Brevicon Warnings and Precautions

Specific Precautions and Warnings for Brevicon

Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Brevicon include the following:
  • Brevicon does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV or AIDS. As a result, it is often a good idea to use condoms in addition to Brevicon, in order to prevent the transmission of STDs.
  • Combined oral contraceptives (including Brevicon) can cause life-threatening conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. These risks are minimal for healthy, young women who do not smoke cigarettes. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or chest pain. Smoking cigarettes greatly increases the risk of these serious Brevicon side effects. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
  • Brevicon can interact with a number of different medications. Some of these interactions may be severe enough to lead to unintentional pregnancy (see Brevicon Drug Interactions for more information).
  • Brevicon is very effective when taken correctly. However, it becomes much less effective if you do not take it correctly (such as missing pills). Most cases of accidental pregnancy while taking "the pill" (including Brevicon) occur when the pill is not taken correctly. Make sure you understand exactly how to use Brevicon (including how and when to start it and what to do if you miss any pills).
  • Sometimes, hormonal contraceptives can make depression worse. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop new or worsening symptoms of depression while taking Brevicon.
  • Combined oral contraceptives may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer or cervical cancer, although this is an unresolved issue. However, combined oral contraceptives seem to help protect women against ovarian and uterine cancer.
  • Oral contraceptives increase the risk of benign liver tumors. Although these tumors are not cancerous, they can rupture and cause serious problems.
  • Occasionally, Brevicon (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
  • Hormonal contraceptives (such as Brevicon) can make gallbladder disease worse. If you have had a problem with your gallbladder, Brevicon may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
  • Brevicon may increase blood sugar levels, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any sudden vision changes, as this may be a sign of a blood clot in the eyes (a possible side effect of Brevicon and other hormonal contraceptives).
  • Hormonal contraceptives (including Brevicon) can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
  • Brevicon can change your menstrual bleeding patterns. Some women have breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between periods), while others may not have a period at all. It is normal to have shorter and lighter periods while using Brevicon. If you notice any unusual changes in your bleeding patterns, let your healthcare provider know. If you miss a period, you should make sure you are not pregnant.
  • Brevicon can affect your cholesterol. Your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start Brevicon, especially if you already have high cholesterol.
  • Brevicon is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be used during pregnancy (see Brevicon and Pregnancy).
  • Contraceptive hormones (such as the ones in Brevicon) do pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the contraceptive (see Brevicon and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives (such as Brevicon) are not usually recommended for women who are breastfeeding.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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