Zovia is a prescription birth control pill that prevents pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation. It is a combined oral contraceptive, which means that it contains two different types of hormones (an estrogen and a progestin). Although most women tolerate the drug well, side effects can include headaches, nausea, and breast tenderness. Zovia comes in tablet form and is taken once a day.
What Is Zovia?
Zovia® (ethynodiol diacetate/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill. It comes in two different strengths: Zovia 1/35 and Zovia 1/50. Compared to most other birth control pills that are currently available, Zovia 1/50 contains more estrogen.
Zovia is made by Watson Pharmaceuticals. Technically, it is a generic version of Demulen®, a birth control pill that is no longer available (see Generic Zovia for more information).
How Does It Work?
Zovia is a "combined" oral contraceptive, which means that it contains two different types of hormones. It contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (ethynodiol diacetate). Combined oral contraceptives are the most common type of birth control pill used today. Generally, combined oral contraceptives are more effective than progestin-only birth control pills.
The hormones in Zovia prevent pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also works to prevent pregnancy in two other, minor ways. Zovia changes the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. It also alters the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
Zovia 1/50 (but not Zovia 1/35) contains more estrogen than most birth control pills that are currently available. This may increase the risk of dangerous side effects, such as blood clots and strokes, as estrogen is responsible for these problems. You should only take Zovia 1/50 if your healthcare provider thinks that it is the best choice for your situation. For instance, high-estrogen birth control pills may be useful for women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding or heavy bleeding between periods while on regular birth control pills.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 8, 2008.
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