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  • Generic Name: (ethinyl estradiol/ferrous fumarate/norethindrone)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 04/2014
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Generess Fe is a birth control pill used to prevent pregnancy.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Generess Fe delivers hormones to block ovulation. If ovulation does not occur, your egg is not released, thereby preventing you from becoming pregnant.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: When Generess Fe is taken correctly without missing any pills, the chance of becoming pregnant is about 1 to 3 in 100 women per year.

      When: If you start on the first day of your period, the pill should be effective right away, and you therefore will not need a back-up method of birth control.

      How do I know it is working?

      If you are taking the pill as directed by your healthcare provider and not missing any doses, you should be protected from becoming pregnant.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious heart-related side effects from use of birth control pills. This risk increases with age (especially if you are >35 years old) and heavy smoking. Do not smoke while you are taking birth control pills.

      More common side effects may include: nausea, vomiting, headache, spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods, breast tenderness.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Blood clots in your legs, lungs, or eyes, with symptoms such as sharp chest pain, coughing up blood, sudden shortness of breath, pain in your calf, or sudden partial or complete loss of vision.

      Stroke, angina (chest pain), or a heart attack, with symptoms such as crushing chest pain or heaviness in your chest, sudden severe headache or vomiting, dizziness or fainting, changes in your vision or speech, weakness, or numbness in an arm or leg. Smoking greatly increases the possibility of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

      Noncancerous but dangerous liver tumors or other liver problems, with symptoms such as severe pain or tenderness in your stomach area, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, often accompanied by fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, dark colored urine, or light colored bowel movements.

      Increased risk of developing breast cancer, especially after using hormonal birth control at a younger age. After you stop using hormonal birth control, the chances of developing breast cancer begin to go back down. Examine your breasts monthly and call your healthcare provider if you feel a lump

      Birth control pills may also cause fluid retention with swelling of your fingers or ankles, increased blood pressure, or increased risk of developing gallbladder disease.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Generess Fe if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take Generess Fe if you have a history of heart attack or stroke; heart disease; blood clots in your legs, lungs, or eyes; breast cancer or cancer of the lining of the uterus, cervix, or vagina; unexplained vaginal bleeding (until a diagnosis is reached by your healthcare provider); liver tumors or active liver disease; high blood pressure uncontrolled by medication; diabetes with kidney, eye, nerve, or blood vessel damage; or certain types of headaches.

      Do not take Generess Fe if you are or think you may be pregnant.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Generess Fe. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had any of the health conditions listed above. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have or have had breast cancer; diabetes; high cholesterol or triglyceride (fats in your blood) levels; high blood pressure; migraines or other headaches; depression; gallbladder, liver or heart disease; irregular menstrual periods; hereditary angioedema (a very rare genetic condition that causes swelling of various parts of the body, including the hands, feet, face, and airway, as well as abdominal [stomach area] cramping); chloasma (tan or dark skin discoloration); or if you are planning to have surgery.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Women and adolescents who have had their first menstrual period: There are 24 light green "active" pills and 4 brown "reminder" pills in the pill pack.

      Day 1 Start: Take the first light green "active" pill of the first pack during the first 24 hours of your period. Take one light green "active" pill per day from the 1st day through the 24th day of the menstrual cycle (counting the day your period starts as Day 1), followed by one brown "reminder" pill per day for 4 days. Take the pills without interruption for 28 days. After all 28 pills have been taken; start a new course the next day.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Before you start taking your pills, be sure to read the directions. Chew and swallow one pill at the same time every day until the pack is empty. When you finish a pack, start the next pack on the day after your last brown "reminder" pill. Do not wait any days between packs. If you are switching from another brand of pills, start Generess Fe on the same day that a new pack of the previous pills should have been started. If you are switching from another birth control method (such as a vaginal ring, implant, or injection), talk to your healthcare provider about what you should do.

      You will not need to use a back-up method of birth control for the first cycle of a Day 1 Start regimen, since you are starting the pill at the beginning of your period. However, if you start Generess Fe later than the first day of your period, or if you are having a baby and you have not yet resumed your periods, use another method of birth control (such as a condom and spermicide) as a back-up method until you have taken 7 light green "active" pills.

      If you have vomiting or diarrhea within 3-4 hours after you take Generess Fe, it may not work as well. Use another birth control method (such as condoms or a spermicide) until you check with your healthcare provider.

      Irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting may occur while you are taking the pills. Irregular bleeding may vary from slight staining between menstrual periods to breakthrough bleeding, which is a flow much like a regular period. Irregular bleeding occurs most often during the first few months of taking the pills, but may also occur after you have been taking the pill for some time. Such bleeding may be temporary and usually does not indicate any serious problems. It is important to continue taking your pills on schedule. Tell your healthcare provider if the bleeding occurs in more than one cycle or lasts for more than a few days.

      There may be times when you may not have regular menstrual periods after you have completed taking a cycle of pills. If you have taken your pills regularly and miss one menstrual period, continue taking your pills for the next cycle, but be sure to inform your healthcare provider. If you have not taken the pills daily as instructed and missed a menstrual period, or if you missed two consecutive menstrual periods, you may be pregnant.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not smoke cigarettes while you are taking Generess Fe.

      Do not skip pills, even if you are spotting or bleeding between monthly periods, feel sick to your stomach (nausea), or if you do not have sex very often.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Generess Fe is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Generess Fe may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Do not take Generess Fe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Generess Fe can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss one light green "active" pill, take it as soon as you remember. Take the next pill at your regular time. This means you can take two pills in one day. You do not need a back-up birth control method if you have sex.

      If you miss two or more light green "active" pills, consult the patient information that accompanied your prescription or call your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice.

      If you miss any of the 4 brown "reminder" pills, throw away the missed pills. Continue taking the scheduled pills until the pack is finished. You do not need a back-up method of birth control.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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    This discount plan is NOT insurance or a Medicare prescription drug plan. The plan is not intended as a substitute for insurance and does not meet creditable coverage requirements under state or federal law. The plan provides discounts at participating pharmacies on certain pharmaceutical supplies, prescription drugs, or medical equipment and supplies. The range of discounts will vary depending on the products received. Members are obligated to pay the pharmacy the entire amount of the discounted rate for such products at the point of sale. The plan does not pay pharmacies for products provided to members. No enrollment or periodic fees apply. The pharmacy may pay the plan a fee from amounts the pharmacy collects from the member. The discount plan organization is ProCare Pharmacy Benefit Manager, Inc.,1267 Professional Parkway, ProCare Office Park, Gainesville, GA 30507, 1-888-299-5383. Customer service is provided by PDR, LLC., 5 Paragon Drive, Montvale, NJ, 07645, 1-800-232-7379, www.pdr.net/DiscountCard, customerservice@pdr.net.