect of an oral contraceptive depends on a balance achieved between doses of estrogen and progestogen and the nature and absolute amount of progestogen used in the contraceptive. The amount of both hormones should be considered in the choice of an oral contraceptive.Minimizing exposure to estrogen and progestogen is in keeping with good principles of therapeutics. For any particular estrogen/progestogen combination, the dosage regimen prescribed should be one which contains the least amount of estrogen and progestogen that is compatible with a low failure rate and the needs of the individual patient. New acceptors of oral-contraceptive agents should be started on preparations containing the lowest estrogen content which is judged appropriate for the individual patient.
E. Persistence Of Risk Of Vascular Disease
There are two studies which have shown persistence of risk of vascular disease for ever-users of oral contraceptives. In a study in the United States, the risk of developing myocardial infarction after discontinuing oral contraceptives persists for at least 9 years for women 40 to 49 years who had used oral contraceptives for five or more years, but this increased risk was not demonstrated in other age groups. In another study in Great Britain, the risk of developing cerebrovascular disease persisted for at least 6 years after discontinuation of oral contraceptives, although excess risk was very small. However, both studies were performed with oral contraceptive formulations containing 50 mcg or higher of estrogens.
2. Estimates Of Mortality From Contraceptive Use
One study gathered data from a variety of sources which have estimated the mortality rate associated with different methods of contraception at different ages (TABLE III). These estimates include the combined risk of death associated with contraceptive methods plus the risk attributable to pregnancy in the event of method failure. Each method of contraception has its specific benefits and risks. The study concluded that with the exception of oral-contraceptive users 35 and older who smoke and 40 and older who do not smoke, mortality associated with all methods of birth control is less than that associated with childbirth. The observation of a possible increase in risk of mortality with age for oral-contraceptive users is based on data gathered in the 1970’s — but not reported until 1983. However, current clinical practice involves the use of lower estrogen dose formulations combined with careful restriction of oral-contraceptive use to women who do not have the various risk factors listed in this labeling.Because of these changes in practice and, also, because of some limited new data which suggest that the risk of cardiovascular disease with the use of oral contraceptives may now be less than previously observed, the Fertility and Maternal Health Drugs Advisory Committee was asked to review the topic in 1989. The Committee concluded that although cardiovascular disease risks may be increased with oral-contraceptive use after age 40 in healthy nonsmoking women (even with the newer low-dose formulations), there are greater potential health risks associated with pregnancy in older women and with the alternative surgical and medical procedures which may be necessary if such women do not have access to effective and acceptable means of contraception.Therefore, the Committee recommended that the benefits of oral-contraceptive use by healthy nonsmoking women over 40 may outweigh the possible risks. Of course, older women, as all women who take oral contraceptives, should take the lowest possible dose formulation that is effective.TABLE III: ANNUAL NUMBER OF BIRTH-RELATED OR METHOD-RELATED DEATHS ASSOCIATED WITH CONTROL OF FERTILITY PER 100,000 NONSTERILE WOMEN, BY FERTILITY-CONTROL METHOD AND ACCORDING TO AGE Method of control and outcome15 to 19 20 to 24 25 to 29 30 to 3435 to 39 40 to 44No fertility-control methods* 7.0 7.4 9.1 14.8 25.7 28.2Oral contraceptives nonsmoker**0.30.5 0.91.913.8 31.6Oral contraceptives smoker**2.23.4 6.613.5 51.1117.2IUD**0.8 0.81.0 1.0 1.4 1.4Condom*1.1 1.6 0.7 0.2 0.3 0.4Diaphragm/spermicide*1.9 1.2 1.2 1.3 2.2 2.8Periodic abstinence* 2.5 1.6 1.6 1.7 2.9 3.6 * Deaths are birth-related ** Deaths are method-relatedAdapted from H.W. Ory, Family Planning Perspectives, 15:57-63, 1983.
