How to use
Take Generic Desogen orally as directed by your doctor. Take this medication at approximately the same time each day, with or without food. You can choose to take your pill with your evening meal or right before bedtime to decrease the chance of nausea or stomach upsets. Read the label and follow the instructions carefully. Start with the first pill of the pack, then take one pill daily. The chance of pregnancy increases if you miss a pill, start a pack late or take your pill at a different time of day than usual.
Your pack of Generic Desogen contains 21 active pills with a combination of estrogen and progesteron to cover the first three weeks of your menstrual period. The last week of the pack contains 2 reminder pills and 5 pills with a low dose of estrogen. Take one active pill per day for the first 21 days of your cycle. Then, continue taking one pill daily, starting with the reminder pills and finishing with the 5 estrogen-only tablets. During the fourth week of your cycle, you should get your period. After you have taken the last estrogen-only pill, start a new pack the next day, regardless of whether you had a period or not. Inform your doctor straightaway if you did not get your period during this week.
If this is the first time you are using Generic Desogen and you are not switching from another form of hormonal birth control (e.g. patch, other contraceptive pills), then take your first pill on the first Sunday following the beginning of your period. If your period starts on a Sunday, start taking your medication on this day. Use an additional form of non-hormonal birth control (e.g. condom or spermicide) for the first 7 days to give the medication enough time to start working. If you start taking these pills on the first day of your period, you do not need to use any back-up birth control during the first week.
Potential symptoms of a Generic Desogen overdose include:
- Vaginal bleeding
If you suspect you have taken too much of this medication, contact your local poison control center or the emergency medical services immediately.
If you miss a dose of Generic Desogen, you increase your chances of getting pregnant. Read the label and follow the instructions exactly.
If you miss one dosage, you should take two pills on the day you remember and on the day thereafter. Then go back to one pill per day for the rest of the pack.
If you miss a pill in week one of your cycle and you had sexual intercourse in the week before, there is a chance you may be pregnant. Contact your doctor immediately for a pregnancy test and use back-up birth control for the next 7 days following the missed dosage. Take the missed pill as soon as you remember, even if this means taking two pills together. Then continue to take one pill per day for the remainder of the pack.
If you miss a pill in week two, take the missed dosage as soon as you remember, even if you have to take 2 pills together. Then keep taking 1 pill per day for the rest of the pack. You are still adequately protected against pregnancy.
If you miss a pill in week three, take it as soon as you remember, even if this means taking two pills at the same time. Then continue to take one pill per day for the remainder of the pack. Once the pack has finished, start a new pack immediately. Do not take seven pill-free days. You will not have a period, but this doesn't mean you are pregnant as the bleeding generated by Generic Desogen is only artificial.
If you miss two pills in a row, take them as soon as you remember. You will need to use an additional method of birth control for the remainder of your cycle. If you miss your period, you should contact your doctor for a pregnancy test.
If you miss three or more pills in a row, ask your healthcare provider for instructions straightaway.
If you miss any reminder pills, throw them away and keep taking one pill per day until the pack is empty. You do not need back-up birth control if you miss a reminder pill.
Do not share this medication with others, as they may have a condition that is not effectively treated by Generic Desogen.
Store Generic Desogen at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) and away from light and moisture. KEEP THIS AND ALL MEDICATIONS OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.
The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed that the taking of this medication is safe, appropriate or effective for you.
Before taking Generic Desogen, tell your doctor if you are currently suffer or ever have suffered from any of the following:
- Any allergies
- A history of strokes or other blood clots (e.g. in the legs, eyes or lungs)
- Severe high blood pressure
- Abnormal breast exam
- Cancer (especially endometrial or breast cancer)
- Diabetes that has caused kidney, eye, nerve or blood vessel disease
- Severe headaches
- History of heart disease (e.g. heart attack, chest pain)
- Heart valve disease
- Liver problems (e.g. liver tumor, active liver disease)
- Current or suspected pregnancy
- Recent major surgery
- Long periods of sitting or lying down (e.g. immobility such as being bedridden)
- History of yellowing eyes or skin (jaundice) during pregnancy or while using birth control pills
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Heavy tobacco use (especially if 35 or over)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol or triglyceride (blood fat) levels
- Swelling (edema)
- Gallbladder problems
- Kidney diseases
- Irregular, missed or very light periods
- Recent pregnancy
- Thyroid problems
If you have any of the above conditions, you may not be able to take Generic Desogen.
Combining Generic Desogen with heavy tobacco use significantly increases your risk of stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure and heart attacks. This risk gets worse when you are aged 35 or over. It is recommended not to smoke or use tobacco when taking this medication.
