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Brevinor (500mcg/35mcg)

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Brevinor is a contraceptive pill. It is used to prevent pregnancy, and it works by stopping ovulation and making it difficult for sperm to reach an egg. When taken correctly it is around 99% effective.
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What is Brevinor?

Brevinor is a combined oral contraceptive pill. A contraceptive stops you from becoming pregnant. Contraceptives come in mainly two different types - hormonal contraceptives, which include tablets that you swallow, patches that you put on your skin, implants and injections, and barrier methods such as condoms.

Oral contraceptives are tablets that you swallow every day. When taken properly, they can be highly effective at preventing you from getting pregnant. Brevinor works in a similar way to other oral contraceptives.

Oral contraceptives such as Brevinor are available on prescription from your doctor or pharmacist. We can also prescribe them to you online after a brief consultation. Contact us to find out more.

Brevinor is a brand name. The active ingredients are ethinylestradiol and norethisterone. For more information on Brevinor, please read the patient information leaflet.

How it works

Brevinor tablets contain oestrogen and progesterone. These are hormones produced naturally in your ovaries. These hormones work together to prevent ovulation, (an egg being released from your ovaries.) making it less likely that sperm can fertliise an egg. This also makes it more difficult for an egg to implant itself in the lining of the womb.

Brevinor can take up to seven days to begin working. The effectiveness of Brevinor depends when during your menstrual cycle you take it, and if you miss a dose. You should refer to the Dosage Instructions section below for more detailed information.

Before you take it

You should not take Brevinor if you have an allergy to any of the active or inactive ingredients within the medicine. Speak with your doctor for advice. They will be able to recommend an alternative contraceptive method.

Combined pills like Brevinor are not known to cause drowsiness or sleepiness, so your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery will not be affected by Brevinor. Brevinor is safe to take long term.

It is very important that you do not take Brevinor with any other contraceptive pill. Mixing hormonal contraceptive pills can be very dangerous and can cause a rise in blood pressure. It is safe to use barrier methods of contraception in combination with Brevinor. It is important that you visit your doctor regularly to check your blood pressure when taking Brevinor. If you have a history of high blood pressure, speak to your doctor first.

Brevinor contains lactose. If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to lactose or other sugars, it is best to discuss this with them. They will be able to recommend an alternative method of contraception for you.

Brevinor will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections or other sexual health problems - no hormonal contraception method will. Only non hormonal, barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, will prevent you from sexually transmitted infections as well as pregnancy.

Brevinor, like other hormonal contraception, can cause complications. Specifically, Brevinor carries an increased risk of developing health problems such as thrombosis, heart problems and liver problems. If this concerns you, you should discuss with your doctor or health professional, as another contraceptive may be more suitable for you.

If you wish to become pregnant while taking Brevinor, talk to your doctor. You will need to stop taking Brevinor and may need to leave a gap of several months before you begin trying to have a baby. If you are already pregnant, do not take Brevinor.

Smoking can increase the risk of stroke and heart problems while taking Brevinor, especially in women over 35.

Your doctor or nurse will perform regular medical examinations after starting Brevinor, to ensure your body is responding properly to it. Your doctor may consider it necessary to examine your breasts to check for signs of breast cancer. They may also examine your abdomen or pelvis, or could perform a cervical smear test.

You should consult your doctor before you take Brevinor if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have problems with blood clots or thrombosis
  • You have ever had a heart attack or stroke
  • If you have asthma
  • If you have ever experienced chronic liver disease
  • If you have ever had unidentified vaginal bleeding
  • If you have a body fat disorder such as hyperlipidaemia
  • You have sickle cell anaemia
  • If you experience migraines
  • If you have multiple sclerosis

Some other medicines may interact with Brevinor. They include:

  • Medications used to treat epileptic conditions such as carbamazepine and oxacarbamazepine
  • HIV treatments such as ritonavir
  • Medicine used to treat narcolepsy such as modafinil
  • Griseofulvin for fungal infections
  • Rifabutin and rifampicin for bacterial infections

This is not an exhaustive list of warnings and potential interactions. For a full list, please consult the patient information leaflet. If you are in any doubt, speak with your doctor.

Dosage Instructions

You should take Brevinor exactly as your doctor has prescribed. Do not exceed the stated dose. If you are in any way unsure about how to take Brevinor, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

It is very important that you follow these instructions exactly. Failure to do so may put you at risk of becoming pregnant.

Take the first tablet of your blister pack on the first day of your period. You must always take the tablet marked for that particular day of the week. As long as you take one tablet daily, you will be protected from pregnancy.

Make sure you take your tablet at around the same time each day. It does not need to be at a specific time, for example in the morning or the evening, but it must be consistent.

Each blister pack lasts for 21 days. Once you finish all 21 of your tablets, you should then take a 7 day break where you do not take any tablets. You will probably experience bleeding during these 7 days.

After this, start the next blister pack. You will always start a blister pack on the same day of the week.

It is imperative that you follow these instructions to prevent pregnancy. If you miss a tablet, or take one at the wrong time, Brevinor may not protect you from pregnancy.

Brevinor should be stored at room temperature, out of the reach and sight of children and pets.

Common Side Effects of Brevinor

Like all medication, Brevinor may cause mild to moderate side effects. Typically these will go away on their own as your body becomes used to the medication, but if they persist or they concern you, contact your doctor. Possible side effects may include:

  • Irregular vaginal or menstrual bleeding
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhoea
  • Depression
  • Sore or swollen breasts
  • Change in sex drive
  • Changes in appetite

Brevinor may also cause more serious side effects. These are rare, but they are a cause for concern. Stop taking Brevinor and go to your doctor for help as soon as possible if you experience:

  • Coughing up blood
  • Worsening migraines that affect your sight
  • You develop a problem with your speech
  • Painful or inflamed veins in your legs
  • Swelling or tenderness of the stomach
  • Loss of consciousness, dizziness or feeling faint

Brevinor may cause a severe allergic reaction. If you experience this, it is a medical emergency and you should stop taking Brevinor and call for an ambulance immediately. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Trouble breathing or speaking
  • Wheeziness
  • Tightness in the throat or chest
  • Hives or nettle rash
  • Skin rash, including blistering, peeling, itchiness or redness

This is not an exhaustive list of potential side effects, and for a complete list you must contact your doctor or consult the patient information leaflet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Brevinor suitable for children?

Brevinor is suitable only for women of childbearing age. It should never be taken by children. We do not prescribe any medication to anyone under the age of 18.

What happens if I become pregnant?

Brevinor is 98% effective with perfect use. With typical use, it becomes less effective - around 91%. Therefore, if pregnancy occurs while using Brevinor it is usually due to a dosing mistake, such as missing tablets or taking them at the wrong time of the day. If you become pregnant after you start taking Brevinor, do not continue taking it and speak with your doctor or family planning clinic immediately.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, you should be aware that you may no longer be protected from pregnancy. You must take a Brevinor pill every day for it to be most effective. If you have missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose as normal. It is advised to use an additional method of contraception for the next 7 days, as the effectiveness of Brevinor may be reduced. If you have unprotected sex before you realise you have missed your dose of Brevinor, you should consider using emergency contraception such as the morning after pill.

What happens if I take too much?

If you take too many Brevinor pills, this may cause vaginal bleeding, swollen or sore breasts, nausea or vomiting. If you believe you have overdosed on Brevinor, go to your doctor or visit your local hospital casualty department immediately.

More Information
Dosage Instructions Please see medicine label for the dosage instructions.