3. Carcinoma Of The Reproductive Organs And Breasts
Numerous epidemiological studies have examined the association between the use of oral contraceptives and the incidence of breast and cervical cancer.The risk of having breast cancer diagnosed may be slightly increased among current and recent users of combination oral contraceptives. However, this excess risk appears to decrease over time after combination oral contraceptive discontinuation and by 10 years after cessation the increased risk disappears. Some studies report an increased risk with duration of use while other studies do not and no consistent relationships have been found with dose or type of steroid. Some studies have reported a small increase in risk for women who first use combination oral contraceptives at a younger age. Most studies show a similar pattern of risk with combination oral contraceptive use regardless of a woman's reproductive history or her family breast cancer history.Breast cancers diagnosed in current or previous OC users tend to be less clinically advanced than in nonusers.Women with known or suspected carcinoma of the breast or personal history of breast cancer should not use oral contraceptives because breast cancer is usually a hormonally-sensitive tumor.Some studies suggest that oral contraceptive use has been associated with an increase in the risk of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or invasive cervical cancer in some populations of women. However, there continues to be controversy about the extent to which such findings may be due to differences in sexual behavior and other factors. In spite of many studies of the relationship between combination oral contraceptive use and breast and cervical cancers, a cause-and-effect relationship has not been established.
4. Hepatic Neoplasia
Benign hepatic adenomas are associated with oral-contraceptive use, although the incidence of these benign tumors is rare in the United States. Indirect calculations have estimated the attributable risk to be in the range of 3.3 cases/100,000 for users, a risk that increases after four or more years of use. Rupture of rare, benign, hepatic adenomas may cause death through intra-abdominal hemorrhage.Studies from Britain have shown an increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma in long-term (> 8 years) oral-contraceptive users. However, these cancers are extremely rare in the U.S. and the attributable risk (the excess incidence) of liver cancers in oral-contraceptive users approaches less than one per million users.
5. Risk Of Liver Enzyme Elevations With Concomitant Hepatitis C Treatment
During clinical trials with the Hepatitis C combination drug regimen that contains ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir, ALT elevations greater than 5 times the upper limit of normal (ULN), including some cases greater than 20 times the ULN, were significantly more frequent in women using ethinyl estradiol-containing medications such as COCs. Discontinue ORSYTHIA® prior to starting therapy with the combination drug regimen ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). ORSYTHIA® can be restarted approximately 2 weeks following completion of treatment with the combination drug regimen.
6. Ocular Lesions
There have been clinical case reports of retinal thrombosis associated with the use of oral contraceptives that may lead to partial or complete loss of vision. Oral contraceptives should be discontinued if there is unexplained partial or complete loss of vision; onset of proptosis or diplopia; papilledema; or retinal vascular lesions. Appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures should be undertaken immediately.
7. Oral-Contraceptive Use Before Or During Early Pregnancy
Extensive epidemiological studies have revealed no increased risk of birth defects in infants born to women who have used oral contraceptives prior to pregnancy. Studies also do not suggest a teratogenic effect, particularly insofar as cardiac anomalies and limb-reduction defects are concerned, when taken inadvertently during early pregnancy (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).The administration of oral contraceptives to induce withdrawal bleeding should not be used as a test for pregnancy. Oral contraceptives should not be used during pregnancy to treat threatened or habitual abortion.It is recommended that for any patient who has missed two consecutive periods, pregnancy should be ruled out. If the patient has not adhered to the prescribed schedule, the possibility of pregnancy should be considered at the time of the first missed period. Oral-contraceptive use should be discontinued if pregnancy is confirmed.
8. Gallbladder Disease
Combination oral contraceptives may worsen existing gallbladder disease and may accelerate the development of this disease in previously asymptomatic women. Earlier studies have reported an increased lifetime relative risk of gallbladder surgery in users of oral contraceptives and estrogens. More recent studies, however, have shown that the relative risk of developing gallbladder disease among oral-contraceptive users may be minimal. The recent findings of minimal risk may be related to the use of oral-contraceptive formulations containing lower hormonal doses of estrogens and progestogens.
