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Ortho Evra

Generic name: Norelgestromin and Ethinyl Estradiol Transdermal System

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Ortho Evra (Norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol transdermal system) is used to prevent pregnancy. It is a small patch that can be worn on the belly, chest, buttocks, chest, or upper arm. Norelgestromin is a progestin and ethinyl estradiol is an estrogen. Estrogen and progestin are two female sex hormones. Norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol contraceptive patch works by preventing the release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation) and changing the cervical mucus and the lining of the uterus. The contraceptive patch is a very effective method of birth control, but it does not prevent the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

How to Take It

Norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol transdermal system is available as a patch to be applied to the skin. Apply one patch once a week for 3 weeks, followed by a patch-free week. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • nausea
  • breast tenderness
  • nausea
  • headache
  • body aches
  • rash
  • nasal congestion
  • menstrual cramps

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • unusual vaginal bleeding
  • confusion
  • breathing issues
  • slurred speech
  • seizures
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • foot /leg swelling, pain, or tenderness
  • eye pain
  • light-colored stools
  • inability to speak

Warnings & Precautions

  • tell your doctor if you are allergic to estrogens, progestins, or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor what prescription medications you are taking, especially: acetaminophen; thyroid medication such as levothyroxine; antibiotics; anticoagulants; HIV protease inhibitors such as indinavir and ritonavir; seizure medications such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and topiramate; morphine; oral steroids such as dexamethasone, rifabutin; methylprednisolone, prednisone; rifampin; temazepam; and theophylline. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Also tell your doctor of all vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking, especially St. John’s Wort.
  • tell your doctor if you have recently had surgery.
  • tell your doctor if you are using any other type of hormonal birth control. Your doctor will instruct you as to when you should you stop the using the old medication and start using the contraceptive patch. Do not use any other type of hormonal birth control while you are using the contraceptive patch.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol contraceptive patch.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Before taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. This includes supplements and herbal products.

Dosage & Missed Dose

Wear this birth control patch for 1 week. You will then replace it on the same day of the week for 3 weeks in a row. You will have your period during the fourth week and you will not wear the patch.

You may not be protected from pregnancy if you forget to apply a new patch at the beginning of the new cycle (i.e. there are more than 7 patch-free days). Use a backup method of birth control for 1 week.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


If you plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor. If you are currently pregnant or breast-feeding, tell your doctor. Call your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while using this contraceptive patch. If you have missed two periods in a row, or if you think you have not used this contraceptive patch correctly, let your doctor know.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider, or you can visit this website, for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.


Ortho Evra

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APA Reference
Psych Central. (2018). Ortho Evra. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Oct 2018
Last reviewed: By Christine Traxler, M.D.
Published on All rights reserved.