NuvaRing

Generic Name: Etonogestrel

  • What is NuvaRing?

    NuvaRing is a flexible birth control vaginal ring that is used to prevent pregnancy.

  • What is the most important information I should know about NuvaRing?

    NuvaRing does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

    Cigarette smoking increases your risk of serious heart side effects when you use birth control. This risk increases even more if you are over the age of 35 and if you smoke 15 or more cigarettes a day. If you use birth control medications, including NuvaRing, you are strongly advised not to smoke.

    Do not use a diaphragm as a back-up form of birth control with NuvaRing, because it interferes with the correct placement and position of the diaphragm.

    Go for an annual check-up while on NuvaRing so your doctor can evaluate how you are doing, especially if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

    If you have developed serious depression during or prior to therapy, stop using NuvaRing at once and speak to your doctor to determine if the depression is related to the medication.

  • Who should not take NuvaRing?

    Do not use NuvaRing if you have not yet had your period.

    Do not use NuvaRing if you have any of the following conditions: pregnancy or suspected pregnancy; a history of blood clots in your legs, lungs, or eyes; heart valve or heart rhythm disorders associated with blood clot formation; chest pain; a history of heart attack or stroke; severe high blood pressure; diabetes with complications of the kidneys, eyes, nerves, or blood vessels; obesity; headaches with neurological symptoms; have or have had breast cancer or cancer of the lining of the uterus, cervix, or vagina; unexplained vaginal bleeding (unless diagnosed by your doctor); jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes) during pregnancy or during past use of birth control medications of any kind; liver tumors or active liver disease; need for a long period of bed rest following major surgery; or an allergic reaction to any of the components of NuvaRing.

    Women older than 65 years should not use NuvaRing.

    Do not use NuvaRing if you smoke, especially if you smoke more than 15 cigarettes per day and/or are over the age of 35.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of NuvaRing?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with NuvaRing. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have any of the following conditions: a family history of breast cancer; an abnormal breast x-ray or abnormal mammogram; diabetes; high blood pressure; other breast disorders; high cholesterol or triglycerides; headaches or seizures; depression; gallbladder, liver, heart, or kidney disease; irregular menstrual periods; major surgery; severe constipation, or a history of toxic shock syndrome (potentially fatal disease caused by bacteria).

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: NuvaRing is inserted in the vagina once a month. It stays in the vagina continuously for three weeks. It must be removed exactly 21 days after insertion. A new ring is inserted precisely seven days later.

    If you were previously on another birth control medication or method, your doctor will tell you when to start using NuvaRing.

  • How should I take NuvaRing?

    Start NuvaRing on the first day of your cycle (the first day of your period). You may start it on Days 2-5 as well. This medication does not work immediately, so make sure to use other forms of birth control (such as condoms) during the first seven days of NuvaRing use.

    Please review the Patient Information that came with your NuvaRing prescription for detailed instructions on the proper way to insert and remove the ring.

    After removing the ring, place the used ring in the foil pouch it came in and dispose of it in the garbage, away from children and pets. Do not discard it in the toilet.

    Your menstrual period will usually start 2-3 days after the ring is removed and may not have finished before it is time to insert the next ring. For continued pregnancy protection, you need to insert the new ring exactly 1 week after the old one was removed, even if your period has not stopped.

  • What should I avoid while taking NuvaRing?

    Do not smoke or breastfeed while using NuvaRing.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with NuvaRing?

    If NuvaRing is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining NuvaRing with the following: acetaminophen, antibiotics (such as ampicillin and tetracycline), antifungals, atorvastatin, certain herbal products (such as St. John's wort), clofibrate, cyclosporine, HIV medications known as protease inhibitors (such as ritonavir and indinavir), morphine, phenylbutazone, prednisolone, rifadin, seizure medications, temazepam, theophylline, or vitamin C.

  • What are the possible side effects of NuvaRing?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal (stomach) cramps, allergic rash, bloating, blood clots, breakthrough bleeding and spotting, breast secretions, change in menstrual flow, changes in the breast such as tenderness or enlargement, dark pigmentation of the skin, depression, headaches, heart attack, high blood pressure, intolerance to contact lenses, missed periods, nausea, problems with the ring, sinus inflammation, swelling, temporary infertility after discontinuing NuvaRing, upper respiratory tract (lung) infections, vaginal inflammation or discharge, vision problems, vomiting, weight gain or loss, yeast infections

  • Can I receive NuvaRing if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Do not use NuvaRing during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of NuvaRing?

    In Weeks 1 and 2, if NuvaRing slips out, you will still be protected against pregnancy, provided the ring is replaced within 3 hours. You can use the old ring (after rinsing it with cool or lukewarm water) or insert a new ring. Remove the ring according to your original schedule. If you are unable to replace the ring within 3 hours, insert it as soon as possible and use an additional method of birth control for seven days.

    If the ring slips out during Week 3, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

  • How should I store NuvaRing?

    Store at room temperature. Do not use past four months from the date you received the ring.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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