9. Carbohydrate And Lipid Metabolic Effects
Oral contraceptives have been shown to cause glucose intolerance in a significant percentage of users. Oral contraceptives containing greater than 75 mcg of estrogens cause hyperinsulinism, while lower doses of estrogen cause less glucose intolerance. Progestogens increase insulin secretion and create insulin resistance, this effect varying with different progestational agents. However, in the nondiabetic woman, oral contraceptives appear to have no effect on fasting blood glucose. Because of these demonstrated effects, prediabetic and diabetic women should be carefully observed while taking oral contraceptives.A small proportion of women will have persistent hypertriglyceridemia while on the pill. As discussed earlier (see WARNINGS, 1a. and 1d.; PRECAUTIONS, 3.), changes in serum triglycerides and lipoprotein levels have been reported in oral-contraceptive users.
10. Elevated Blood Pressure
An increase in blood pressure has been reported in women taking oral contraceptives and this increase is more likely in older oral-contraceptive users and with continued use. Data from the Royal College of General Practitioners and subsequent randomized trials have shown that the incidence of hypertension increases with increasing quantities of progestogens.Women with a history of hypertension or hypertension-related diseases, or renal disease should be encouraged to use another method of contraception. If women with hypertension elect to use oral contraceptives, they should be monitored closely and if significant elevation of blood pressure occurs, oral contraceptives should be discontinued (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). For most women, elevated blood pressure will return to normal after stopping oral contraceptives, and there is no difference in the occurrence of hypertension among ever- and never-users.
The onset or exacerbation of migraine or development of headache with a new pattern that is recurrent, persistent, or severe requires discontinuation of oral contraceptives and evaluation of the cause (see WARNINGS, 1c. and CONTRAINDICATIONS).
12. Bleeding Irregularities
Breakthrough bleeding and spotting are sometimes encountered in patients on oral contraceptives, especially during the first three months of use. The type and dose of progestogen may be important. If bleeding persists or recurs, nonhormonal causes should be considered and adequate diagnostic measures taken to rule out malignancy or pregnancy in the event of breakthrough bleeding, as in the case of any abnormal vaginal bleeding. If pathology has been excluded, time or a change to another formulation may solve the problem. In the event of amenorrhea, pregnancy should be ruled out.Some women may encounter post-pill amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea (possibly with anovulation), especially when such a condition was preexistent.
13. Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic as well as intrauterine pregnancy may occur in contraceptive failures.
Patients should be counseled that oral contraceptives do not protect against transmission of HIV (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, and syphilis.
2. Physical Examination And Follow-Up
A periodic personal and family medical history and complete physical examination are appropriate for all women, including women using oral contraceptives. The physical examination, however, may be deferred until after initiation of oral contraceptives if requested by the woman and judged appropriate by the clinician. The physical examination should include special reference to blood pressure, breasts, abdomen, and pelvic organs, including cervical cytology, and relevant laboratory tests. In case of undiagnosed, persistent, or recurrent abnormal vaginal bleeding, appropriate diagnostic measures should be conducted to rule out malignancy. Women with a strong family history of breast cancer or who have breast nodules should be monitored with particular care.
3. Lipid Disorders
Women who are being treated for hyperlipidemias should be followed closely if they elect to use oral contraceptives. Some progestogens may elevate LDL levels and may render the control of hyperlipidemias more difficult (see WARNINGS, 1a., 1d., and 9).A small proportion of women will have adverse lipid changes while taking oral contraceptives. Nonhormonal contraception should be considered in women with uncontrolled dyslipidemias. Persistent hypertriglyceridemia may occur in a small population of combination oral contraceptive users. Elevations of plasma triglycerides may lead to pancreatitis and other complications.
4. Liver Function
If jaundice develops in any woman receiving such drugs, the medication should be discontinued. Steroid hormones may be poorly metabolized in patients with impaired liver function.
5. Fluid Retention
Oral contraceptives may cause some degree of fluid retention. They should be prescribed with caution, and only with careful monitoring, in patients with conditions which might be aggravated by fluid retention.
6. Emotional Disorders
Patients becoming significantly depressed while taking oral contraceptives should stop the medication and use an alternate method of contraception in an attempt to determine whether the symptom is drug related. Women with a history of depression should be carefully observed and the drug discontinued if depression recurs to a serious degree.
7. Contact Lenses
Contact-lens wearers who develop visual changes or changes in lens tolerance should be assessed by an ophthalmologist.
