Ortho Evra

The below information on Ortho Evra has been taken from official FDA sources, but we cannot guarantee it's accuracy. Please use this site for educational purposes only. This site does not replace a proper discussion with your doctor.

    Brand Name:Ortho Evra
    Generic:Norelgestromin, Ethinyl Estradiol
This drug was approved by the FDA in one form or another on:
2001-11-20 ,
This drug is made in one form or another by the following companies:
Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc.
This drug is available in the following forms:
Transdermal Film, Extended Release
View the actual FDA approved label for this drug at the following links:

About Ortho Evra

Ortho Evra is a contraceptive (birth control) skin patch used to prevent pregnancy. It is called a combination hormonal contraceptive because it contains two hormones, estrogen and progestin. It does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Precautions for Ortho Evra

For the majority of women, Ortho Evra can be used safely. But some women are at high risk of developing certain serious diseases that can be life threatening or may cause temporary or permanent disability or death. The risks associated with using Ortho Evra increase significantly if you:

  • smoke
  • have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol
  • have or have had clotting disorders, heart attack, stroke, chest pain (angina pectoris), and cancer of the breast or reproductive organs, jaundice, or malignant or benign liver tumors

Ortho Evra may be less effective in preventing pregnancy in women weighing more than 198 pounds.

Side Effects of Ortho Evra

Some common side effects with combination hormonal contraceptives like Ortho Evra are:

  • breast tenderness and enlargement
  • headache
  • nausea
  • menstrual changes
  • abdominal cramps and bloating
  • vaginal discharge

Ortho Evra may also cause skin irritation at the application site.

Who Should Not Take Ortho Evra

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious adverse effects on the heart and blood vessels from the use of hormonal birth control methods. This risk increases with age and with heavy smoking (15 or more cigarettes per day) and is quite marked in women over 35 years of age. Women who use hormonal birth control methods should not smoke.

Ortho Evra should not be used by women who have a history of:

  • heart attack or stroke
  • blood clots in the legs, lungs (pulmonary embolism), or eyes
  • blood clots in the deep veins of the legs
  • chest pain
  • known or suspected breast cancer or cancer of the lining of the uterus, cervix or vagina
  • current unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • yellowing of the whites of the eyes or of the skin (jaundice) during pregnancy or during previous use of hormonal contraceptives
  • liver tumor (benign or cancerous)
  • current or suspected pregnancy
  • severe high blood pressure
  • diabetes with complications of the kidneys, eyes, nerves, or blood vessels
  • an allergy to Ortho Evra or to any of its ingredients
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Recent Forum Posts on Ortho Evra

young and confused

Hello ladies, I have been on the ortha evera patch since I was 15 I will be 19 in two months. O plan on getting married one day and having kids;however, I am concerned I may not be able to get pregnant in the future or at all. My aunt was on birth control for along time and she could not have kids at all and doesn't have any. I want to have kids oneday but I don't want to go off birth control because I am over think Thinking things. Also, I have been getting migraines nearly everyday since I've been on this birth control. They are weird migraines that makes me nauseated and to the point I cnt move. My doctor hasn't never suggested it was my birthcontrol but what if it.is and all these years of pain could have been stopped? I don't know what I should do....please help. Sincerely, Young and confused

Hair loss help

Been on the patch for aboutyear and a half.atthebeginning seemed great,no problems.then developed a red soretype tng on my nose in may wch after numerous trips to doctor and lotions and potions they still don't know what it is.however my hair in the past six months has started coming out in clumps with about 500 hairs a day coming out.it is bald in patch at the crown.this is seriously depressing and again doctor doesn't know why as all results came back fine,tried many lotions and potions,fortumately I had long thick hair but now can't even style it and keep myself indoors for days on end.could this be the patch even though non of these things happened at the beginning.please help

Ortho evra Longterm effects. Scary!

