Ortho Evra Information and Side Effects for Patients

Ortho Evra is a contraceptive skin patch containing a combination of female hormones (estrogen and progestin), that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). Fertility depends on regular fluctuations in the levels of these hormones. Ortho Evra also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.

Ortho Evra is used as contraception to prevent pregnancy.

Do not use Ortho Evra if you are pregnant or if you have recently had a baby. Do not use Ortho Evra if you have a history of stroke or blood clot, circulation problems (especially if caused by diabetes), a hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer, abnormal vaginal bleeding, liver disease or liver cancer, severe high blood pressure, migraine headaches, a heart valve disorder, or a history of jaundice caused by birth control pills. Using hormones can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack, especially if you smoke and are older than 35.

Many drugs can interact with birth control medication such as Ortho Evra, and some can make it less effective. Tell your doctor about all other medications you are using.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Ortho Evra: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using the patches and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches;
  • upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
  • a breast lump; or
  • symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes).

Less serious Ortho Evra side effects:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps;
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth;
  • breast pain, tenderness, or swelling;
  • freckles or darkening of facial skin;
  • increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair;
  • changes in weight or appetite;
  • problems with contact lenses;
  • vaginal itching or discharge;
  • changes in your menstrual periods, decreased sex drive; or
  • headache, nervousness, dizziness, tired feeling.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.