Sprintec is a birth control medication used to prevent pregnancy. It’s a combination of 2 two female hormones, norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol.
Indications for use
- Contraception to prevent pregnancy;
- Treatment of severe acne
Mechanism of action
Sprintec is a combination oral contraceptive, the effect of which is determined by the central and peripheral mechanisms. Suppressing the secretion of gonadotropins, the drug prevents the maturation of eggs in the ovaries and ovulation. In addition, the drug increases the viscosity of cervical mucus, which makes it difficult for sperm to penetrate the uterus, and acts on the epithelium of the endometrium, reducing the likelihood of implantation.
Mode of application and dosage
The package contains 28 pills (21 active pills and 7 inactive pills). Each Sprintec active pill contains 0.25mg of norgestimate and 35mcg of ethinyl estradiol.
You should take the first pill on the 1st day of menstrual bleeding. Take one pill every day. Usually, a few days after the end of taking the tablets, menstrual bleeding occurs.
Start taking pills from a new package as soon as you finish the previous one, without interruption. The first tablet from a new package should be taken regardless of whether you have a menstrual bleeding or not.
The blister shows the days of the week. For the convenience of checking the regularity of taking tablets, it is recommended to start each new cycle with a tablet marked with a given day of the week and continue without interruption the entire reception cycle.
These contraceptive pills are most effective if taken at the same time of day, for example, in the evening.
Do not take Sprintec for birth control if you have any of the following conditions:
- venous thrombosis (including deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary thromboembolism);
- arterial thrombosis (including acute disorders of cerebral circulation, myocardial infarction, retinal arterial thrombosis) or precursors of thrombosis (including angina pectoris or transient ischemic attack);
- presence of serious or multiple risk factors for arterial thrombosis;
- arterial hypertension;
- diabetes mellitus with vascular lesions;
- hereditary predisposition to venous or arterial thrombosis, for example, deficiency of antithrombin-lll, deficiency of protein C, deficiency of protein S, hyperhomocysteinemia, the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (antibodies against cardiolipin, a group of antibodies against negatively charged phospholipids);
- hypersensitivity to norgestimate or ethinyl estradiol;
- migraine with aura;
- cerebrovascular disorders;
- breast carcinoma and endometrium, other estrogen-dependent formations;
- liver failure;
- hemolytic anemia;
- benign or malignant liver tumors;
- cholestatic jaundice during pregnancy, including in the anamnesis;
- sickle-cell anemia;
- cardiac ischemia;
- bleeding from the genitals of unclear etiology;
- postmenopausal period;
- age under 18;
- postpartum period (4 weeks);
- pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Take Sprintec pills with caution:
- ulcerative colitis.
- predisposition to venous or arterial embolism;
- long-term immobilization or extensive surgical operation;
- hyperlipidemia, hypertension;
- thrombophlebitis of superficial veins and varicose veins;
- myoma of the uterus;
- diseases of the liver and gallbladder;
- disorders of valvular heart apparatus with complications (mitral stenosis with atrial fibrillation);
- Crohn’s disease;
- hypertriglyceridemia, including in family history;
- systemic lupus erythematosus;
- kidney diseases;
- acute disruption of liver function during previous pregnancy or previous use of sex hormones;
- violations of the menstrual cycle;
- if you are smoking cigarettes
Sprintec may cause the following side effects:
- Kidney disease, depression, decreased libido, decreased glucose tolerance, weight change;
- Cardiovascular system: arterial hypertension, myocardial infarction, cerebral circulation disorders, deep vein thrombosis, arterial thromboembolism, thromboembolism of pulmonary or other vessels, edema;
- Tumors: benign and malignant liver tumors, cervical and breast cancer;
- Hepatobiliary system: cholestatic jaundice, intrahepatic cholestasis, cholelithiasis;
- Gastrointestinal tract: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, flatulence, colitis, impaired appetite;
- Genital organs: intermenstrual bleeding, spotting bloody discharge, amenorrhea, changes in the menstrual cycle, increased uterine fibroids, vaginal candidiasis, increased cervical secretion, cervical erosion, decreased libido, premenstrual syndrome, temporary infertility after the end of the drug intake;
- Thoracic glands: soreness and sensation of tension, galactorrhea, engorgement, increase in size, reduction of breast milk when the drug is taken immediately after a childbirth;
- Skin: erythema nodosum, rash, chloasma, exudative erythema, acne, seborrhea, alopecia, hirsutism, pigmentation on the face, hypertrichosis, pemphigoid (gestational herpes), melasma;
- The organs of vision: cataracts, lesions of the eye nerve, changes in the curvature of the cornea, a feeling of discomfort when wearing contact lenses;
- CNS: headache, mood changes, irritability, depression, chorea, dizziness, migraine;
- Metabolism: fluid retention, changes in body weight (decrease or increase), decreased glucose tolerance, changes in appetite;
- Kidneys: decreased kidney function, hemolytic-uremic syndrome;
- Other: kidney disease, decreased libido.
When menstrual bleeding occurs, Sprintec use should be continued. If the bleeding does not stop, then a survey should be carried out to eliminate organic causes. Similar recommendations apply to bloody discharge, which may appear irregularly during several cycles of taking the pills or for the first time after prolonged use of the pills. If bleeding does not occur after you have taken the last pill, it is necessary to exclude the presence of pregnancy before starting a new package.
Important: Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of cardiovascular side effects from Sprintec use. This risk increases with age.
Contraceptive effectiveness of Sprintec pills may decrease in women taking antibiotics (ampicillin, tetracycline, rifampicin), barbiturates, antiepileptic drugs (hydantoin, carbamazepine), griseofulvin and phenylbutazone. The first manifestation of this interaction is menstrual bleeding. In such cases, other methods of birth control should be used.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss an active pill of Sprintec, take it as soon as possible. The deviation from the usual intake time up to 12 hours provides a reliable contraceptive effect. The effectiveness of the drug decreases with a delay in taking the tablet for more than 12 hours. If the usual time of taking the drug is more than 12 hours or more than one pill is missed, the drug should be immediately resumed leaving a missing tablet in the package. However, before the end of this cycle, additional means of protection from pregnancy should be used (condoms, vaginal contraceptive suppositories, etc.). In such situations, one can not rely on the method of “safe days” or “temperature” method of contraception.
Sprintec and pregnancy
The drug is contraindicated for women who are pregnant.
The use of this hormonal contraceptive at an early stage of pregnancy can cause malformations of the fetus.
Small amounts of the drug may be excreted in breast milk. Influence of Sprintec on a body of the infant is improbable. However, breastfeeding women should not use hormonal contraceptives for oral administration until they stop breastfeeding.
You should use non-hormonal contraceptives during a breastfeeding period.