OMG I am so glad I came across this site. I have suffering with hair loss for the past 4 years. I went to 5 dermatologist no answers as to why I continue to loose my hair. I have natural hair which is twisted. I was stereotyped and automatically misdiagnosed with alopecia or getting older. I was told to use rogaine for women which I did not. I felt as though I was not being taken seriously. It's just hair not a terminal disease. My hair loss continue to devastate me but I continue to look for answers. I spent hundreds of dollars on hair products. I know there was a reason why this was happening. Finally after numerous research efforts, I realized it was the ortho evra. I have been using ortho evra for over 5 years. I also had hyperpigmentation (black blothes) on my face. In addition, I had numerous yeast infections over the years. Had no idea these were longtem effects of this medication. Scarry! I pulled off the patch immediately. Just hope that my hair and skin can recover from this traumatic experience. This experience has taught me you have to be your own advocate and don't accept answers you feel uncomfortable about.

non viable preganacies???

I was on ortho for 5 years now three years later i am trying to get pregnate i am on the third non viable preganacy. has any ony else had miscaraiges after taking ortho evra?:confused::eek:

eye pain with ortho evra

I recently starting using the patch a month ago. Since the first day..I started to experience moderate eye pain, dizziness, and headaches. I stopped the medication, but I continue to have the eye pain. Has anyone else experienced this, and if so---was your eye pain resolved?

Migraines and possible infertility

Before going on Ortho Evra if I got a headache I would just lie down and take a nap and it would go away. I never liked taking any form of medicine as I felt like medicine head even from tylenol or advil. I was on the patch for 3 years and ended up with such bad headaches that nothing would take them away. I was then diagnosed with migraines. I would get then 2x a month (cycle related) and they would last a week or longer. I also starting spotting midcycle in my 3rd year of the patch with breast tenderness. I had no other symptoms. We found out that the spotting and migraines were so bad because of the birthcontrol. I decided to go off them. I almost tried something else but only stuck with it for about two weeks and still had migraines so I just firgured I would do without. My migraines went down to maybe once a month and only lasting a few days. Now with chiropractic care, I only get them every now and then and they last just a couple of days (if that long). I don't know if I ever would have gotton migraines if I hadn't have been on the patch or if it just made them worse but now I am wondering if being on the patch has messed other things up for me. We have been trying to get pregnant for 7 months now with no luck. We have plenty of bd sessions and I am charting. It seems my hormones are all out of balance. I have been off the patch for 3 years now but have spotting at odd times (not always midcycle). My periods are short and somewhat light, then I will spot for several day, then nothing, then start spotting again a week after I origionally started and a day or two after my period has comepletly ended. My period comes too soon after ovulating (at least I am doing that) that I am affaid it doesn't give a viable egg enough time to implant. I also get some heart palpatations now. I didn't notice before while on the patch so it may not be related. I have just read that other started getting with the patch. Mine seems like anxiety but I don't feel any reason to be anxious. They will just start up and be gone in minutes.

Bad Side Effects: Help! What should I do?

I started taking the Ortho Evra patch almost a year ago and since then i've been experiencing some sever side effects. I my doctor and she said that the things i'm experiencing could simply be side effects from my sever back problems but I hadn't experienced this until after I began taking the patch. I recently began having what I believed were panic attacks. I have shortness of breath, and intense chest pain. I also have been having bad stomach pain, especially during my period. I've been experencing bad migraines two or three times a week. The pain I previously experienced with my period has gotten better with the Ortho Evra patch, but these other side effects aren't worth continuing using it. What should I do?


i was on the patch for about3months.i was having alot of pains in my head,eyes. also i was having yeast infection all the time.when i had sex it always hurt.i also had black spot where ever i put the patch.it was okay to use the patch for your period to come on. but i had to stop.because it had to many side affects.i use to hurt all night long and i could not sleep.so the patch is not for everone.


I have been on the patch for 3 weeks. I have had thick mucus looking bloody discharge that started about 2 days into my 3rd patch and now (5th day) I seem to have started my period, yet I thought you werent supposed to start until the end of patch free week? Has anyone experienced this?


How long does it take to get pregnant after stopping ortho evra? Any replies would be welcome.

No Subject

i have been on the patch for almost 3 years now, and so far no side effects have occured. however if i put the patch anywhere but on my buttocks, i have severe itching and rashs even months after i remove it. i have also noticed that i am never interested in sex. i used to crave sex and now it doesnt bother me to go weeks without it. this not only bothers me but makes my fiancee feel like i dont find him attractive... hell of a method for birth control though if u dont have sex, you cant get pregnant.