Diarrhea and/or vomiting may reduce hormone absorption resulting in decreased serum concentrations.
Changes In Contraceptive Effectiveness Associated With Coadministration Of Other Products
Contraceptive effectiveness may be reduced when hormonal contraceptives are coadministered with antibiotics, anticonvulsants, and other drugs that increase the metabolism of contraceptive steroids. This could result in unintended pregnancy or breakthrough bleeding. Examples include rifampin, rifabutin, barbiturates, primidone, phenylbutazone, phenytoin, dexamethasone, carbamazepine, felbamate, oxcarbazepine, topiramate, griseofulvin, and modafinil. In such cases a back-up nonhormonal method of birth control should be considered.Several cases of contraceptive failure and breakthrough bleeding have been reported in the literature with concomitant administration of antibiotics such as ampicillin and other penicillins, and tetracyclines. However, clinical pharmacology studies investigating drug interactions between combined oral contraceptives and these antibiotics have reported inconsistent results.Several of the anti-HIV protease inhibitors have been studied with coadministration of oral combination hormonal contraceptives; significant changes (increase and decrease) in the plasma levels of the estrogen and progestin have been noted in some cases. The safety and efficacy of oral contraceptive products may be affected with coadministration of anti-HIV protease inhibitors. Healthcare providers should refer to the label of the individual anti-HIV protease inhibitors for further drug-drug interaction information.
Concomitant Use With Hcv Combination Therapy – Liver Enzyme Elevation
Do not co-administer Orsythia with HCV drug combinations containing ombitasvir/ paritaprevir/ ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir, due to potential for ALT elevations (see Warnings, RISK OF LIVER ENZYME ELEVATIONS WITH CONCOMITANT HEPATITIS C TREATMENT).Herbal products containing St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) may induce hepatic enzymes (cytochrome P450) and p-glycoprotein transporter and may reduce the effectiveness of contraceptive steroids. This may also result in breakthrough bleeding.
Increase In Plasma Levels Associated With Coadministered Drugs
Coadministration of atorvastatin and certain oral contraceptives containing ethinyl estradiol increases AUC values for ethinyl estradiol by approximately 20%. Ascorbic acid and acetaminophen increase the bioavailability of ethinyl estradiol since these drugs act as competitive inhibitors for sulfation of ethinyl estradiol in the gastrointestinal wall, a known pathway of elimination for ethinyl estradiol. CYP3A4 inhibitors such as indinavir, itraconazole, ketoconazole, fluconazole, and troleandomycin may increase plasma hormone levels. Troleandomycin may also increase the risk of intrahepatic cholestasis during coadministration with combination oral contraceptives.
Changes In Plasma Levels Of Coadministered Drugs
Combination hormonal contraceptives containing some synthetic estrogens (e.g., ethinyl estradiol) may inhibit the metabolism of other compounds. Increased plasma concentrations of cyclosporin, prednisolone and other corticosteroids, and theophylline have been reported with concomitant administration of oral contraceptives. Decreased plasma concentrations of acetaminophen and increased clearance of temazepam, salicylic acid, morphine, and clofibric acid, due to induction of conjugation (particularly glucuronidation), have been noted when these drugs were administered with oral contraceptives.The prescribing information of concomitant medications should be consulted to identify potential interactions.
10. Interactions With Laboratory Tests
- Certain endocrine- and liver-function tests and blood components may be affected by oral contraceptives:Increased prothrombin and factors VII, VIII, IX, and X; decreased antithrombin 3; increased norepinephrine-induced platelet aggregability.Increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) leading to increased circulating total thyroid hormone, as measured by protein-bound iodine (PBI), T4 by column or by radioimmunoassay. Free T3 resin uptake is decreased, reflecting the elevated TBG; free T4 concentration is unaltered.Other binding proteins may be elevated in serum i.e., corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), sex hormone-binding globulins (SHBG) leading to increased levels of total circulating corticosteroids and sex steroids respectively. Free or biologically active hormone concentrations are unchanged.Triglycerides may be increased and levels of various other lipids and lipoproteins may be affected.Glucose tolerance may be decreased.Serum folate levels may be depressed by oral-contraceptive therapy. This may be of clinical significance if a woman becomes pregnant shortly after discontinuing oral contraceptives.
