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The FDA has classified Cyclessa (Cesia, Velivet) as a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that the drug should not be used during pregnancy, usually due to serious problems that could occur, such as birth defects or miscarriages. If you are taking Cyclessa and pregnancy occurs, it is important to stop taking the drug right away.

Cyclessa and Pregnancy: An Overview

Cyclessa® (desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill (one of the many versions of "the pill"). As with all oral contraceptives, Cyclessa should not be knowingly used during pregnancy. Although it is unlikely for a woman to become pregnant if she takes the drug correctly, the risk of pregnancy increases significantly if it is not taken exactly as directed.
(Cyclessa is equivalent to Caziant™, Cesia™, and Velivet™ birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to each of these medications.)

Cyclessa and Pregnancy Category X

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category X is given to medications that should not be used during pregnancy, usually due to serious problems, such as birth defects or miscarriages. A pregnancy Category X rating is the strongest indication that a medication should not be taken during pregnancy.
Although it is "common knowledge" that taking birth control pills during early pregnancy is dangerous, doing so is not likely to cause any serious problems, even though Cyclessa is a pregnancy Category X medication. Large studies have shown no increased risk of birth defects when birth control pills were accidentally taken in early pregnancy. However, Cyclessa should never be taken intentionally during pregnancy. Nor should it be used in an attempt to prevent or cause a miscarriage, as it is not effective for such uses.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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