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  • Generic Name: (copper)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 07/2015
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Paragard is a copper-releasing system that is placed in your uterus to prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years.

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

      How does this medication work?

      Paragard is thought to prevent pregnancy by preventing sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg, and by preventing the egg from attaching in the uterus.

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

      What: The chance of becoming pregnant is less than 1 in 100 women per year.

      When: Once Paragard is placed in your uterus, you should be protected from becoming pregnant.

      How do I know it is working?

      If Paragard is placed correctly in your uterus, 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.

      More common side effects may include: heavier and longer periods, spotting between periods.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Pelvic inflammatory disease (an infection and inflammation of the uterus, ovaries, and other female reproductive organs), with symptoms such as long-lasting or heavy bleeding, unusual vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pain, painful sex, chills, or fever.

      Ectopic pregnancy (a life-threatening condition where a pregnancy occurs outside the womb) that may lead to internal bleeding and infertility. Tell your healthcare provider if you experience unusual vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain.

      If you become pregnant with Paragard in place, it should be removed. Removal of Paragard during pregnancy may result in a miscarriage.

      Paragard may accidentally become displaced. If this happens, you will not be protected from pregnancy and may need surgical removal of Paragard.

      Paragard may also come out by itself. You may become pregnant if Paragard comes out. If you notice that Paragard has come out, use a backup birth control method (such as condoms) and call your healthcare provider.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not use Paragard if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.

      Do not use Paragard if you have Wilson's disease (a rare genetic disease affecting copper excretion).

      Do not use Paragard if you currently have a pelvic infection or have current behavior that puts you at high risk of a pelvic inflammatory disease (such as having sex with several men or your partner is having sex with other women).

      Do not use Paragard if you have had an infection in your uterus after a pregnancy or abortion in the past 3 months.

      Do not use Paragard if you have cancer of the uterus or cervix.

      Do not use Paragard if you have any unusual vaginal bleeding.

      Do not use Paragard if you have an infection in your cervix.

      Do not use Paragard if you have an intrauterine device in your uterus already.

      Do not use Paragard if you have a condition of the uterus that changes the shape of the uterus cavity or if you have an infection in your uterus.

      Do not use Paragard if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    • 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 Paragard. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have Wilson's disease, HIV infection (AIDS), are scheduled for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • 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 >16 years: Your healthcare provider will place Paragard in your uterus.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will place Paragard in your uterus in his/her office.

      You may feel faint, nauseated, or dizzy for a few minutes after Paragard is placed in your uterus.

      Visit your healthcare provider for a check-up about one month after placement to make sure Paragard is still in your uterus.

      Check to make sure that Paragard is still in your uterus by reaching up to the top of your vagina with clean fingers to feel the two threads. Do not pull on the threads. If you feel more than just the threads, Paragard is not in the right position and may not prevent pregnancy. Call your healthcare provider, Paragard may have to be removed. If you cannot feel the threads at all, ask your healthcare provider to check that Paragard is still in the right place. In either case, use another form of birth control (such as condoms or spermicide) until otherwise directed by your healthcare provider.

      You can use tampons while using Paragard.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not become pregnant while you are using Paragard.

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

      No significant interactions have been reported with Paragard at this time. however, always tell your healthcare provider about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

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

      Do not use Paragard if you are pregnant. You may use Paragard while you are 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?

      Paragard should be used under special circumstances as determined by your healthcare provider. If you miss your scheduled follow-up appointment, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will store Paragard for you.

    • 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.
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