Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
The information provided here results from studies of combination oral contraceptives; the patch contraceptive is thought to have similar risks. Oral combination contraceptives increase the risk of the following serious conditions:
- blood clots
- gallbladder disease
- heart attack
- liver tumours
The risk of disease or death from these conditions greatly increases if a woman has other risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, or diabetes.
Smoking while taking oral contraceptives increases the risk of side effects that affect the heart and blood vessels (e.g., blood clots). This risk is greatest for women 35 years and older. You should not take this medication if you smoke and are 35 years or older.
You should stop using the patch immediately if you develop any of the following:
- blood clot disorders and cardiovascular disorders (e.g., inflammation of a vein due to blood clot, blood clot in your lung)
- a condition that makes you immobile for a long period of time (e.g., recovering from major surgery, being bedridden due to a long-term illness)
- vision or eye problems (e.g., double vision, certain eye conditions) - check with your doctor
- severe headache without known cause, or worsening of preexisting migraine
Body weight: For women weighing 90 kg (198 lbs.) or more, the patch may be less effective. Check with your doctor for more information.
Breast self-exam and physical exams: Women taking this medication should do regular breast self-exams and have yearly physical exams done by their doctor.
Heat sources: Do not expose the patch area to heat sources such as heating pads, electric blankets, saunas, hot tubs, or heat lamps. This may increase the amount of medication that enters your body through the skin.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be taken during pregnancy. You should stop using this medication if you become pregnant and contact your doctor.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk and may affect your baby. Adverse effects on the baby, such as jaundice and breast enlargement, have been reported. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: This medication is not recommended for use before the start of menstruation in puberty.