Pregnancy category XSee CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS.
13. Nursing Mothers
Small amounts of oral-contraceptive steroids and/or metabolites have been identified in the milk of nursing mothers, and a few adverse effects on the child have been reported, including jaundice and breast enlargement. In addition, combination oral contraceptives given in the postpartum period may interfere with lactation by decreasing the quantity and quality of breast milk. If possible, the nursing mother should be advised not to use combination oral contraceptives but to use other forms of contraception until she has completely weaned her child.
14. Pediatric Use
Safety and efficacy of levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets have been established in women of reproductive age. Safety and efficacy are expected to be the same for postpubertal adolescents under the age of 16 and for users 16 years and older. Use of levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol before menarche is not indicated.
15. Geriatric Use
Levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol have not been studied in women over 65 years of age and are not indicated in this population.
16. Information For The Patient
See Patient Labeling Printed Below.
An increased risk of the following serious adverse reactions (see WARNINGS for additional information) has been associated with the use of oral contraceptives:Thromboembolic and thrombotic disorders and other vascular problems (including thrombophlebitis and venous thrombosis with or without pulmonary embolism, mesenteric thrombosis, arterial thromboembolism, myocardial infarction, cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral thrombosis), carcinoma of the reproductive organs and breasts, hepatic neoplasia (including hepatic adenomas or benign liver tumors), ocular lesions (including retinal vascular thrombosis), gallbladder disease, carbohydrate and lipid effects, elevated blood pressure, and headache including migraine.The following adverse reactions have been reported in patients receiving oral contraceptives and are believed to be drug related (alphabetically listed):AcneAmenorrheaAnaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions, including urticaria, angioedema, and severe reactions with respiratory and circulatory symptomsBreast changes: tenderness, pain, enlargement, secretionBudd-Chiari syndromeCervical erosion and secretion, change inCholestatic jaundiceChorea, exacerbation ofColitisContact lenses, intolerance toCorneal curvature (steepening), change inDizzinessEdema/fluid retentionErythema multiformeErythema nodosumGastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal pain, cramps, and bloating)HirsutismInfertility after discontinuation of treatment, temporaryLactation, diminution in, when given immediately postpartumLibido, change inMelasma/chloasma which may persistMenstrual flow, change inMood changes, including depressionNauseaNervousnessPancreatitisPorphyria, exacerbation ofRash (allergic)Scalp hair, loss ofSerum folate levels, decrease inSpottingSystemic lupus erythematosus, exacerbation ofUnscheduled bleedingVaginitis, including candidiasisVaricose veins, aggravation ofVomiting Weight or appetite (increase or decrease), change inThe following adverse reactions have been reported in users of oral contraceptives: CataractsCystitis-like syndromeDysmenorrheaHemolytic uremic syndromeHemorrhagic eruptionOptic neuritis, which may lead to partial or complete loss of visionPremenstrual syndrome Renal function, impaired
Symptoms of oral contraceptive overdosage in adults and children may include nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness/fatigue; withdrawal bleeding may occur in females. There is no specific antidote and further treatment of overdose, if necessary, is directed to the symptoms.
Noncontraceptive Health Benefits
The following noncontraceptive health benefits related to the use of oral contraceptives are supported by epidemiological studies which largely utilized oral-contraceptive formulations containing doses exceeding 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol or 0.05 mg of mestranol.Effects on menses: Increased menstrual cycle regularityDecreased blood loss and decreased incidence of iron-deficiency anemiaDecreased incidence of dysmenorrhea Effects related to inhibition of ovulation: Decreased incidence of functional ovarian cystsDecreased incidence of ectopic pregnancies Effects from long-term use: Decreased incidence of fibroadenomas and fibrocystic disease of the breastDecreased incidence of acute pelvic inflammatory diseaseDecreased incidence of endometrial cancerDecreased incidence of ovarian cancer
Dosage And Administration
To achieve maximum contraceptive effectiveness, ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) must be taken exactly as directed and at intervals not exceeding 24 hours. The dosage of ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) is one pink tablet daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by one light-green inert tablet daily for 7 consecutive days, according to the prescribed schedule. It is recommended that ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) be taken at the same time each day.The dispenser should be kept in the wallet supplied to avoid possible fading of the pills. If the pills fade, patients should continue to take them as directed.
