Ortho Evra is a skin patch that is formulated with two hormones, progestin and estrogen, to prevent pregnancy. It cannot be used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
The skin patch is designed with the 28 day cycle in mind. The first topical patch is placed on skin and kept for a week. A new patch is placed each first day of the week for three consecutive weeks. There will be a one week break on the fourth week, a period in which you should expect you menstrual period. The skin on which the patch will be secured should be clean and dry, free from creams, makeup, oils and powder. You can place the patch on the abdomen, buttock, upper outer arm or upper torso. Do not apply the patch on your breasts or to areas that are irritated or cut. It is also best to put each new patch on a different area of skin. Put the patch on another area if the skin you have previously chosen gets irritated. Use only one patch at a time.
Inform your doctor if you have blood clotting disorders, breast cancer, cancer of the reproductive organs, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, chest pain, jaundice and. benign liver tumors. Also mention if you smoke or have had a stroke. Ortho Evra is not as effective if you weigh more than 198 lbs (90 kg). It should not be used when pregnant as it can cause birth defects. It may also decrease breast milk flow and affects the content of the milk itself.
If you forget to apply your patch on the first week, you can become pregnant and must use another means of contraception. Do apply a patch when you remember and mark your first day as a new day 1.
If you forget your patch change on week two or three, apply as soon as you remember. Apply the patch on your usual patch change day. There is no need to use backup contraception. However, if you have not changed your patch for more than two days, you may get pregnant. So, start a new four week cycle when you remember. You must also use backup contraception.
If you forget to remove your patch on the fourth week, remove as soon as you remember. Your next cycle will start on your normal patch change day, which is day 1 or the day after day 28. There is no need for backup contraception.
Combination hormonal contraceptives like Ortho Evra can cause abdominal cramps, bloating, breast tenderness and enlargement, headache, nausea, menstrual changes and vaginal discharge.
Store patches, in their pouches, ideally at 25°C (77°F) but temperatures between15-30°C (59-86°F) may do. Immediately apply on skin after removing from pouch. Do not store inside the freezer or refrigerator. Do not flush used patches but make sure that each patch is folded in such a way that it sticks to itself before disposing of it.
It is rare for anyone to experience Ortho Evra overdose as the patch releases just enough hormones at a time. Just make sure not to use more than one patch at a time. Overdose may cause nausea, vomiting and vaginal bleeding. Immediately contact your doctor if you experience these symptoms.
Talk to your doctor in-depth about your medical and family history before taking Ortho Evra. Go back for a consultation every year. Do not recommend your prescription to others.