Ethinyl estradiol and norelgestromin transdermal system comes as a patch to apply to the skin. One patch is applied once a week for 3 weeks, followed by a patch-free week. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use the contraceptive patch exactly as directed.
If you are just starting to use the contraceptive patch, you may apply your first patch on the first day of your menstrual period or the first Sunday after your period begins. If you apply your first patch after the first day of your menstrual period, you must use a backup method of birth control (such as a condom and/or a spermicide) for the first 7 days of the first cycle.
Always apply your new patch on the same day of the week (the Patch Change Day). Apply a new patch once a week for 3 weeks. During Week 4, remove the old patch but do not apply a new patch, and expect to begin your menstrual period. On the day after Week 4 ends, apply a new patch to start a new 4-week cycle even if your menstrual period has not started or has not ended. You should not go more than 7 days without a patch.
Apply the contraceptive patch to a clean, dry, intact, healthy area of skin on the buttock, abdomen, upper outer arm, or upper torso, in a place where it will not be rubbed by tight clothing. Do not place the contraceptive patch on the breasts or on skin that is red, irritated, or cut. Do not apply makeup, creams, lotions, powders, or other topical products to the skin area where the contraceptive patch is placed. Each new patch should be applied to a new spot on the skin to help avoid irritation.
Do not cut, decorate, or change the patch in any way. Do not use extra tape, glue, or wraps to hold the patch in place.
To use the contraceptive patch, follow these steps:
- Open the foil pouch by tearing it along the edge.
- Peel apart the foil pouch and open it flat.
- Use your fingernail to lift one corner of the patch and peel the patch and its clear plastic liner off the foil liner. Sometimes patches can stick to the inside of the pouch; be careful not to remove the clear liner as you remove the patch.
- Peel away half of the plastic liner. Avoid touching the sticky surface of the patch.
- Apply the sticky surface of the patch to the skin and remove the other half of the plastic liner. Press down firmly on the patch with the palm of your hand for 10 seconds, making sure that the edges stick well.
- After one week, remove the patch from your skin. Fold the used patch in half so that it sticks to itself and dispose of it so that it is out of the reach of children and pets. Do not flush the used patch down the toilet.
Check your patch every day to make sure it is sticking. If the patch has been partially or completely detached for less than one day, try to reapply it in the same place immediately. Do not try to reapply a patch that is no longer sticky, that has stuck to itself or another surface, that has any material stuck to its surface or that has loosened or fallen off before. Apply a new patch instead. Your Patch Change Day will stay the same. If the patch has been partially or completely detached for more than one day, or if you do not know how long the patch has been detached, you may not be protected from pregnancy. You must start a new cycle by applying a new patch immediately; the day that you apply the new patch becomes your new Patch Change Day. Use backup birth control for the first week of the new cycle.
If the skin under your patch becomes irritated, you may remove the patch and apply a new patch to a different spot on the skin. Leave the new patch in place until your regular Patch Change Day. Be sure to remove the old patch because you should never wear more than one patch at a time.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.