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  • Generic Name: (ethinyl estradiol/levonorgestrel)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 09/2014
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Quartette 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?

      Quartette delivers hormones to suppress ovulation. If ovulation does not occur, your egg is not released, thereby preventing you from becoming pregnant. Quartette also works by thickening the lining of your cervix, thereby inhibiting sperm penetration and by affecting other hormones in your body.

      Birth control pills do not protect against getting or giving someone HIV (AIDS) or any other sexually transmitted diseases (such as Chlamydia, genital warts, or herpes).

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

      What: When Quartette is taken correctly without missing any pills, chance of becoming pregnant is approximately 2-4 women out of 100.

      When: The effects of pregnancy prevention begins 7 days after the Sunday you start your first pack of pills. Use another method of birth control as a back-up method (such as a condom, foam, or the sponge) every time you have sex until next Sunday, 7 days.  

      How do I know it is working?

      If you are taking the pills 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: spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods, nausea, breast tenderness, headache. 

      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, acne (pimples), darkening of your skin, high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol (fats in your blood) levels, problems wearing contact lenses, weight gain, or increased risk of developing gallbladder problems.

    • Who should not take this medication?

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

      Do not take Quartette if you have or have had cancer (including breast cancer); liver disease (including liver tumors); blood clots in your arms, legs, eyes, or lungs; stroke or heart attack; have certain heart problems that can cause blood clots to form in your heart; blood clotting problems; high blood pressure that is not controlled by medicine; diabetes with kidney, eye, nerve, or blood vessel damage; migraines; unexplained vaginal bleeding; or if you smoke and are over the age of 35.

      Do not take Quartette 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 Quartette. 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 diabetes; high cholesterol or triglycerides (fats in your blood); high blood pressure; migraines or other headaches; seizures; depression; gallbladder, liver, heart, or kidney disease; irregular menstrual periods; or if you wear contact lenses.

    • 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 3 trays with cards that hold 91 individually sealed pills. The 91 pills consist of 42 light pink pills, 21 pink pills, 21 purple pills, and 7 yellow pills. Take the first light pink pill of the first pack on the Sunday after your period begins, even if you are still bleeding. If your period begins on a Sunday, start the pack that same day. Take one light pink, pink, purple, and yellow (in this order) pill per day for 91 days. After all 91 pills have been taken; start a new course the next day (Sunday).

    • How should I take this medication?

      Before you start taking your pills, be sure to read the directions. Take 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 yellow pill. Do not wait any days between packs. If you are switching from another brand of pills, talk to your healthcare provider about when to start Quartette.

      Use another method of birth control (such as condoms or spermicide) as a back-up method if you have sex anytime from the Sunday you start your first pack until the next Sunday (7 days).

      If you have vomiting or have diarrhea after you take Quartette, 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 pills 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 Quartette.

      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 Quartette is taken with certain other drugs, the effects could be increased, decreased or altered. Quartette 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 Quartette if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Quartette 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 pink, pink, or purple 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 to use a back up birth control method if you have sex.

      If you miss two or more light pink, pink, or purple pills, consult the patient information that accompanied your prescription or call your pharmacist for advice.

      If you miss any of the 7 yellow pills, take the next pill at the scheduled time. You do not need to use a back up birth control method if you have sex.

    • 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.