Chemical Name - Norgestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol
Ovral is a combined hormone medication which is used as a birth control pill to avoid pregnancy. It contains a combination of progestin and estrogen hormone and prevents the process of fertilization by making the vaginal fluid thicker and blocking the sperm to enter the uterus. It also ensures that the egg is not released during menstruation and changes the womb’s lining so that the fertilized egg passes out and doesn’t get attached.
Ovral tablet acts as an anticoagulant which reduces the blood clot formation in veins and arteries. It helps in reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other fatal conditions.
Packet of medicine Ovral - Oral contraceptive tablets
Each Ovral tablet(active pill) consists of
- 'Ethinyl Estradiol' 0.030mg (synthetic estrogen)
- 'Levonorgestrel' 0.150mg (synthetic progestin)
- Ovral L is available in the market with a pack containing 21 tablets whereas a pack of 28 tablets is also available, out of which 21 tablets are color-coded and remaining 7 are pale pink in color ( inert tablets)
Dosage and administration:
- Women should take this contraceptive pill on the menstrual first day of the menstrual cycle in the starting while for those in continuation should take pills 7 days after the cycle.
- Ovral is usually taken at night before going to bed
- One pill should be taken regularly at the exact time each day.
- The ovral pill can be taken even after miscarriage or abortion( first trimester) at any time and after 21 to 28 days after abortion or miscarriage ( Second trimester).
- Helps in core therapy of Acne control, Hirsutism, and Polycystic Ovarian Disorder
- Helps in the upliftment of Post menstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Helps in preventing Endometrial cancer (womb cancer) and ovarian cancer
- It further helps in regularizing your period cycle and is also used for treating pain during menstruation.
Ovral can lead to birth defects, therefore the use of this contraceptive during pregnancy is strictly prohibited. Women should wait for minimum 4 weeks after giving birth to a baby before starting this medication.
Use of oral should be avoided in case of:
- uncontrolled or untreated high BP
- heart disease (uncontrolled heart valve disorder, history of stroke, heart attack, blood clot)
- circulation problems or disorders of a blood clot
- diabetes causing eye, kidney or circulation problem
- uterine cancer or breast cancer history
- vaginal bleeding (unusual)unchecked by a doctor;
- liver cancer or liver disease
- migraine headaches
Also, keep the medicine stored in room temperature away from excess heat or excess moisture and also away from children.
A Doctor should be informed if the patients suffer from any of the following conditions:
- high blood pressure
- triglycerides or high cholesterol
- history of depression;
- underactive thyroid
- varicose veins
- gallbladder disease;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- disturbed menstrual cycles;
- history of an abnormal mammogram, lumps
- sudden weakness or numbness
- a severe headache, vision problems, confusion
- Pain in the chest, arm, shoulder
- a sudden cough, rapid breathing, wheezing
- pain. redness, swelling in legs
- stomach pain, loss of appetite, jaundice, dark urine
- Lump in breast
Less serious side effects include:
- nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps
- swelling or breast tenderness, nipple discharge;
- loss of hair
- overweight or loss of appetite;
- vision problem
- vaginal discharge or itching
- Changes in menstrual periods.
Interactions with other drugs
Interaction of Ovral with other drugs can have a profound effect on your body and hence you need to be careful on the medication you are under and consult with a doctor before taking this medicine. Some of the drugs which can have an adverse effect include,
- Tranexamic acid
- Aromatose inhibitors such as exemestane, anastrozole
- Medication for chronic hepatitis C like ritonavir, paritaprevir, ombitasvir including dasabuvir or without it.
These are not the exhaustive list of drugs which can have interactions with Ovral. There are other drugs which can also have an impact.
There are also other drugs which when used along with Ovral might completely nullify its effectiveness. These include but not limited to,
- Rifamycins like Rifabutin and Rifampin
- Drugs for treating seizures like carbamazepine, phenytoin, felbamate, barbiturates, topiramate, and primidone.
- Drugs for HIV like Ritonavir, nevirapine, nelfinavir.
Whenever you are starting on a new medication and you are already using Ovral, you should consult with your doctor on a possible effect between the drugs.
The medication can also have an impact on the result of certain laboratory tests like thyroid, blood clotting tests and so on. You have to keep your doctors informed that you are on Ovral whenever you are required to undergo a test.
Even over the counter (OTC) medicines, nutritional supplements and herbal medicines can interact with Ovral and diminish its efficiency or cause adverse side effects. You need to, therefore, keep your doctor informed of any medication you are under or supplements you take including protein shakes when you get prescribed for Ovral.
What if you miss a dose?
In case you have missed a dosage, then you should follow the instructions as mentioned on the pack. However, it would be advisable to use other contraceptive measures for some time, like condoms or spermicides, to avoid pregnancy. You can check with your doctor on how to manage the missed dosage.
And if you miss your periods, then please check in with your doctor for a possible pregnancy.
Things to avoid when on Ovral
It is important that you avoid smoking, especially if you are above 35 years of age, in order for the pill to be effective. Smoking with a birth control pill can have fatal effects like heart attack and stroke.
Also, you need to remember that Ovral is an oral contraceptive and it will not protect you from HIV, AIDS or any other sexually transmitted diseases.
Prescribed for preventing pregnancy, Ovral is also used to regulate periods.
Loette, Microgynon, Neogynon, Nordette, Nordiol, Ovral, Trinordiol, Triquilar.
Take the drug as per the doctor’s direction. You have to take Ovral with food to avoid stomach upset.
If missed a pill, take it as soon as you remember it. The missed pill can be taken along with the scheduled drug the next day. Always use a backup method for the next seven days if a pill is missed. You have to consult the doctor if you miss more than one pill.
The drug is known to cause dizziness and so it is better not to drive or do hard works after taking the pill. If taken with alcohol or some other medications, it can worsen the effect. The drug should only be used for whom it has been prescribed.
All your medical history should be told to the doctor before you take the pill. Your physician will be able to choose the right dosage for you once he knows all your medical history.
If you have allergies against some drugs, food or any other substance, you have to tell the physician. High blood pressure, heart diseases, angina, high cholesterol, history of depression, diabetes, gallbladder disease, epilepsy, history of irregular menstrual cycles and fibrocystic breast disease, abnormal mammogram and lumps should be notified.
If you are breast-feeding or about to become pregnant, tell the doctor. It is found that the hormones in the drug can pass over to the breast milk. So it is preferable to avoid breast-feeding while taking Ovral. It is better to consult the doctor if you are using some other medicines as some medicines are known to interact with Ovral.
If there is a history of blood clot, circulation problems, breast or uterine cancer, abnormal bleeding in the vagina, liver diseases and history of jaundice, avoi9d the drug. You should also wait for four weeks after delivery before you take the drug.