drospirenone-ethinyl estradiol (generic name)

This medicine combines two types of female hormones, an estrogen and a progestin
(dro SPY re nown; ETH in il es tra DYE ole)
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What is this medicine?

DROSPIRENONE; ETHINYL ESTRADIOL (dro SPY re nown; ETH in il es tra DYE ole) is an oral contraceptive (birth control pill). This medicine combines two types of female hormones, an estrogen and a progestin. It is used to prevent ovulation and pregnancy.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have or ever had any of these conditions:
  • abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • adrenal gland disease
  • blood vessel disease or blood clots
  • breast, cervical, endometrial, ovarian, liver, or uterine cancer
  • diabetes
  • gallbladder disease
  • heart disease or recent heart attack
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • high potassium level
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • migraine headaches
  • stroke
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • tobacco smoker
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to estrogens, progestins, or other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. To reduce nausea, this medicine may be taken with food. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine at the same time each day and in the order directed on the package. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

A patient package insert for the product will be given with each prescription and refill. Read this sheet carefully each time. The sheet may change frequently.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. This medicine has been used in female children who have started having menstrual periods.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, refer to the patient information sheet you received with your medicine for direction. If you miss more than one pill, this medicine may not be as effective and you may need to use another form of birth control.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • acetaminophen
  • antibiotics or medicines for infections, especially rifampin, rifabutin, rifapentine, and griseofulvin, and possibly penicillins or tetracyclines
  • aprepitant
  • ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • atorvastatin
  • barbiturate medicines, such as phenobarbital
  • bosentan
  • carbamazepine
  • caffeine
  • clofibrate
  • cyclosporine
  • dantrolene
  • doxercalciferol
  • felbamate
  • grapefruit juice
  • hydrocortisone
  • medicines for anxiety or sleeping problems, such as diazepam or temazepam
  • medicines for diabetes, including pioglitazone
  • mineral oil
  • modafinil
  • mycophenolate
  • nefazodone
  • oxcarbazepine
  • phenytoin
  • prednisolone
  • ritonavir or other medicines for HIV infection or AIDS
  • rosuvastatin
  • selegiline
  • soy isoflavones supplements
  • St. John's wort
  • tamoxifen or raloxifene
  • theophylline
  • thyroid hormones
  • topiramate
  • warfarin

This product is different from other birth control pills because it contains the progestin drospirenone. Drospirenone may increase potassium levels. Interactions with other drugs may increase the chance of an elevated potassium level. You may need blood tests to check your potassium level. Drugs that can increase the potassium level include:

  • certain medications for high blood pressure or heart conditions (examples include ACE-inhibitors and also Angiotensin-II receptor blockers, and Eplerenone
  • dietary salt substitutes (these may contain potassium)
  • heparin
  • NSAIDs (antiinflammatory drugs), if they are taken long-term and daily, like for arthritis
  • potassium supplements
  • some 'water pills' (diuretics like amiloride, spironolactone or triamterene)

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Last Updated: December 03, 2009
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