The reference site for Desogestrel

Desogestrel (INN, USAN, BAN) is a progestin used in hormonal contraceptives.

WHAT IS DESOGESTREL?

Desogestrel is used as a female contraceptive. Desogestrel is a progestin or a synthetic form of the naturally occurring female sex hormone, progesterone. Desogestrel is generally used in combination with ethinyl estradiol.

In a woman’s normal menstrual cycle, an egg matures and is released from the ovaries (ovulation). The ovary then produces progesterone, preventing the release of further eggs and priming the lining of the womb for a possible pregnancy. If pregnancy occurs, progesterone levels in the body remain high, maintaining the womb lining. If pregnancy does not occur, progesterone levels in the body fall, resulting in a menstrual period. Desogestrel tricks the body processes into thinking that ovulation has already occurred, by maintaining high levels of the synthetic progesterone. This prevents the release of eggs from the ovaries.

 

Brand Name(s): Marvelon, Mercilon, Mircette; Apri; Desogen; Ortho-Cept; Cyclessa (Combination with Ethinyl Estradiol)
CAS nº: 54024-22-5
(des-oh-JES-trel)

 

Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to desogestrel and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

Desogestrel has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. A prescription is required for this medicine.

Please visit the official site of the FDA for further information.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Desogestrel is used as a female contraceptive. This medication is a progestin or a synthetic form of the naturally occurring female sex hormone, progesterone. Desogestrel is generally used in combination with ethinyl estradiol.

In a woman’s normal menstrual cycle, an egg matures and is released from the ovaries (ovulation). The ovary then produces progesterone, preventing the release of further eggs and priming the lining of the womb for a possible pregnancy. If pregnancy occurs, progesterone levels in the body remain high, maintaining the womb lining. If pregnancy does not occur, progesterone levels in the body fall, resulting in a menstrual period. Desogestrel tricks the body processes into thinking that ovulation has already occurred, by maintaining high levels of the synthetic progesterone. This prevents the release of eggs from the ovaries.

Note: no contraceptive method is 100 percent effective. Studies show that fewer than one of each one hundred women correctly using oral contraceptives becomes pregnant during the first year of use. Birth control methods such as having surgery to become sterile or not having sex are more effective. On the other hand, using condoms, diaphragms, progestin-only oral contraceptives, or spermicides is not as effective as using oral contraceptives containing estrogens and progestins. Discuss with your health care professional your options for birth control.

Other uses for this medicine

Desogestrel may also be used in the treatment of acne in girls older than 15, for treating endometriosis, painful periods, unusual uterine bleeding, and female hypogonadism.

Nevertheless, it is important that you talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your particular condition.

Dosage and using this medicine

Take birth control pills exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take the first pill in a package on the first Sunday after your period begins, unless otherwise directed.

Take one pill every day, no more than 24 hours after the last dose. Try to take the pills at a time that you will remember every day – for example, just before bed, with a meal, or first thing in the morning.

Taking the pill at night may help to reduce nausea or headache experienced because of the hormones.

If you are on a 28-day cycle, take one pill every day. When the pack runs out, throw it away. Begin a new pack the following day. The 28-day cycle contains seven pills that are either placebos (with no active ingredients) or iron supplements. These are “reminder” pills to keep you on your regular cycle. They are taken during your period.

However, if you are on a 21-day cycle, take one pill every day for 21 days, then do not take any pills for 7 days. You should have your period during the 7 days with no pills. Resume taking a pill on the 8th day with a new package.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about using a second form of birth control when you first start taking birth control pills, when you are taking antibiotics, or if you miss a pill. If you are unsure what to do in any of these cases, talk to your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor about how to ensure that you will not become pregnant.

What special precautions should I follow?

BEFORE TAKING DESOGESTREL:

Please inform your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms: high blood pressure, angina, or heart disease, had a stroke, a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder, breast, uterine, or another hormone-related cancer, liver disease or a history of jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) caused by use of birth control in the past, undiagnosed, abnormal vaginal bleeding, migraines, asthma, or seizures or epilepsy. You may not be able to take birth control pills, or you may require special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Some drugs may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills which may result in pregnancy. Use a second form of birth control until you talk to your doctor or clinic if you are taking an antibiotic, a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal®), butabarbital (Butisol®), mephobarbital (Mebaral®), secobarbital (Seconal®), phenobarbital (Luminal®, Solfoton®), rifampin (Rifadin®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), carbamazepine (Tegretol®), or griseofulvin (Grisactin®, Grifulvin V®, Fulvicin PG®).

