Ovranette is a form of combined contraceptive pill, usually referred to as "the pill". This medication contains two hormones, a progestogen, and an estrogen.
Although usually taken to prevent unwanted pregnancies, Ovranette and other combined pills can also be prescribed for women who suffer from complex periods. Menstrual cycles that are particularly heavy, irregular or painful can be managed with Ovranette. Usually, taking this drug will result in lighter, more regular bleeding.
What is Ovranette?
Ovranette tablets are made using two active ingredients: ethinylestradiol, and levonorgestrel. These combined pills use the same hormonal combination as other contraceptive combined pills. The synthetic versions of naturally occurring hormones in the female reproductive system are essential in regulating menstrual cycles and preventing pregnancy.
Pills like Ovranette over-ride the female body's natural menstrual cycle and stop the ovaries from releasing an egg once each month. The Ovranette drug also increases the thickness of the mucus at the front of the womb, which makes it harder for sperm to cross the barrier and result in pregnancy. Ovranette also thins the lining of the uterus, reducing the ability of fertilized eggs to implant there. Usually, Ovranette is taken on a three week on, and 1 week off routine. You take a single pill once a day for three weeks, then have a break for seven days before starting the next dose. However, the instructions from your doctor can vary.
When is Ovranette used?
Ovranette is a branded form of the combined contraceptive pill. This pill uses a combination of synthetic versions of naturally occurring hormones to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Ovranette is usually prescribed to women who don't have any prior health issues, and it's not suitable for women who have a higher than usual risk of suffering from blood clots. Ovranette is usually 99% effective when used correctly. However, diarrhea, vomiting, and missed pills can all make the drug less effective. Ovranette does not protect against sexually transmitted infections, so patients will still be recommended to practice safe sex when using the pill. In some cases, doctors may prescribe Ovranette to young women who struggle with painful periods caused by irregularity, heavy bleeding or excess pain. The use of Ovranette regularly can reduce the amount you bleed and make your menstrual cycles more regular. If Ovranette is not appropriate other forms of a combined pill or alternative contraception may be suggested.
How do you use Ovranette?
Ovranette is designed to be taken for 21 days of the month, with a seven-day break between packets. Some women find it difficult to take their pill at the same time each day. However, it's important to note that these pills are not as effective if they are not taken correctly. There are different kinds of Ovranette pill available. The most common version of the medication comes in packets of 21 pills. You will be required to take Ovranette at the same time every day for 21 days. When your packet is complete, you stop taking the pills for seven days, and then start on the next lot of pills at the same time you would usually take them. Usually, during your seven days without Ovranette, you will experience a withdrawal bleed. You may continue bleeding when you enter into your next lot of pills. If you have not used contraceptive pills before, then your doctor will recommend beginning to use Ovranette on the first day of your natural cycle. Additional contraception will not be required. If you're changing from a different contraceptive pill, you should take Ovranette on the first day after you have completed your previous contraceptive course. If you struggle to remember to take your pill at the same time each day with a 7 day break, your doctor may give you packets of 28 pills. These pills include 7 placebo or sugar pills that you take in your break period. Remember that these pills will be labelled differently, to ensure you don't mix them with the active contraceptive drug. If you are uncertain about any of the instructions given for Ovranette, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
What dosages are available?
Ovranette uses the same combination of hormones as any combined pills. The dosage is 30 micrograms of ethinylestradiol, and 150 micrograms of levonorgestrel. These hormones work together to protect you from unwanted pregnancy and prevent your risk of painful and heavy periods.
Most women will be able to start the pill at any point during their menstrual cycle. However, you may get specific guidance from your doctor if you're switching from a different pill, or you're following from an abortion, pregnancy, or miscarriage.
What are the side effects of Ovranette?
Like all medications, Ovranette can come with some side effects. Most of the side effects associated with this drug are mild. However, if you are unable to manage the side effects that you experience, your doctor might suggest switching to a progesterone-only pill. Common side effects of Ovranette and other combined pills include:
- Nausea or sickness
- Abdominal pain
- Breast tenderness or pain
- Bleeding between periods during initial months of using Ovranette
- Lighter periods or lack of periods
- Mood changes
- Fluid retention
Some people taking Ovranette also experience other side effects, including changes to their libido or sex drive, or an increase in blood pressure. It's also possible to get a skin reaction when taking Ovranette, which could be a sign of an allergic reaction. Like any combined pill, Ovranette can also cause an increased risk of a blood clot in an artery, which leads to increased chances of heart attack or stroke. This is why your doctor will avoid giving you Ovranette if you have a higher risk of clotting. The risk of clotting in a vein is also higher when taking Ovranette. While your chances are limited, there is still a threat that patients need to be aware of.
