Ortho Evra and Pregnancy

The FDA has classified Ortho Evra as a pregnancy Category X medication, meaning the contraceptive should not be used during pregnancy because it may cause serious problems (such as miscarriages or birth defects). However, if you accidentally used Ortho Evra before finding out you were pregnant, it probably won't cause any problems. If you are taking Ortho Evra and pregnancy occurs, you should immediately stop using the contraceptive.

An Overview of Ortho Evra and Pregnancy

Ortho Evra® (norelgestromin/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription hormonal contraceptive. As with all hormonal contraceptives, Ortho Evra should not intentionally be used during pregnancy.

Ortho Evra and Pregnancy Category X

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy 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. Often, this is due to serious problems that could potentially occur, such as miscarriages or birth defects. When high doses of one of the hormones in Ortho Evra was used during animal studies, it appeared to cause problems, including a cleft palate and paw problems. However, it is not known if similar problems will occur in humans.
Although Ortho Evra is a pregnancy Category X medication, it is probably not likely to cause any problems if it is accidentally used during early pregnancy. Many studies have shown that there is no increased risk of birth defects when birth control pills were accidentally taken in early pregnancy. However, there is no good reason to use Ortho Evra during pregnancy.
If you accidentally used Ortho Evra for a while before you realized you were pregnant, you can be reassured that this is unlikely to cause any problems for you or your baby. If you are pregnant, you should stop using Ortho Evra. If you think you may be pregnant, you should contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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