During The First Cycle Of Use
The possibility of ovulation and conception prior to initiation of medication should be considered. The patient should be instructed to begin taking ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) on either the first Sunday after the onset of menstruation (Sunday Start) or on Day 1 of menstruation (Day 1 Start).
The patient is instructed to begin taking ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) on the first Sunday after the onset of menstruation. If menstruation begins on a Sunday, the first tablet (pink) is taken that day. One pink tablet should be taken daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by one light-green inert tablet daily for 7 consecutive days. Withdrawal bleeding should usually occur within 3 days following discontinuation of pink tablets and may not have finished before the next pack is started. During the first cycle, contraceptive reliance should not be placed on ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) until a pink tablet has been taken daily for 7 consecutive days, and a nonhormonal back-up method of birth control should be used during those 7 days.
Day 1 Start
During the first cycle of medication, the patient is instructed to begin taking ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) during the first 24 hours of her period (day one of her menstrual cycle). One pink tablet should be taken daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by one light-green inert tablet daily for 7 consecutive days. Withdrawal bleeding should usually occur within 3 days following discontinuation of pink tablets and may not have finished before the next pack is started. If medication is begun on day one of the menstrual cycle, no back-up contraception is necessary. If ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) is started later than day one of the first menstrual cycle or postpartum, contraceptive reliance should not be placed on ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) until after the first 7 consecutive days of administration, and a nonhormonal back-up method of birth control should be used during those 7 days.
After The First Cycle Of Use
The patient begins her next and all subsequent courses of tablets on the day after taking her last light-green tablet. She should follow the same dosing schedule: 21 days on pink tablets followed by 7 days on light-green tablets. If in any cycle the patient starts tablets later than the proper day, she should protect herself against pregnancy by using a nonhormonal back-up method of birth control until she has taken a pink tablet daily for 7 consecutive days.
Switching From Another Hormonal Method Of Contraception
When the patient is switching from a 21 day regimen of tablets, she should wait 7 days after her last tablet before she starts ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP). She will probably experience withdrawal bleeding during that week. She should be sure that no more than 7 days pass after her previous 21 day regimen. When the patient is switching from a 28 day regimen of tablets, she should start her first pack of ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) on the day after her last tablet. She should not wait any days between packs. The patient may switch any day from a progestin-only pill and should begin ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) the next day. If switching from an implant or injection, the patient should start ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) on the day of implant removal or, if using an injection, the day the next injection would be due. In switching from a progestin-only pill, injection, or implant, the patient should be advised to use a nonhormonal back-up method of birth control for the first 7 days of tablet-taking.
If Spotting Or Breakthrough Bleeding Occurs
If spotting or breakthrough bleeding occur, the patient is instructed to continue on the same regimen. This type of bleeding is usually transient and without significance; however, if the bleeding is persistent or prolonged, the patient is advised to consult her physician.
Risk Of Pregnancy If Tablets Are Missed
While there is little likelihood of ovulation occurring if only one or two pink tablets are missed, the possibility of ovulation increases with each successive day that scheduled pink tablets are missed. Although the occurrence of pregnancy is unlikely if ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) is taken according to directions, if withdrawal bleeding does not occur, the possibility of pregnancy must be considered. If the patient has not adhered to the prescribed schedule (missed one or more tablets or started taking them on a day later than she should have), the probability of pregnancy should be considered at the time of the first missed period and appropriate diagnostic measures taken. If the patient has adhered to the prescribed regimen and misses two consecutive periods, pregnancy should be ruled out.The risk of pregnancy increases with each active (pink) tablet missed. For additional patient instructions regarding missed tablets, see the WHAT TO DO IF YOU MISS PILLS in the DETAILED PATIENT LABELING below.