Your risk of suffering from a blood clot will be increased if you are usually immobile for long periods of time. If you have surgery and need to remain in bed for days at a time, then your doctor may ask you to stop taking Ovranette. If you're travelling for long periods, then your risk of blood clots may also be increased when you're sitting for hours at a time. Ask your doctor for advice on what to do in these situations. They may tell you to consider travel stockings or calf exercises.
When shouldn't you use Ovranette?
Ovranette and other forms of the combined pill may not be appropriate for all patients. There are various medical reasons that may prevent you from taking the pill. Additionally, the combined pill may not work well with certain lifestyle choices. For instance, you shouldn't be taking Ovranette if you're over the age of 35 and you smoke regularly, or if you're very overweight. If you're pregnant, you should stop taking the pill immediately and speak to your doctor. It's also important to discuss the safety of using the combined pill with your doctor if you have, or have had:
- A blood clot in your vein, such as your lungs or leg
- Stroke or other diseases that may narrow the arteries
- Blood clots in your arteries
- Anyone in your family that has had a blood clot under the age of 45
- A heart abnormality or heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Severe migraines with aura symptoms
- Breast cancer
- Liver disease or gallbladder disease
- Diabetes with complications, or diabetes for more than 20 years
If you have recently had a baby, then you may need to take care when using Ovranette. You will usually be able to start your pill 21 days after having your baby, but use barrier contraceptive in the first 7 days of taking. If you're breastfeeding, you will need to avoid taking Ovranette until six weeks after the birth of your baby. Your options for taking Ovranette after an abortion or miscarriage are also slightly different. You will need to wait five days after the miscarriage or abortion in some cases. However, if you start your pill more than five days after an abortion or miscarriage, it will be important to use additional contraception.
Does Ovranette interact with any other medications?
Ovranette can occasionally interact with other medications and stop them from working properly. It's also possible for other medicines that you are taking to stop the Ovranette pill from working too. Some interactions are listed here, but we cannot provide a complete list. It's important to give your doctor a full list of all the medications you're taking before you begin using Ovranette. This includes any herbal medicines, supplements, and over-the-counter products. Antibiotics are some of the most common medications that interact poorly with the combined pill. Antibiotics like rifabutin and rifampicin, which are used to treat meningitis and tuberculosis can reduce the effectiveness of the pill - however other antibiotics don't have the same effect. HIV medications and Epilepsy medications can also interact with these medicines. St John's Wort is also a substance that interacts poorly with Ovranette. Enzyme inducer medications also interact with Ovranette. Examples of these medications include:
- Epilepsy drugs like Phenytoin, carbamazepine, and primidone
- St. John's Wort
- Antiretroviral medications used to treat HIV
Depending on your situation, your doctor may allow you to take Ovranette even if you're taking a medication that interacts with the substance. However, you may need to use additional and alternative forms of contraception when you're using certain medications. Discuss your options with your doctor depending on your medical background and medication history.
Where can you buy Ovranette?
Ovranette is usually available to purchase from any online or registered offline pharmacy. It's important to note that most pharmacies will require either a prescription or a doctor's consultation before giving you Ovranette. This is because it's important for a doctor to assess your condition and make sure that you're an appropriate candidate for Ovranette.
Can you get Ovranette without a prescription?
Some pharmacies will allow you to buy Ovranette without a prescription, but you will need a consultation with a doctor before you can access the medication. As one brand of the combined pill, it's also possible to get Ovranette under other names such as Levest or Microgynon. Before attempting to get Ovranette without a prescription, remember that it's always important to speak to your doctor before changing your medication so that you can prevent dangerous interactions and side effects.
John Wyeth and Brother Ltd, 1995, Maidenhead, UK, Ovranette Patient Information Leaflet, Retrieved from http://mcs.open.ac.uk/nlg/old_projects/pills/corpus/PIL/data/Wyeth/Ovranette/Ovranette.html
Pfizer Limited, 2018, Kent, United Kingdom, Ovranette 150 micrograms/30 micrograms coated tablets, Retrieved from https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.1524.pdf
Pfizer Limited, 2018, United Kingdom, Ovranette 150/30 micrograms coated tablets, Retrieved from https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/1524/smpc