Do you know how to take medication properly?
The drugs we take come in different forms. The basic division is according to the place of application: for internal or external use. For internal use, the medications we take on the mouth (we drink), and for the external ones that are applied to the skin or mucous membranes or are introduced into the body openings. We bring the rules in 2019 that must be followed to make the drugs perform their function in the right way.
How to use contraceptive pills?
If you have not used oral hormone contraceptive therapy so far, it would be a good idea to consult your doctor before taking contraceptive pills. Most oral contraceptive pills contain in a single package 21 tablets, which in most preparations are labeled days of the week or numbers 1 to 21. If the period is regular and normal bleeding, the contraceptive pill starts to be taken on the first day of menstruation and then the contraceptive protection is present on the first day of taking the tablets. If menstrual bleeding is abundant, then it is better to start taking contraceptive pills only on the 5th day of menstruation.
Oral contraceptives can, in this case, increase the intensity and duration of menstrual bleeding if their first day of menstruation begins with their taking. If you started taking the 5th day of the cycle with a contraceptive, full contraceptive protection is only present from the next, second cycle of taking contraceptive pills. If the contraceptive pills from your package are marked on days of the week, then follow the day when your period started.
if the first day of the menstruation is Wednesday, start contraception by taking a pill with a label „Wednesday“ on it.
If pills are labeled with numbers, then, of course, you start taking a pill bearing number
1. Continue to take the pills that follow in the direction shown by the arrow. After taking the last, 21 pills, follow a seven-day break when bleeding occurs.
Bleeding usually occurs 2 to 3 days after taking the last pill. After these weeks, start with the next pack on the same day of the week as with the previous pack.
So if you started taking contraception on the first day of your period, which was Wednesday, then you will pause on Wednesday after the 21st pill. With the new pill package, you start again on Wednesday, a week after you took the last pill from the previous package, and it is unrelated to the bleeding that occurs during the pause.
It is recommended to take pills at the same time of day, ± 2 hours. If you are following the rules of taking, protection from unwanted pregnancy includes a 7-day break until you start taking a new pill.
There are only two possible reasons for reducing their effectiveness:
Vomiting or very severe diarrhea during the first 4 hours of taking the pill. In this case, follow the instructions as if you missed the pill.
Taking some types of antibiotics, barbiturates, medicines to treat epilepsy. In these cases, a gynecologist will advise you on the use of contraceptive pills.
Should you forget to take a pill and have taken a break for, under 12 hours from the last pill, the”forgotten” pill should be taken as soon as you remember. Take the next pill at its usual time, regardless of the fact that you forgot the pill on the same day. Continue with taking the pill as normal. In this case, contraceptive protection is preserved during the cycle. If you forget to take a pill and have taken a break for more than 12 hours from the last pill, contraceptive protection in the next cycle is not insured, or there is a possibility to remain pregnant if you are not careful. And in this case, the “forgotten” pill should be taken as soon as you remember, and you continue to take the pills until you consume everything from the box, to preserve the cycle.
Simultaneously apply additional contraceptive methods (condom, spermicides). If you have lost one pill, take the next one. The only difference is that your cycle will be one day shorter (20 + 7).
What to do if:
- You take other medicines: Tell your doctor about the medicines you are taking when your doctor prescribes contraceptive pills. Also, tell your doctor that you are prescribed another medicine to take contraceptive pills.
- You gave birth: During lactation, it is not recommended to take oral contraceptives that contain estrogen because they may affect the amount and composition of milk.
- Traveling: Make sure you bring with you a sufficient number of contraceptive packs, depending on the duration of the journey. When changing the time zone, remember to count the time difference and move your tablet. The problem can occur if you travel to the time zone where the “number of hours” is increased, that is, you move the clock in advance. In this case, the tablet must be taken as many hours earlier than the usual time, how much you have moved your watch in advance.
- Bleeding occurs when taking contraceptive pills: It is normal that bleeding (“abruption” due to hormone excretion) is normal in the 21st to 28th day (when tablets are not taken). During the first weeks of taking contraceptive pills, bleeding at the time of taking the pills is possible, with the most common being a decreased bleeding. Such bleeding or hemorrhage is nothing serious but is the result of the body’s adaptation. So continue with taking the pill as usual. If there is abnormal bleeding, consult a gynecologist. If you have not taken other medicines at the same time and bleeding has occurred, contraceptive protection is still preserved. But if you have taken an antibiotic and with antibiotic therapy, there is a breakthrough bleeding, then the contraceptive protection is weakened and in this case, it is necessary to use an additional protection.
- You want to switch from one product to another: If your new product contains the same or a higher amount of estrogen, you can simply switch to another preparation: after you have taken 21 pills of a previously taken contraceptive and after a normal 7-day break, start taking your new tablets. But if you want to switch to a low dose estrogen product, then the new product starts taking the 22nd day of the cycle, which is, without a 7-day break and after you have taken 21 tablets of a previously taken contraceptive.
- No bleeding: If you take all the pills at the right time, you probably are not pregnant. Continue to take regular contraceptive pills. If bleeding does not occur and after two breaks repeatedly, perform a pregnancy test for each case, and contact a doctor for an eventual change of the preparation.
- You want to move the monthly cycle: In order for the contraceptive protection to be preserved, you can shorten the cycle by up to two days by dropping the last two tablets. If you want to prolong the cycle, simply continue to take the tablets from the next packs, as long as you want to prolong the cycle. This rule applies only to single-phase preparations (all pills are of the same appearance and color in the package). If the tablets in your package are of different colors, then they are either tricyclic (three-color) or two-phase (two-color) preparations. In this case, if you want to prolong the cycle, after 21 days, take the tablets only from the last stage!
When should you contact a doctor?
You should contact the doctor in case of:
- Suspicions that you are pregnant,
- You have plentiful menstrual bleeding,
- Permanent severe headaches,
- Planned operation,
- Chest pains,
- Strong itching.
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