8-17. GENERAL DIRECTIONS FOR TAKING ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES
The patient should begin taking the medication on the fifth day after menstrual
flow begins. Then, one tablet should be taken daily until all the tablets are gone. The
patient should stop for seven days (if taking the 21-day packet) and then repeat the 21-
day cycle. For patients who have 28-day packets, they should not stop taking tablets
between cycles. If the menstrual period does not occur, check with the physician to rule
It is advisable to use alternative methods of contraception when using "the
pill" for the first cycle. That is, use a combination of condom/spermicidal
foam. Always provide the patient with a PPI each time you dispense an oral
8-18. GOAL OF CONTRACEPTIVE THERAPY
a. The goal of contraceptive therapy is to use as low a dose as possible. If a
tablet is missed, it should be taken when remembered. If the patient vomits within two
hours after taking the tablet, a second tablet should be taken. When in doubt, the
patient should use a second method of contraception.
b. Not all estrogens and progestins are equipotent. For example, norethindrone
acetate is twice as potent as norethindrone. Therefore, the lowest weight combination
is not necessarily the least potent.
8-19. EXAMPLES OF ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES BY TYPE
a. Progestin Product Alone.
Norethindrone (NOR-QD, MICRONOR).
b. Combination Products (Estrogen and Progesterone).
Nogestrel/ethinyl estradiol (Ovral).
Ethynodiol acetate/ethinyl estradiol or mestranol (Demulen).
Norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol (Brevicon).