Rigevidon is a combined form of the contraceptive pill which is intended to protect women against pregnancy. This drug contains a low dose of two separate pregnancy hormones, ethinylestradiol (oestrogen) and progestogen.
What is Rigevidon?
Rigevidon is a combined form of the contraceptive pill. Unlike the mini-pill, which only contains progestogen, this contains a combination of both progestogen and oestrogen. Women will typically take Rigevidon to avoid unwanted pregnancy, but it may also be prescribed for those with irregular or painful periods, as taking the Rigevidon pill can result in lighter and more regular bleeding. The Rigevidon pill works in the same way as many other combined pills that contain both rigevidon (30 micrograms) and levonorgestrel (150mg).
When is Rigevidon used?
Rigevidon is used as a way of preventing or reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancy. It contains two active ingredients, levonorgestrel and ethinylestradiol, both of which are versions of the natural female sex hormones progesterone and oestrogen. Doctors generally give the combined pill when a patient has no problem being exposed to oestrogen, as some women cannot handle an increased amount of oestrogen in their system. The combined pill works by overriding the natural ovulation and menstrual cycle to stop ovulation, and it can also change the formation of the womb to make it more difficult for pregnancy to occur.
How do you use Rigevidon?
Rigevidon will only be successful when taken according to the strict instructions of your doctor. If you are taking this medication after an abortion or miscarriage, keep in mind that your instructions may be slightly different.
If you are taking Rigevidon with no previous contraceptive (hormonal) pill used in the past, you can begin taking one tablet a day on the first day of your natural cycle. This is the first day that you start bleeding on your period. You can take the first dose of Rigevidon after the last dose of your active tablet has finished if you are switching from a similar alternative hormonal pill.
With Rigevidon, you will be required to take a single pill at the same time every day for a period of three weeks in every month, leaving seven days with no pill, during which time you may experience a withdrawal bleed. It is important to take your pill as close to the same time each day as possible. If you can, set an alarm to ensure that you take it on time, or take it at a time when you know you are likely to remember it.
If you are taking Rigevidon after a recent pregnancy, you may need to speak to your doctor about how long you will need to use barrier forms of contraception alongside your pill to be safe.
If you vomit or have diarrhoea when taking the Rigevidon pill, its effectiveness could be reduced. In this case, you may need to use alternative barrier forms of contraception. Taking certain medications with the Rigevidon pill can also make it less effective.
What dosages are available?
Rigevidon comes in a single dose, with 21 coated tablets contained in a packet for each month. Each pack should come with the days of the week marked on them, so you can remember which days you have taken your pill. You will need to take a single Rigevidon pill once a day at the same time each day until you finish the strip. Give your tablets a seven-day break before you begin taking the next strip – you will therefore take your next tablet on the eighth day after your previous pill packet ended.
If you forget to take a dose of Rigevidon, take your pill as soon as you remember, even if this requires you to take two pills at the same time. Once you have taken your pill, continue taking it at the same time each day going forward. If you forget to take a dose of the Rigevidon pill and you remember more than 12 hours after the time that you were scheduled to take it, you will need to use additional forms of contraception as you may not be protected against pregnancy for seven days.
What are the side effects of Rigevidon?
It is unlikely that you will experience any serious side effects when taking the Rigevidon pill. However, if you do experience a lot of negative symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately. Even if your side effects are only mild, your doctor may be able to suggest switching to another pill.
Common side effects of Rigevidon include a change in mood, including feelings of depression or irritability. Some people feel overly nervous and suffer from things such as headaches, sight disturbances or stomach pains. You may notice changes to your menstrual breeding, breast tenderness or pain, and potential weight gain. In some uncommon cases, slightly more serious side effects may occur. The Rigevidon pill increases your risk of liver tumours, breast and cervical cancer, and systemic lupus erythematosus. You may notice the appearance of rashes or brown patches on your body, as well as a lower libido, high blood pressure and fluid retention. Vomiting and diarrhoea may also occur, along with inflammation of the pancreas and changes to your hearing.
As with any combined contraceptive pill, Rigevidon can also slightly increase your risk of developing a blood clot when you are taking it. Your risk is higher if you are taking the Rigevidon pill when you are immobile for long periods of time. Signs of blood clots may include swelling and pain in your calf, chest pain and shortness of breath. If you notice these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
When should you not use Rigevidon?
There are many different kinds of contraceptive on the market today, and not all of them will be suited to every woman. The Rigevidon pill will not be recommended to you if you are very overweight, over the age of 35 and you smoke. It is also possible that Rigevidon might not be right for you if you have ever had a blood clot issue, a heart attack, a stroke or even angina.
Your doctor will take care prescribing Rigevidon to you if you have very high blood pressure, a heart valve disease or an irregular heartbeat. You might also not be suited for Rigevidon if you have a disorder that increases your blood clotting risk or have severe diabetes. Do not take the Rigevidon pill if you suffer from migraines, have or have had breast cancer in the past, have liver disease, gallbladder disease, or have ever had jaundice.
Your doctor will consider the risks of prescribing Rigevidon to you carefully when assessing your medical history. There are certain other conditions which mean that you can still take Rigevidon but will require close monitoring, for instance high cholesterol levels or diabetes. If anyone in your family has ever had issues with clotting, heart attacks or strokes, you should avoid taking Rigevidon. Additionally, this medication may not be suitable for those using a wheelchair, with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or a history of migraines. If you have an undiagnosed history of breast lumps and gene mutations that may increase your risk of cancer, then you may not be prescribed Rigevidon
Does Rigevidon interact with any other medications?
The Rigevidon pill can interact with other medications, so it is important to talk to your doctor about anything that you might be taking alongside Rigevidon, including herbal remedies, supplements, prescription medication and drugs that you get over the counter. Various medications make Rigevidon less effective at reducing the risk of pregnancy and it is unlikely that Rigevidon will work for you if you take any of the following medications:
- Herbal remedies such as St John’s Wort;
- Antibiotics for tuberculosis such as rifampicin and rifabutin;
- Narcolepsy medications such as modafinil;
- Griseofulvin and some other antifungals;
- Medicines for HIV such as nevirapine and cobicistat;
- Medications for epilepsy such as primidone and parampanel.
If you are given a short course for any of these medications while you are also taking Rigevidon, then you may find that this makes your medication less effective. Because of this it is important to take alternative forms of contraception to ensure that you do not get pregnant when using this medication.
If you know that Rigevidon interacts with a drug that you are already taking but you want to continue using it, speak to your doctor about your options. Do not begin taking any new medications when you are still using Rigevidon.
Where can you buy Rigevidon?
There are various pharmacies online and offline where you can purchase the Rigevidon pill. It is important to make sure that you are buying your medication from a pharmacy that you can trust. Do not buy a prescription medication such as Rigevidon from any company that does not ask you for a prescription to ensure that this medication is right for you.
Can you get Rigevidon without a prescription?
There many different kinds of contraceptive pill available and your doctor will need to assess your medical history and situation carefully to make sure that Rigevidon is right for you. As such, you can only get this medication on a prescription. It is important to have a full consultation with your doctor or with a medical professional before you begin taking the Rigevidon pill.
Consilent Health (UK) Ltd, 2017, online, Rigevidon patient leaflet, [accessed on 22 June 2019], available on: https://www.drugs.com/uk/rigevidon-leaflet.html