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  • All material © 1996-2015 MediResource Inc. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

    Demulen 30

    Demulen 30

    Common Name

    ethynodiol diacetate – ethinyl estradiol

    How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

    This combination product contains
    two active medications: estrogen and progestin. It is used to prevent pregnancy. This medication works by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary) and causing changes in the mucus of the cervix, which make it difficult for sperm to penetrate and for an egg to implant.

    Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

    Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

    What form(s) does this medication come in?

    Each white, circular, biconvex, film-coated tablet, 6 mm in diameter, impressed “SEARLE” over “930”on one side, contains ethynodiol diacetate 2 mg and ethinyl estradiol 0.03 mg. Inert peach-coloured tablets are impressed “SEARLE” on one side and “P” on the other. Nonmedicinal ingredients: active tablets: cornstarch, ethylcellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, lactose, magnesium stearate, polyvidone, sodium acid phosphate, sodium phosphate dibasic anhydrous, and titanium dioxide; placebo tablets: FD&C Yellow No. 6 Lake, lactose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose.

    How should I use this medication?

    21-day pack: One tablet daily for 21 days, followed by no pills for 7 days, then repeat the cycle.

    28-day pack: One tablet daily for 21 days, followed by one “reminder” pill daily for 7 days, then repeat the cycle.

    Talk with your doctor about the best time to start your pills. The first day of your menstrual period (bleeding) is known as “Day 1.” Your doctor may have you start your pills on the first Sunday after your period starts, or on Day 1 of your period. The pills should be taken approximately the same time every day. Use a second method of birth control (e.g., latex condoms and spermicidal foam or gel) for the first 7 days of the first cycle of pill use. Many women have spotting or light bleeding or may feel sick to their stomach during the first 3 months of taking the pill. If you do feel sick, do not stop taking the pill. The problem will usually go away. If it does not go away, check with your doctor or clinic.

    If you have vomiting or diarrhea, or if you take some medications such as antibiotics, your pills may not work as well. If you start a new medication while you are taking birth control pills, check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure that it will not reduce the effectiveness of the pills. Use a backup method of birth control, such as latex condoms and spermicidal foam or gel, until you can check with your doctor or clinic.

    It is very important that you take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss your pills at any time, the risk of becoming pregnant increases. If you miss 1 pill, take it as soon as you remember, and take the next pill at the usual time. This means that you might take 2 pills in one day.

    If you miss 2 pills in a row during the first 2 weeks of your cycle, take 2 pills the day you remember and 2 pills the next day, then take 1 pill a day until you finish the pack. Use a second method of birth control if you have sex in the 7 days after you miss any pills.

    If you miss 2 pills in a row during the third week of your cycle or 3 or more pills in a row anytime in your cycle and you start your pills on Sunday, keep taking 1 pill a day until Sunday. On Sunday, safely discard the rest of the pack and start a new pack that day. If you miss 2 pills in a row during the third week of your cycle or 3 or more pills at anytime during your cycle and you start your pills on Day 1, safely dispose of the rest of the pill pack and start a new pack that same day. Use another method of birth control if you have sex in the s7 days after you miss the pills. You may not have a period this month. If you miss 2 periods in a row, call your doctor or clinic.

    Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

    Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

    Who should NOT take this medication?

    Ethynodiol diacetate – ethinyl estradiol should not be taken by anyone who:

    • is allergic to ethynodiol diacetate, ethinyl estradiol, or to any of the ingredients of the medication
    • is or may be pregnant
    • has active liver disease
    • has any eye lesion resulting from vascular disease of the eye, such as partial or complete loss of vision or defect in visual fields
    • has had a heart attack
    • has, has had, or may have an estrogen-dependent tumour (such as breast or endometrial cancer)
    • has, has had, or may have breast cancer
    • has or has had benign or malignant liver tumours
    • has or has had cerebrovascular disorders (e.g., stroke)
    • has or has had coronary artery disease
    • has or has had thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders
    • has undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding
    What side effects are possible with this medication?

    Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

    The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

    Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

    • abdominal cramping or bloating
    • acne (usually less common after 3 months of treatment, and may improve if acne already exists)
    • breast pain, tenderness, or swelling
    • brown, blotchy spots on exposed skin
    • dizziness
    • gain or loss of body or facial hair
    • increased or decreased interest in sexual intercourse
    • increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
    • nausea
    • swelling of the ankles and feet
    • unusual tiredness or weakness
    • vomiting
    • weight gain or loss

    Although most of these side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

    Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

    • changes in the uterine bleeding pattern during or between periods, such as:
      • decreased bleeding during the period
      • breakthrough bleeding or spotting between periods
      • complete stopping of menstrual bleeding that occurs over several months in a row
      • prolonged bleeding during the period
      • stopping of menstrual bleeding that only occurs sometimes
    • depression
    • for women who smoke tobacco:
      • pains in stomach, side, or abdomen
      • yellow eyes or skin
    • for women with a history of breast disease
      • lumps in breast
    • for women with diabetes
      • mild increase in blood sugar – faintness, nausea, pale skin, or sweating
    • headaches or migraines (although for many users, headaches may lessen, for others, they may increase in frequency or worsen)
    • increased blood pressure
    • swelling, pain, or tenderness in upper abdominal area
    • vaginal infection with vaginal itching or irritation, or thick, white, or curd-like discharge

    Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

    • abdominal or stomach pain (sudden, severe, or continuing)
    • coughing up of blood
    • headache (severe or sudden)
    • loss of coordination (sudden)
    • loss of vision or change in vision (sudden)
    • pains in chest, groin, or leg (especially in the calf of leg)
    • shortness of breath (sudden or unexplained)
    • slurring of speech (sudden)
    • weakness, numbness, or pain in arm or leg (unexplained)

    Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

    Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

    Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

    Breast cancer: Increasing age and a strong family history are the most significant risk factors for the development of breast cancer. Other established risk factors include obesity, not having had children, and a first full-term pregnancy at a late age. The identified groups of women that may be at increased risk of developing breast cancer before menopause are long-term users of birth control pills (more than 8 years) and women who started taking birth control pills at an early age. In a few women, the use of birth control pills may accelerate the growth of an existing but undiagnosed breast cancer.

    If you are taking birth control pills, you should learn how to perform a breast self-examination. Notify your doctor any time a mass or lump is detected. A yearly clinical breast examination is also recommended because, if breast cancer should develop, medications that contain estrogen may cause a rapid progression.

    Depression: Women with a history of depression may be more likely to have a recurrence while taking oral birth control pills.

    Diabetes: Current low-dose birth control pills have very little affect on blood glucose control. People with diabetes and those with a family history of diabetes should monitor blood glucose closely to detect any worsening of blood glucose control after starting birth control pills.

    Emotional problems: Women with a history of emotional disturbances may be more likely to have a recurrence while taking oral birth control pills.

    Eye disorders: Women who are pregnant or are taking birth control pills may experience fluid buildup in the cornea of the eye causing visual disturbances and changes in tolerance to contact lenses, especially of the rigid type. Soft contact lenses usually do not cause disturbances. If visual changes or alterations in tolerance to contact lenses occur, you may be advised to stop wearing them temporarily or permanently.

    Fibroids: This medication may worsen fibroids, causing sudden enlargement, pain, or tenderness. If you notice these symptoms, contact your doctor.

    Heart disease: Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious heart disease and death. Birth control pills add to this risk, especially with increasing age. Convincing data exist to support an upper age limit of 35 years for birth control pill use by women who smoke.

    Other women who are at high risk for heart disease include those with diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, or those with a family history of these. It is unclear whether taking birth control pills increases this risk.

    For low-risk, non-smoking women of any age, the benefits of using low-dose birth control pills outweigh the possible heart disease risks.

    Regular checkups: Physical examinations and follow-up visits should be done yearly by your doctor.

    Return to fertility: After stopping birth control pills, you should delay pregnancy until at least one normal, spontaneous cycle has occurred in order to date the pregnancy. An alternative birth control method (e.g., condoms) should be used during this time. If you do not menstruate for 6 months or more after stopping birth control pills, notify your doctor.

    Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): Birth control pills do not protect against STIs, including HIV/AIDS. For protection against these, it is advisable to use latex condoms.

    Pregnancy: Birth control pills should not be taken during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking birth control pills, contact your doctor.

    Breast-feeding: It is not recommended to use birth control pills while breast-feeding. The hormonal components of the medication pass into breast milk and may reduce its quantity and quality. The long-term effects of this medication on the infant are not known.

    What other drugs could interact with this medication?

    There may be an interaction between ethynodiol diacetate – ethinyl estradiol and any of the following:

    • acetaminophen
    • acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)
    • alcohol
    • aminocaproic acid
    • ampicillin
    • antidiabetes medications (e.g., glyburide, insulin)
    • antihypertensive medications
    • antiseizure medications (e.g., phenytoin)
    • barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital)
    • benzodiazepines (e.g., lorazepam, diazepam)
    • beta-blockers (e.g. propranolol, metoprolol)
    • caffeine chloramphenicol
    • carbamazepine
    • chloral hydrate
    • cotrimoxazole (e.g., trimethoprim – sulfamethoxazole)
    • clofibrate
    • clomipramine
    • clonidine
    • corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone, hydrocortisone)
    • cyclosporine
    • ethosuximide
    • folic acid
    • glutethimide
    • griseofulvin
    • isoproterenol
    • meperidine
    • meprobamate
    • metronidazole
    • neomucin
    • nitrofurantoin
    • penicillin
    • phenothiazine tranquilizers (e.g., chlorpromazine)
    • phenytoin
    • primidone
    • protease inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir, nelfinavir)
    • rifampin
    • succinylcholine
    • sulfonamides
    • tetracyclines
    • theophylline
    • topiramate
    • vitamin B12
    • warfarin

    If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

    • stop taking one of the medications,
    • change one of the medications to another,
    • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
    • leave everything as is.

    An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

    Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

    All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2019. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source:

    All material © 1996-2018 MediResource Inc. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.