Basic Brevicon Dosing Instructions
Each pack of Brevicon
will last for four weeks (28 days). Starting at the beginning of the pack, take one tablet every day, at the same time each day. After you have finished one pack, immediately start a new one the next day. Do not let any days pass between packs, even if you are still having your period. The first 21 tablets contain the active ingredients (the estrogen and progestin hormones). The last seven tablets do not contain any hormones. During this last week, your body gets a short break from the hormones, allowing you to have a period. These last seven tablets do not contain anything that makes you have your period (as some women believe); it is the absence ("withdrawal") of the hormones that causes the bleeding.
In some situations, healthcare providers may recommend using a "continuous cycle" of birth control pills
. This means skipping the last seven inactive tablets each month and starting a new pack right after the first 21 tablets. Brevicon is not approved or labeled for such use. If your healthcare provider recommends continuous cycling of Brevicon, make sure to follow your healthcare provider's instructions for such use.
What About Missing Brevicon Pills?
It is very important that you take Brevicon every day (at the same time each day), even if you do not have sex very often. Missing pills increases the risk of pregnancy. What you should do if you miss pills depends on how many pills you have missed, whether you are a day 1 starter or a Sunday starter, and when in the cycle the pills were missed. If you are not sure what to do about missed pills, use a backup method of contraception until you can speak with your healthcare provider. Some general instructions include:
- If you miss one of the first 21 pills (the active tablets), take the missed pill as soon as you remember and take the next pill at your regular time, even if this means taking two pills at once. You do not need to use a backup method of contraception, as you will be adequately protected against pregnancy.
- If you miss two pills in a row during the first or second week of the pack, take two pills on the day you remember and two pills the next day. This should get you back on your regular schedule. You must use a backup method of contraception (such as condoms) if you have sex in the seven days after you restart the pills.
- If you miss two pills in a row during the third week of the pack (or three or more pills in a row during weeks one through three), your instructions will vary depending on whether you are a day 1 starter or a Sunday starter. If you are a day 1 starter, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack right away. If you are a Sunday starter, take one pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the pack and start a new pack (this keeps you on track as a Sunday starter). Either way, you need to use a backup method of contraception (such as condoms) for a week. You may not have your period as usual this month (as you have skipped the pills that do not contain any hormones).
- If you miss any of the last seven pills (the fourth week of the pack), throw away any of the pills you have missed and continue as usual. Missing these pills will not increase your risk of pregnancy, as long as you start your next pack on time. No backup contraception is necessary.