Use After Pregnancy, Abortion Or Miscarriage
ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) may be initiated no earlier than day 28 postpartum in the nonlactating mother or after a second trimester abortion due to the increased risk for thromboembolism (see CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS, and PRECAUTIONS concerning thromboembolic disease). The patient should be advised to use a non-hormonal back-up method for the first 7 days of tablet taking.ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) may be initiated immediately after a first trimester abortion or miscarriage. If the patient starts ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP) immediately, back-up contraception is not needed.
ORSYTHIA® (levonorgestrel (0.1 mg) and ethinyl estradiol (0.02 mg) tablets USP) is packaged in cartons of 3 and 6 blister pack tablet dispensers. Each blister pack tablet dispenser contains 28 tablets as follows: 21 active tablets, pink, round, film-coated tablet debossed with "93" on one side and "684" on the other side.7 inert tablets, light-green, round, film-coated tablet debossed with "93" on one side and "743" on the other side.Blister pack tablet dispenser NDC 0603-7634-01Boxes of 3 blister pack tablet dispensers NDC 0603-7634-49Boxes of 6 blister pack tablet dispensers NDC 0603-7634-17
Brief Summary Patient Package Insert
- Rx onlyThis product (like all oral contraceptives) is intended to prevent pregnancy. Oral contraceptives do not protect against transmission of HIV (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, and syphilis.Oral contraceptives, also known as “birth-control pills” or “the pill,” are taken to prevent pregnancy, and when taken correctly, have a failure rate of approximately 1.0% per year (1 pregnancy per 100 women per year of use) when used without missing any pills. The average failure rate of large numbers of pill users is approximately 5% per year (5 pregnancies per 100 women per year of use) when women who miss pills are included. For most women oral contraceptives are also free of serious or unpleasant side effects. However, forgetting to take pills considerably increases the chances of pregnancy.For the majority of women, oral contraceptives can be taken safely. But there are some women who are at high risk of developing certain serious diseases that can be life-threatening or may cause temporary or permanent disability or death. The risks associated with taking oral contraceptives increase significantly if you:smoke. have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or a tendency to form blood clots. have or have had clotting disorders, heart attack, stroke, angina pectoris, cancer of the breast or sex organs, jaundice, or malignant or benign liver tumors, or major surgery with prolonged immobilization. have headaches with neurological symptoms.You should not take the pill if you suspect you are pregnant or have unexplained vaginal bleeding.Although cardiovascular disease risks may be increased with oral-contraceptive use after age 40 in healthy, non-smoking women, there are also greater potential health risks associated with pregnancy in older women.
Detailed Patient Labeling
Rx onlyThis product (like all oral contraceptives) is intended to prevent pregnancy. Oral contraceptives do not protect against transmission of HIV (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, and syphilis.INTRODUCTIONAny woman who considers using oral contraceptives (the “birth-control pill” or “the pill”) should understand the benefits and risks of using this form of birth control. This leaflet will give you much of the information you will need to make this decision and will also help you determine if you are at risk of developing any of the serious side effects of the pill. It will tell you how to use the pill properly so that it will be as effective as possible. However, this leaflet is not a replacement for a careful discussion between you and your health-care provider. You should discuss the information provided in this leaflet with him or her, both when you first start taking the pill and during your revisits. You should also follow your health-care provider’s advice with regard to regular check-ups while you are on the pill.EFFECTIVENESS OF ORAL CONTRACEPTIVESOral contraceptives or “birth-control pills” or “the pill” are used to prevent pregnancy and are more effective than most other nonsurgical methods of birth control. When they are taken correctly, without missing any pills, the chance of becoming pregnant is approximately 1% per year (1 pregnancy per 100 women per year of use). Typical failure rates are approximately 5% per year (5 pregnancies per 100 women per year of use) when women who miss pills are included. The chance of becoming pregnant increases with each missed pill during each 28 day cycle of use.In comparison, average failure rates for other methods of birth control during the first year of use are as follows:IUD: 0.1 to 2% Female condom alone: 21% Depo-Provera® (injectable progestogen): 0.3% Cervical cap Norplant® System (levonorgestrel implants): 0.05% Never given birth: 20% Diaphragm with spermicides: 20% Given birth: 40% Spermicides alone: 26% Periodic abstinence: 25% Male condom alone: 14% No methods: 85% WHO SHOULD NOT TAKE ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES
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