Precautions and Warnings With Sprintec

Specific Precautions and Warnings for Sprintec

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Sprintec include the following:
  • Like all birth control pills, Sprintec does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Sprintec.
  • Make sure you understand exactly how to take Sprintec (including how and when to start it and what to do if you miss pills). When taken correctly, Sprintec is very effective for preventing pregnancy. However, it becomes much less effective if taken incorrectly. Most cases of accidental pregnancy while taking "the pill" (including Sprintec) are due to incorrect usage.
  • Combined oral contraceptives (including Sprintec) increase the risk of life-threatening problems such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. The risk is quite small for healthy, young, nonsmoking women. 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 side effects. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
  • Combined oral contraceptives may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer, although this is an unresolved issue. However, combined oral contraceptives seem to help protect women against ovarian and uterine cancer.
  • Sprintec can interact with a number of different medications (see Drug Interactions With Sprintec for more information).
  • Oral contraceptives increase the risk of benign (non-cancerous) liver tumors. Usually, these tumors are not dangerous, but very rarely, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
  • Hormonal contraceptives (such as Sprintec) may make gallbladder disease worse. If you have had problems with your gallbladder in the past, Sprintec may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
  • Sprintec may increase blood sugar, 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 Sprintec and other hormonal contraceptives).
  • Hormonal contraceptives (including Sprintec) can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
  • Sprintec 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 Sprintec. 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.
  • Sprintec can affect your cholesterol. Your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start Sprintec, 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, Sprintec (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
  • Sprintec is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be used during pregnancy (see Ortho-Cyclen and Pregnancy).
  • Contraceptive hormones (such as the ones in Sprintec) 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 Ortho-Cyclen and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives (such as Sprintec) are usually not recommended for breastfeeding women.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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