Contraceptive 28 Day Progestin-Only Pill Pack


In this session we will be discussing the consumer medication information for the 28 day progestin-only pill pack.

What it’s for & How to take

The 28 day progestin-only pill pack is hormonal contraceptive birth control. If you are using this medication for a reason other than birth control, please talk about it with your doctor.

Progestin-only hormone therapy prevents pregnancy by changing the environment in the womb. This medication makes it difficult for the sperm to fertilize an egg, or for a fertilized egg to attach to the wall of the womb.

Progestin-only therapy is more effective birth control than condoms or diaphragms; however, it is not as effective as estrogen/progestin combination therapy because it does not consistently prevent ovulation. This therapy is usually taken by women who are unable to take estrogens for one reason or another.

Unless directed differently by your doctor, take your first dose of this medication on the first day of your cycle. When starting this medication, you will need to use a backup form of birth control for the first 2 days. Missing a dose is considered going only 3 hours after your normal dose time without taking a pill.

If you miss your normal dose time by more than 3 hours, take it as soon as you remember and continue with your normal schedule. If you vomit or have diarrhea within 4 hours of taking your dose, consider that a missed dose. You must use a backup form of birth control such as condom or spermicide with any sex you have over the next two days. Contact your health care provider and discuss the option of emergency contraception if you had unprotected sex during the missed dose time frame.

Find your medication package paperwork and locate the exact instructions that explain what to do when you miss a dose. Cut out this section and put it in your wallet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain these instructions if you do not understand them.

While taking this medication, if you miss your period for 2 months in a row, call your doctor.

Most Important Warnings

  • Do not use this medication if you smoke cigarettes or any other tobacco products and are over 35 years old. Smoking cigarettes while taking this medication increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, blood clots and high blood pressure. This risk significantly increases if you are over the age of 35 years old.
  • Hormonal contraception does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.

Other Warnings & Cautions

  • Do not use birth control pills if you are pregnant, might be pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you are taking this medication and think you might be pregnant, talk with your doctor right away.
  • When starting this therapy, use an additional form of birth control such as a condom or spermicide for the first 48 hours while the medication is building up in your system.
  • If you are ever unsure what to do about the pills you have missed, use a back-up contraception method, such as a condom or spermicidal gel, anytime you have sex. Continue taking one pill each day until you contact your health care provider for instructions. Discuss the possibility of emergency contraception for any unprotected sex.
  • While using hormonal birth control it is possible that your skin may develop dark patches. Sun exposure may make this worse. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and tanning booths. Use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when necessary.

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if your 28 day progestin-only pill pack is safe for you to take.
  • Taking other medications may decrease the effectiveness of your birth control and lead to an unintended pregnancy. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
  • Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current or past health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any circulation issues, heart, thyroid, diabetes, liver, blood clots, cancer, incomplete miscarriage, abortion, mental disease, or any other medical condition you have experienced.
  • While taking your 28 day progestin-only pill pack you may feel some nausea, headache, bloating or dizziness. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
  • If you experience any significant changes in vaginal bleeding, problems wearing contact lenses, unwanted facial hair, dark patches on your skin, significant weight change, or if you miss your period, contact your doctor to talk about it.
  • Call our doctor right away if you feel any severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or balance, an increase in depression, swelling in your body or any breast lumps.
  • Call emergency 911 if you have any symptoms of a heart attack such as chest and left arm pain, shortness of breath and sweating or if you have symptoms of a stroke such as weakness on one side of your body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes and confusion.

If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your own pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Updated 7/20