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How well does XULANE work in keeping me from getting pregnant?

Your chance of getting pregnant depends on how well you follow the directions for using XULANE. The patch is 99% effective when used as directed. The better you follow the directions, the less chance you have of getting pregnant. In clinical studies of a similar product containing NGMN/EE, 1 to 2 women out of 100 women got pregnant during the first year they used norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol transdermal system. XULANE may be less effective in preventing pregnancy in women at or above 198 lbs. (90kg) and is for women with a BMI less than 30 kg/m2.

How well does XULANE stay on?

In clinical trials, approximately 2% of patches completely detached and approximately 3% partially detached. It’s important to make sure to apply the XULANE patch on the upper outer arm, abdomen, buttock and back and only to skin that is clean, dry, and free of any powder, makeup, cream, oil, or lotion. Check the patch every day to make sure all edges are sticking correctly. Avoid placing the patch where it could be rubbed by tight clothing like under your bra strap or waistband of clothing.

Who should not use XULANE?

Do not use XULANE if you smoke and are over 35 years old; have or have had blood clots; an inherited problem that makes your blood clot more than normal; history of heart attack, stroke, or certain heart valve or rhythm problems that can cause blood clots to form in the heart; high blood pressure that medicine cannot control; diabetes with kidney, eye, nerve, or blood vessel damage; certain kinds of severe migraine headaches with aura, numbness, weakness, or changes in vision or any migraine headaches if you are over 35; a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or more; liver disease or liver tumors; unexplained vaginal bleeding; breast cancer or any cancer that is sensitive to female hormones; if you take Hepatitis C drugs containing ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir, as this may increase levels of the liver enzyme “alanine aminotransferase” (ALT) in the blood; or if you are or may be pregnant.

What if XULANE becomes loose or falls off?

XULANE must stick securely to the skin to work properly. If your XULANE patch has been off or partially off:

  • For less than 1 Day, try to reapply it by pressing down firmly on XULANE with the palm of your hand for 10 seconds, making sure that the whole patch sticks to your skin. If the XULANE patch does not stick completely, apply a new XULANE patch immediately. No back-up contraception is needed and your “Patch Change Day” will stay the same.

  • For more than 1 Day or if you are not sure for how long, you could become pregnant. To reduce this chance, apply a new XULANE patch and start a new 4-week cycle. You will now have a new “Patch Change Day.” Use a non-hormonal back-up contraception method such as a condom and spermicide or diaphragm and spermicide for the first week of your new 4-week XULANE cycle. Click here for more information on what to do if your patch becomes loose or falls off.

When should I stop XULANE if I want to become pregnant?

You may stop using XULANE whenever you wish, if you want to become pregnant. Consider a visit with your healthcare provider for a pre-pregnancy check-up before you stop using XULANE.

What are the most serious risks of taking XULANE?

XULANE may cause serious side effects, including blood clots, especially if you have other risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, or age greater than 35. Some examples of blood clots are deep vein thrombosis (legs), pulmonary embolus (lungs), loss of eyesight (eyes), heart attack (heart), and stroke (brain). These can cause death or lead to permanent disability.

The risk of blood clots is highest when you first start using XULANE and when you restart XULANE or a different hormonal birth control after a break of a month or more. Some studies have reported that women who use norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol transdermal system have a higher risk of getting a blood clot. Talk with your healthcare professional about your risk of getting a blood clot before using XULANE or deciding which type of birth control is right for you.

What happens if I forget to change my patch?

At the start of any patch cycle (Week 1, Day 1):

  • You could become pregnant. You must use a back-up contraception method for 7 days. Apply the first XULANE patch of your new cycle as soon as you remember. You now have a new “Patch Change Day” and a new Day 1.

In the middle of your patch cycle (Week 2 or Week 3):

  • If you forget to change your XULANE patch for 1 or 2 days, apply a new XULANE patch as soon as you remember. Apply your next patch on your normal “Patch Change Day.” No back-up contraception method is needed.

  • If you forget to change your XULANE patch for more than 2 days, you could become pregnant. Start a new 4-week cycle as soon as you remember by putting on a new XULANE patch. You now have a different “Patch Change Day and a new Day 1”. You must use a back-up contraception method for the first 7 days of your new cycle.

At the end of your patch cycle (Week 4):

  • If you forget to remove your XULANE patch, take it off as soon as you remember. Start your next cycle on your normal “Patch Change Day”, the day after Day 28. No back-up contraception method is needed. Click here for more information on what to do if you forget to change your patch.

What if I want to change my “Patch Change Day”?

  • If you want to move your “Patch Change Day” to a different day of the week, finish your current cycle. Remove your third XULANE patch on the correct day.

  • During week 4, the “Patch Free Week” (Day 22 through Day 28), you may choose an earlier “Patch Change Day” by applying a new patch on the day you prefer. You now have a new Day 1 and a new “Patch Change Day”.

Should I remove my patch before I shower?

No. You should check your patch every day to make sure that it is sticking properly. Talk to your healthcare provider if you regularly experience patch detachment.

What should I do if my skin is irritated by XULANE?

If your XULANE patch becomes uncomfortable or your application site is red, painful or swollen, change your XULANE patch. Remove your XULANE patch and apply a new patch to a new location until your next “Patch Change Day”. The patch should not be placed on the breasts, on cut or irritated skin, or on the same location as the previous patch.

What should I know about my period when using XULANE?

When you use XULANE you may have bleeding and spotting between periods, called unplanned bleeding. Unplanned bleeding may vary from slight staining between menstrual periods to breakthrough bleeding which is a flow much like a regular period. Unplanned bleeding occurs most often during the first few months of XULANE use, but may also occur after you have been using XULANE for some time. Such bleeding may be temporary and usually does not indicate any serious problems. It is important to continue using XULANE on schedule. If the unplanned bleeding or spotting is heavy or lasts for more than a few days, you should discuss this with your healthcare provider.

What if I miss my scheduled period when using XULANE?

Some women miss periods on hormonal birth control, even when they are not pregnant. However, if you go 2 or more months in a row without a period, or you miss your period after a month where you did not use all of your patches correctly, or you have symptoms associated with pregnancy, such as morning sickness or unusual breast tenderness, call your healthcare provider because you may be pregnant. Stop taking XULANE if you are pregnant.