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with birth control pills. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

Please note that birth control pills are in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that birth control pills are known to cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can have serious negative effects on a developing baby. Do not take birth control pills if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant.

Moreover, the hormones in birth control pills pass into breast milk and may decrease milk production. Do not take birth control pills without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Additionally, smoking cigarettes during the use of oral contraceptives has been found to greatly increase the chances of these serious side effects occurring. To reduce the risk of serious side effects, do not smoke cigarettes while you are taking oral contraceptives. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from oral contraceptive use. The risk increases with age and with heavy smoking (15 or more cigarettes per day) and is quite marked in women over 35 years of age.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Missing a pill increases the risk of becoming pregnant.

Follow the exact directions on the package information insert concerning missed doses. If you do not have a package information insert, call your pharmacist, doctor, or nurse to find out what to do.

In general:

If you miss one dose, take the dose as soon as you remember or take two pills at the time of your next regularly scheduled dose. There is little likelihood that ovulation will occur. You may, however, want to use a second method of birth control such as a condom or a spermicidal cream, jelly, or foam for at least 7 consecutive days following the missed tablet to ensure protection from pregnancy.

If you miss two tablets in a row, take the two missed tablets as soon as you remember or with your next regularly scheduled dose (three total). Or, you may take two tablets each for the next two regularly scheduled doses (one missed tablet plus one regularly scheduled tablet for 2 days in a row). Chances are much greater that you may ovulate so you must use another form of birth control for at least 7 days following the missed tablets. It is even better to use a second method of birth control until your next period.

If you miss three tablets in a row, throw away the package and start a new package on the 7th day after the last day you took a pill. Use another method of birth control until you have taken a pill for 7 days in a row. Your period should occur during the 7 days without pills. If it doesn’t, have a pregnancy test before beginning a new package of pills.

What side effects can this medication cause?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking the birth control pills and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:

an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives)
a blood clot in the lung (shortness of breath or pain in the chest)
a blood clot in an arm or leg (pain, redness, swelling, or numbness of an arm or leg)
high blood pressure (severe headache, flushing, blurred vision)
liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue)

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take the birth control pills and talk to your doctor if you experience

headache or dizziness
nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
breakthrough bleeding
breast tenderness

These side effects may disappear or be less noticeable after 3 to 6 months of birth control use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you find any side effect very bothersome.

The side effects listed below generally occur very rarely and are not considered serious. If you experience any of the following, talk to your doctor when it is convenient:

depression
changes in weight or appetite
vaginal yeast infection
changes in your menstrual cycle
oily skin or acne
changes in your sex drive
lethargy or fatigue
bloating
changes in skin color
changes in blood sugar

Other side effects than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Always keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store away from heat and direct light. Heat and moisture may cause the medicine to break down.

Also remember to throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. If you have any doubts, talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In the case of an overdose, call your local poison control center on 1-800-222-1222. However, if the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call the local emergency services immediately on 911.

Product Images

PICTURES OF DESOGESTREL PILLS

Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of desogestrel that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes, manufacturers and/or distributors.

The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.

Name: CYCLESSA®
Strength(s): 0.100 MG
Imprint: ORGANON | TR 0
Manufacturer: ORGANON INC.

Name: CYCLESSA®
Strength(s): 0.125 MG
Imprint: ORGANON | TR 6
Manufacturer: ORGANON INC.

Name: MIRCETTE®
Strength(s): 0.15 MG
Imprint: Mircette
Manufacturer: DURAMED/BARR LABS.

Name: DESOGEN®
Strength(s): 0.15 MG
Imprint: KH 2
Manufacturer: ORGANON INC.

Name: MIRCETTE®
Strength(s): 0.15 MG
Imprint: ORGANON | TR 4
Manufacturer: ORGANON INC.

Name: ORTHO-CEPT®
Strength(s): 0.15 MG
Imprint: ORTHO
Manufacturer: ORTHO-MCNEIL PHARMACEUTICAL

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