Modicon (ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone) is an oral contraceptive pill used by women to prevent pregnancy. The products combine two types of female hormones, an estrogen and a progestin.
Indications for use
Modicon is mainly used as an oral contraceptive. It can also be used for the following conditions:
- pain with menstruation;
- polycystic ovarian syndrome;
- absence of menstrual periods;
- a disease with cysts in the ovaries;
- abnormally long or heavy periods;
- abnormal bleeding from the uterus;
- premenstrual disorder with depression;
- low levels of female hormones in the body.
Mechanism of action
It works by stopping sperm from joining with an egg (fertilization). The drug stops ovulation, which means pregnancy can’t happen. It also thickens the mucus on the cervix.
Dosage and mode of application
Each pack of Modicon contains 21 active pills followed by 7 inert pills (reminders). Each active tablet contains 0.5 mg of norethindrone and 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol. Take 1 pill per day for 28 days. Start a new pack as soon as you take the last inert pill in the pack. Take the first pill on the first day of your period or on the first Sunday following the onset of your period. For the first cycle of use, use an additional non-hormonal method of birth control such as a condom or spermicide (the first 7 days of use). Spotting and breakthrough bleeding may occur during the first 3 months of use. If spotting and breakthrough bleeding persist, consult your doctor.
In rare cases, Modicon pills can cause the following side effects:
- pelvic pain;
- menstrual irregularity;
- breast enlargement;
- vaginal irritation;
- vaginal discharge;
- appetite stimulation;
- weight gain;
- libido decrease;
- libido increase;
- emotional lability;
- acne vulgaris;
- breast discharge;
- breakthrough bleeding;
- maculopapular rash;
- weight loss;
- back pain;
- musculoskeletal pain;
- abdominal pain;
- elevated hepatic enzymes;
- peliosis hepatis;
- lactation suppression;
- fluid retention;
- cervical dysplasia;
- pulmonary embolism;
- myocardial infarction;
- intracranial bleeding;
- retinal thrombosis;
- optic neuritis;
- visual impairment;
- anaphylactoid reactions;
- erythema nodosum;
- erythema multiforme;
- bowel ischemia;
- new primary malignancy;
- lupus-like symptoms.
If you have any severe and/or lasting side effects after taking Modicon pills, contact your healthcare provider right away or call 911.
Do not use Modicon pills if you have any of the following conditions:
- Headaches with focal neurological symptoms;
- Major surgery with prolonged immobilization;
- Breast or other estrogen-dependent neoplasms;
- Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding;
- Thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders;
- Concomitant ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir;
- Pregnancy-related jaundice or with prior pill use;
- History of DVT, cerebral vascular or coronary artery disease;
- Hepatic disease or tumors;
- Valvular heart disease;
- Uncontrolled hypertension;
- Diabetes with vascular involvement.
Some medicines may reduce the contraceptive efficiency of Modicon or increase the risk for serious side effects.
Some medicines that may interact with this contraceptive include: aromatase inhibitors (anastrozole, exemestane), tamoxifen, tizanidine, tranexamic acid, certain drugs used to treat chronic hepatitis C (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir with or without dasabuvir), ospemifene.
Some medicines may cause Modicon to work less well. Examples include rifamycins (rifampin, rifabutin), St. John’s wort, HIV drugs (nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir), drugs used to treat seizures (barbiturates, carbamazepine, felbamate, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate), griseofulvin, modafinil, among others.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Modicon is contraindicated for use during pregnancy.
The hormones contained in the drug may be excreted into breast milk. It’s recommended that you avoi birth control pills until you have completely weaned your child.
What if I miss a pill?
If you miss 1 active pill in Weeks 1, 2, or 3, you should be taken as soon as you realize your mistake. If you miss 2 active pills in Week 1 or Week 2, you should take 2 pills the day you realize your mistake and 2 pills the next day; and then return to your regular schedule (1 pill per pack) until you finish the pack. You should use a back-up method of contraception, such as a condom or spermicide, in the 7 days after missing active pills. If you miss 2 active pills in the week 3 or miss 3 or more active pills in a row, you should continue taking 1 pill each day until Sunday. On Sunday you should discard the rest of the pack and start a new pack that same day. You should use a back-up method of contraception, such as a condom or spermicide, in the 7 days after missing active pills.
Cigarette smoking increases risk of serious cardiovascular events, especially in women over the age of 35 years.
Stop using the medicine if you get a thrombotic event, sudden visual changes,or jaundice.
Stop using the medicine at least 4 weeks before major surgery, including dental surgery, and during and after prolonged bed rest.
Use birth control pills with caution if you have diabetes, prediabetes, uncontrolled dyslipidemias, hypertriglyceridemia, gallbladder disease, ectopic pregnancy, pregnancy-related cholestasis, current or history of depression, fluid retention.
Monitor significant changes in headaches, amenorrhea, irregular uterine bleeding.
Visit your doctor regularly for physical exams. Monitor blood pressure; stop taking the pills if significant rise occurs.
You may need an additional (barrier) contraception with Sunday starts or postpartum use.
An overdose of Modicon can cause serious side effects, including nausea and withdrawal bleeding.