Jolessa Warnings and Precautions

Specific Precautions and Warnings for Jolessa

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this drug include the following:
  • Combined oral contraceptives (including Jolessa) increase the risk of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. These risks are quite small for healthy, young nonsmokers. 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 serious Jolessa side effects, such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
  • As with all birth control pills, Jolessa does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Jolessa.
  • Even though you will have fewer periods while taking Jolessa (only four periods per year), many women have breakthrough bleeding between periods. This bleeding may be inconvenient and unpredictable. Keep taking the medication as usual, but contact your healthcare provider if the bleeding is heavy.
  • Combined oral contraceptives may also slightly increase the risk of breast cancer or cervical cancer, although this is an unresolved and controversial issue. However, combined oral contraceptives seem to help protect women against ovarian and uterine cancer.
  • Birth control pills are sometimes not the best contraceptive choice for obese women. They may be less effective in these women, and obese women may be at higher risk for some of the serious side effects of Jolessa.
  • Jolessa can interact with a number of different medications (see Jolessa Drug Interactions).
  • Oral contraceptives increase the risk of benign (noncancerous) liver tumors. In rare cases, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
  • Hormonal contraceptives such as Jolessa may make gallbladder disease worse. If you have had a problem with your gallbladder, Jolessa may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
  • This drug may increase blood sugar, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely if this happens. Tell your healthcare provider 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 Jolessa and other hormonal contraceptives.
  • Hormonal contraceptives can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
  • If you experience a migraine for the first time (or a change in your migraines if you have had them before) while taking Jolessa, please contact your healthcare provider.
  • Jolessa 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 this drug. However, if you notice any unusual changes in your bleeding patterns, tell your healthcare provider. If you miss a period, you should make sure you are not pregnant.
  • Jolessa can affect your cholesterol. Your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start taking it, especially if you already have high cholesterol.
  • Sometimes, hormonal contraceptives may make depression worse. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop new or worsening depression symptoms.
  • Occasionally, hormonal contraceptives can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
  • Jolessa is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means it should not be used during pregnancy (see Jolessa and Pregnancy).
  • Contraceptive hormones pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Jolessa and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives are not usually recommended for breastfeeding women.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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