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Desogen (Desogestrel-ethinyl Estradiol)

Last updated on November 22nd, 2021

Generic Name: ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel

Brand Names: Cesia, Apri, Desogen, Cyclessa, Velivet, Mircette, Kariva, Reclipsen, Ortho-Cept, Solia

General Information

Desogen is a combination of female hormones which help to prevent ovulation. This remedy is prescribed to prevent pregnancy. Your doctor may prescribe this remedy for other purposes. Contact your physician if you need to learn more information about this drug.

Don’t stop treatment with Desogen earlier than it was prescribed by your doctor even if you notice improvements of your condition. Stopping the medication too early may worsen your condition. Be careful about doing dangerous tasks, driving, operating machinery or climbing until you are aware how this drug affects you. Don’t drink alcohol.

Use condoms or a spermicide, if you take this drug for the first time.

Please be aware that taking hormones can increase the risk of stroke, blood clots or heart attack. The risk may be higher if you are older than 35 or if you smoke.

What symptoms or conditions should I report to a doctor before I take this medicine?

You should not take Desogen if you are pregnant or if you have recently had born a child.

Don’t take this remedy in case you experience the following conditions:

  • high blood pressure
  • history of stroke
  • a heart valve disorder
  • blood clot
  • liver cancer or liver disease
  • a history of jaundice caused by birth control pills
  • a hormone-related cancer (uterine or breast cancer)
  • circulation problems (especially if caused by diabetes)
  • abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • migraine headaches
  • breast-feeding or pregnancy

Before taking Desogen,

inform your healthcare professional if you have any of the following conditions:

  • diabetes
  • a history of depression
  • a history of irregular menstrual cycles
  • high blood pressure, heart disease, congestive heart failure, angina (chest pain), or a history of heart attack
  • epilepsy or seizures
  • overweight
  • high cholesterol
  • gallbladder disease
  • a history of fibrocystic breast disease, lumps, nodules, or an abnormal mammogram
  • pregnant or breast-feeding

How should you take Desogen?

Note: This remedy was prescribed to you only. Do not share this medicament with others. Follow strictly your doctor’s prescription. Do not take more or longer than your doctor recommended.

Take a pill each day, 24 hours apart. Take Desogen regularly otherwise you may get pregnant.

You may need to stop taking Desogen in some situations. Consult your doctor. Any healthcare professional or surgeon who treats you should know that you are taking Desogen.

What should I do if I miss the dose?

Remember: missing a dose increases the chance of getting pregnant.

Ask your physician any questions you may have about how to use Desogen.


Taking any medicine in large doses you can have serious consequences for your health. If you feel an overdose, contact your health care professional instantly.

In large doses, this remedy may cause the following conditions: vaginal bleeding, vomiting and nausea.

Important Information:

Desogen will not protect you from venereologic diseases including AIDS and HIV. The only way to protect yourself is to use condoms.

Side Effects:

Contact your doctor if you experience any of the signs of allergy: difficulty breathing; hives; swelling of your lips, face, throat or tongue.

Don’t take Desogen and contact the healthcare professional immediately if you have any of the following

Serious side effects:

  • severity of migraine headaches
  • swelling in your feet or hands
  • a change in the pattern
  • confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance, sudden headache, pain behind the eyes
  • stomach pain, dark urine, nausea, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), loss of appetite
  • sudden weakness or numbness, especially on one side of the body
  • symptoms of depression (weakness, sleep problems, mood changes)
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling.

Less serious side effects:

  • contact lenses problems
  • darkening of facial skin or freckles
  • decreased sex drive, changes in your menstrual periods
  • vomiting, stomach cramps, mild nausea, bloating
  • tenderness, breast pain swelling
  • loss of scalp hair
  • changes in appetite or weight
  • increased hair growth
  • vaginal discharge or itching
  • dizziness, headache, tired feeling, nervousness

This list of side effects may be not complete, others may occur. Inform your medical practitioners about all side effects you experience.


What other medications will affect Desogen?

Some medications can make Desogen less effective, which may lead to pregnancy. Before taking Desogen, contact your physician if you are taking any of the following remedies:

  • antibiotic
  • St. John’swort
  • seizure medicines
  • acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • HIV medicines such as fosamprenavir (Lexiva), atazanavir (Reyataz), saquinavir (Invirase), indinavir (Crixivan), amprenavir (Agenerase), ritonavir (Norvir), and others
  • phenylbutazone (Butazolidin, Azolid)
  • a barbiturate such as secobarbital (Seconal), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), mephobarbital (Mebaral), butabarbital (Butisol) or amobarbital (Amytal)

Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor approval.

What should be proper storage of Desogen?

Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Desogen out of the reach of kids and away from domestic animals. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible allergic reactions, drug interactions, warnings, precautions, uses, directions or adverse effects.

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