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Specific Marlissa Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this contraceptive include the following:
  • Like other birth control pills, Marlissa does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Marlissa.
  • When taken correctly, Marlissa is quite effective at preventing pregnancy. However, it becomes much less effective if taken incorrectly. Make sure you understand exactly how to take this pill, including how and when to start it and what to do if you miss pills.
  • Combined oral contraceptives, including Marlissa, increase the risk of life-threatening problems, such as blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. These risks are quite minimal for healthy, young nonsmokers. However, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or chest pain.
  • Smoking cigarettes significantly increases the risk for serious Marlissa side effects, such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
  • Marlissa may react with a number of different medications (see Drug Interactions With Marlissa for more information). Many of these interactions are severe enough to lead to unintentional pregnancy.
  • Combined oral contraceptives may 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.
  • Oral contraceptives increase the risk of benign (noncancerous) liver tumors. In rare cases, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
  • Hormonal contraceptives, including Marlissa, can make gallbladder disease worse. If you have had a problem with your gallbladder, this medication may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
  • Marlissa may increase blood sugar levels, particularly in women with diabetes. As a result, 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 Marlissa and other hormonal contraceptives.
  • Marlissa 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 this drug. 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 you are not pregnant.
  • Sometimes, hormonal contraceptives can make depression worse. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop new or worsening depression symptoms while taking Marlissa.
  • As with any other hormonal contraceptive, Marlissa can occasionally cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
  • Marlissa is a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be taken during pregnancy (see Nordette and Pregnancy).
  • Contraceptive hormones, such as the ones in Marlissa, 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 Nordette and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives are generally not recommended for breastfeeding women.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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