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Precautions and Warnings With Jencycla

There is a risk for drug interactions, allergic reactions, and other complications with Jencycla. Tell your healthcare provider if you have diabetes, cancer, or migraines before using this birth control pill. Other precautions and warnings for Jencycla include safety concerns for women who have liver disease or unexplained bleeding.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using Jencycla™ (norethindrone) if you have:
 
  • Migraines or other unusual or severe headaches
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease, including liver failure, cirrhosis, hepatitis, or liver tumors
  • Cancer (or if you have had cancer in the past)
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding.
 
In addition, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
 
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Jencycla Precautions and Warnings

Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Jencycla include the following:
 
  • Jencycla is a progestin-only birth control pill and is not as effective as combined birth control pills, which contain both a progestin and an estrogen. Typically, progestin-only pills are used only when combined birth control pills are not appropriate, such as during breastfeeding or in women who cannot take estrogens.
 
  • If you happen to get pregnant while taking this drug, you may have a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy outside the uterus (often called a "tubal pregnancy"). Make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you have any signs of an ectopic pregnancy, such as severe abdominal (stomach) or back pain.
 
  • Jencycla does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Jencycla.
 
  • It is normal to experience irregular menstrual bleeding while taking this medication. Your period may be early or late, and you may have bleeding or spotting between periods. If your period is late and you missed any pills or took them late, you should take a pregnancy test.

    Also, if you miss two periods in a row, you should take a pregnancy test. Of course, if you are breastfeeding and have not started your periods yet, you will not be able to rely on missed periods to indicate a possible pregnancy.
 
  • Jencycla can cause ovarian cysts (noncancerous, fluid-filled sacs in the ovary). Usually, these cysts go away on their own and rarely cause problems.
 
  • Combined oral contraceptives may increase the risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer. It is not clear if progestin-only contraceptives, such as Jencycla, also increase these risks, but it may be a good idea to avoid any hormonal contraceptives if you have a history of these cancers.
 
  • Jencycla may react with a number of different medications (see Drug Interactions With Jencycla). Some of these interactions are severe enough to lead to unintentional pregnancy.
 
  • When taken correctly, Jencycla is quite effective at preventing pregnancy. However, it becomes much less effective if taken incorrectly. Make sure you understand exactly how to take this medication, including how and when to start it and what to do if you miss pills. It is very important to take Jencycla at the exact same time each day, as taking it just a few hours late can increase the risk of pregnancy.
 
  • Oral contraceptives increase the risk of benign (noncancerous) liver tumors. In rare cases, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
 
  • Jencycla may increase blood sugar levels, which can be a problem for women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely.
 
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you start having migraines or other unusual or severe headaches while taking this drug (or if headaches you previously had become worse). You may have to stop taking it.
   
  • Although Jencycla is usually considered safe for breastfeeding women, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking the contraceptive (see Ortho Micronor and Breastfeeding).
 
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Jencycla Birth Control Information

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