Women Home > Ortho Evra

Ortho Evra is a type of birth control that is available in the form of a patch. There is only one standard dosage of this medication -- one patch applied once a week for the first three weeks of your menstrual cycle. Possible side effects of Ortho Evra include headaches, nausea, and skin reactions at the site where the patch is applied.

What Is Ortho Evra?

Ortho Evra® (norelgestromin/ethinyl estradiol) is a skin patch that is used for contraception (to prevent pregnancy). It contains norelgestromin (a progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen), which are released slowly over time. Each Ortho Evra patch is changed once a week.
(Click Ortho Evra Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Ortho Evra?

It is made by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc.

How Does It Work?

Ortho Evra works in a similar way as combined oral contraceptives (birth control pills that contain both an estrogen and a progestin), although it is a patch, rather than a pill. It primarily works to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also prevents pregnancy in two other, minor ways. Ortho Evra alters the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. It also alters the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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