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Ensuring Safe Treatment With Introvale

Specific Introvale Warnings and Precautions

Precautions and warnings to be aware of prior to using this drug include the following:
 
  • Even though you will have fewer periods while taking Introvale (only four periods per year), many women may experience 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.
     
  • The medication does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Introvale.
     
  • Combined oral contraceptives (including Introvale) increase the risk of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. These risks are minimal for healthy, young nonsmokers. 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 serious side effects of Introvale, such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Sometimes, birth control pills are not the best contraceptive choice for obese women. They may be less effective in these women, and obese women may be at a higher risk for some of the serious Introvale side effects.
     
  • Introvale can react with a number of different medications (see Drug Interactions With Introvale).
     
  • 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 Introvale can make gallbladder disease worse. Therefore, if you have had a problem with your gallbladder, this medication may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
     
  • Introvale may increase blood sugar levels, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely in this case.
     
  • 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 Introvale and other hormonal contraceptives).
     
  • Hormonal contraceptives can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
     
  • While taking Introvale, if you experience a migraine for the first time, or if you have any changes in your migraines if you have had them before, please contact your healthcare provider.
     
  • The medication 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 Introvale.

However, if you notice any unusual changes in your bleeding patterns, let your healthcare provider know. If you miss a period, you should make sure that you are not pregnant.  

  • Introvale can affect your cholesterol. Therefore, your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start the drug, especially if you already have high cholesterol.
     
  • Sometimes, hormonal contraceptives can make depression worse. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop new or worsening depression symptoms while taking Introvale.
     
  • Occasionally, Introvale (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
     
  • Introvale is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that you should not use it during pregnancy (see Seasonale and Pregnancy).
     
  • Contraceptive hormones (such as the ones in Introvale) 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 Seasonale and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives are not usually recommended for breastfeeding women.
     
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