I used the patch for 2 months this past spring and have experienced problems ever since that time. I now have terrible pain due to the continual growth of multiple, large cysts on my ovaries. I even had surgery, but they keep coming back! Has anyone else had or heard of someone else having these problems?


Hello there,
its been the first day of my second week today, and since the first day, I have been feeling dizzy all the time, heaving headaches time after time.
And the worst thing that from the first day, I had vision problems, like all blurry, and terrible hair loss...I had never have this problem before. and I am very afraid:( its been the very first time i used the birth control at all.what do i do?

Severe Headaches

I started using the patch because i was having irregular periods, and wanted to be protected for awhile against getting pregnant. But these headaches are off the wall. They are so severe, they mess with my vision and I begin to cry from the pain.Will this eventually go away? Or should I discontinue the patch and work on something else?

No Subject

I have been on the patch for 1 week now and totally freaked out about all the health risks. So far the only thing that has happened has been extreme moodiness, and breast tenderness. Well tonight my patch fell off and i don't know if it has been off all day or just fell off. Should I go home and put a new one on or will this screw everything up. Please help.


Hi Ladies,
I am so happy to have come across this site!! I have been on the patch for about three months now. My doctor put me on it because I have a very, very painful cyst on my left ovary. He says the patch will "put the cyst
to sleep". I am 48 years old and have had a tubal ligation, so I am not
using the patch for birth control. I am absolutely NOT HAPPY with the patch for soooo many reasons. I have insomnia, I have this horrible, horrible red itcy rash from head to toe. This rash is unlike anything I
have ever experienced. It sometimes feels like someone is stabbing me with a big poker, it hurts really bad. I scratch and scratch and scratch,
until I feel like I am going to scratch my skin completely off!!! I even
bleed from the scratching!!! I can't lie still at all because of this rash!! I am having severe headaches, and no medication relieves the pain.
I have been EXTREMELY tired, have been EXTREMELY moody and angry, irritable and mean. I now have acne, and severe hair loss. My eyes are
constantly bothering me. I now have blurred vision, red itchy, watering and goopy eye discharge every single day. The only good side of this patch
is that all my life I have suffered from extremely heavy periods that keep
me home for days because I have to change my pad and tampon every 10 to 15 minutes. Now on the patch I barely have any bleeding with my period, but
the bleeding is brown instead of red, which worries me. It just doesn't seem normal or healthy to me at all. My breasts are very tender now and I also have the abdominal pain and bloating. I took my 3rd week patch off today (Monday) when it should stay on until Friday. I just can't stand the
rash any longer and I would rather suffer the extreme pain of the cyst than
to be this incredibly miserable. I realize that this works for some women,
but definitley NOT FOR ME. Ladies please listen to your body and follow
your instincts, if you feel something is being caused by this patch...then
just tear it off and forget about it. It is just not worth losing your
quality of life for!!!

Patch Bad.

I started usin the patch over a year ago, but didn't start having bad side effect until about 5 months ago. Now i have reacuring yeast infections (which i never had before i started), headaches, moodswings, and I eat way more than usual. The symptoms just seem to get worse the longer im on the patch.

abnormal cervical cells

Hi, my daughter has been on this patch since Jan. 2004 and 2weeks after being on it she had a pap done and it came back abnormal. She had to go thru a biopsy and then surgery to scrape the bad cells off. A very very painful procedure. Her 6 week check up after surgery came back clear. It's now been 3 months since the surgery and another pap has been performed and u guessed it, the abnormal cells are back which means going thru the whole procedure again. It is very very painful by the way.
Other symtoms she has experienced are: nausea, loss of hair and breast enlargement.
I was just wondering if any one else has had an abnormal pap smear.
Thanks for listening.


Bad Experience

I am 22 yrs old and have been on the patch for almost 2 years. Recently I have experienced severe abdominal pains, nausea and vomiting for the last 3 months when I put my 3rd patch on. My doctor things I just get sick and its just a coincident but now I am convinced it is due to the patch. I have also experienced hair loss, headaches, and moodiness. I am taking this patch off tonight and will never again put one on. STAY AWAY FROM THE PATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!


i think it has given me a headache on one side of my head,,, has this happened to anyone else?

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