If you are diabetic, Generic Desogen may make it more difficult to control your blood sugar levels. Monitor your levels regularly and immediately inform your doctor of any symptoms such as increased thirst or urination. You may need an adjustment of your anti-diabetic medication or diet.
Generic Desogen may cause blotchy, dark areas on your skin (melasma). This effect may be worsened by sunlight. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or artificial sunlight, such as sunlamps or tanning booths. If you do need to be outside, wear an effective sunscreen or protective clothing.
Generic Desogen has been classed as Pregnancy Category X by the FDA, which means it could be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take this medication when pregnant or planning to become pregnant. If you do fall pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. If you have just given birth or suffered a miscarriage or abortion in the past 3 months, you should discuss reliable forms of birth control with your doctor. Find out when it is safe again to start using birth control that contains a form of estrogen.
Generic Desogen passes into breast milk, which may affect the milk production and have harmful effects on a nursing infant. It is not recommended to breastfeed while taking this medication. If you are currently breastfeeding you should discuss your options with your doctor.
Before taking Generic Desogen, inform your doctor of all other medication you are currently using. If you are taking any of the following, it may interact with this medication or it may decrease the effectiveness of your birth control pills:
- Aromatase inhibitors (e.g. anastrazole, exemestane)
- Sodium tetradecyl sulfate
- Medication for underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Medication that may increase blood levels of this drug (e.g. Acetaminophen, ascorbic acid/vitamin C, Atorvastatin, Azole antifungals such as Itraconazole, Ketoconazole or Vaginal Miconazole)
- Many antibiotics (e.g. Cephalosporins, Chloramphenicol, Macrolides such as Erythromycin, Penicillins, Sulfas)
- Certain HIV protease inhibitors (e.g. Amprenavir, Nelfinavir, Ritonavir)
- Rifamycins (e.g. Rifampin)
- Many seizure medications (e.g. Barbiturates, Carbamazepine, Phenytoin, Lamotrigine, Topiramate)
- St. John's wort
- Certain beta blockers (e.g. Metoprolol)
- Corticosteroids such as Prednisolone
- Certain Benzodiazepines such as Lorazepam or Temazepam
If you are taking any of these medicines, ask your doctor if you need to use any additional forms of birth control.
The above is only a partial list and other medication may interact with Generic Desogen. Inform your doctor of all prescription and non-prescription medication you are using, including dietary supplements, vitamins, herbal pills and medicines prescribed by other doctors. Do not start or stop taking any medication without discussing this with your doctor first.
The following common side effects of Generic Desogen may occur:
- Stomach cramps or bloating
- Vaginal discomfort or irritation
- Increased vaginal fluids
- Breast tenderness or enlargement
- Worsening acne
- Vaginal bleeding between periods (spotting)
- Missed or irregular periods
These effects should get better with time, but if any of them persist or worsen, contact your doctor immediately. If you miss two periods in a row, contact your doctor for a pregnancy test.
Inform your doctor straightaway if any of the following unlikely but serious side effects occur:
- Changes in vaginal bleeding (e.g. continuous spotting, sudden heavy bleeding, missed periods)
- Problems wearing contact lenses
- Dark patches on the skin (melasma)
- Unwanted facial or body hair
- Swelling of the ankles or feet
- Weight gain or loss
Also notify your doctor straightaway if you experience any of the following rare but very serious side effects:
- Lumps in the breast
- Severe stomach, abdominal or pelvic pain
- Mental or mood changes (e.g. depression, suicidal thoughts, persistent trouble sleeping)
- Unusual tiredness
- Dark urine
- Yellowing eyes or skin (jaundice)
In rare cases, Generic Desogen may cause serious (and sometimes fatal) problems from blood cloths (e.g. pulmonary embolism, stroke or heart attack). Seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest, jaw or left arm
- Coughing up blood
- Sudden dizziness or fainting
- Pain, swelling or warmth in the groin or calf
- Tingling, weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
- Headaches that are different from those you may have experienced in the past (e.g. headaches with other symptoms such as vision changes or lack of coordination, existing migraines becoming worse, sudden or very severe headaches)
- Slurred speech
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Vision problems or changes
In very unlikely cases, you may encounter a severe allergic reaction to Generic Desogen. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:
- Itching or swelling (especially of the face, tongue or throat)
- Severe dizziness
- Trouble breathing
This is only a partial list of potential side effects and others may occur. Inform your doctor if you experience any other side effects than the ones mentioned above, especially if they are bothersome.