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Previfem Prescription
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Generic Name: ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate (ETH i nil ES tra DYE ol and nor JES ti mate)
Brand Name: Estarylla, Femynor, Mono-linyah, Mononessa, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Previfem, Sprintec, Tri-Lo-Marzia, TriNessa
Physician reviewed Previfem patient information - includes Previfem description, dosage and directions.
Generic Name: ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate (ETH i nil ES tra DYE ol and nor JES ti mate)
Brand Name: Estarylla, Femynor, Mono-linyah, Mononessa, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Previfem, Sprintec, Tri-Lo-Marzia, TriNessa
Physician reviewed Previfem patient information - includes Previfem description, dosage and directions.
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6 tablets of Previfem 40 mg
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Previfem Drug Information:

Previfem is a combination birth control pill containing female hormones that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). Previfem also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus. Previfem is used as contraception to prevent pregnancy. There are many available brands of this medicine. Not all brands are listed on this leaflet. Previfem may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Learn more

Previfem Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about ethinyl estradiol / norgestimate. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Previfem.

For the Consumer

Applies to ethinyl estradiol / norgestimate: oral tablet


Oral route (Tablet)

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from combination oral contraceptive use. This risk increases with age and the number of cigarettes smoked and is quite marked in women over 35 years of age. Use of combination oral contraceptives is contraindicated in women over the age of 35 who smoke

Along with its needed effects, ethinyl estradiol / norgestimate may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking ethinyl estradiol / norgestimate:

Incidence not known

  • Absent, missed, or irregular menstrual periods
  • anxiety
  • change in vision
  • changes in skin color
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • chills
  • clay-colored stools
  • constipation
  • cough
  • dark urine
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fainting
  • fever
  • headache
  • hives or welts
  • itching skin
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • loss of appetite
  • medium to heavy, irregular vaginal bleeding between regular monthly periods, which may require the use of a pad or a tampon
  • nausea
  • pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
  • pain, tenderness, or swelling of the foot or leg
  • pains in the chest, groin, or legs, especially in the calves of the legs
  • pounding in the ears
  • rash
  • redness of the skin
  • severe headaches of sudden onset
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • stomach pain
  • sudden loss of coordination or slurred speech
  • sudden troubled breathing
  • sweating
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • vomiting of blood

Some side effects of ethinyl estradiol / norgestimate may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known

  • Bloating
  • blotchy spots on the exposed skin
  • breast enlargement or tenderness
  • discouragement
  • feeling sad or empty
  • irritability
  • itching of the vagina or outside the genitals
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • stomach cramps
  • thick, white curd-like vaginal discharge without odor or with mild odor
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble sleeping
  • trouble wearing contact lenses

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to ethinyl estradiol / norgestimate: oral tablet


The most frequently reported side effects were headache/migraine, nausea/vomiting, gastrointestinal disorder, diarrhea, abdominal/gastrointestinal pain, vaginal infection, genital discharge, breast issues (including breast pain, discharge, and enlargement), dysmenorrhea, metrorrhagia, abnormal withdrawal bleeding, mood disorders (including depression and mood altered), flatulence, nervousness, rash, and changes in weight (including weight increased or decreased).


Very common (10% or more): Breast issues (10.3%), dysmenorrhea, metrorrhagia, abnormal withdrawal bleeding

Common (1% to 10%): Vaginal infection, genital discharge, breast tenderness, breast pain, breast enlargement, breast swelling, breast discharge, breast discomfort, nipple pain, menstrual discomfort, menstrual disorder, vulvovaginal infection, urinary tract infection, amenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Ovarian cyst, vulvovaginal dryness

Rare (less than 0.1%): Vaginal discharge

Frequency not reported: Suppressed lactation

Some women experience oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea following termination or oral contraceptive use.


Very common (10% or more): Nausea/vomiting (16.3%), gastrointestinal disorder, diarrhea

Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal/gastrointestinal pain, flatulence, abdominal distention, constipation

Rare (less than 0.1%): Pancreatitis

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache/migraine (up to 33.6%)

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Syncope, paresthesia

Frequency not reported: Convulsion, cerebrovascular accident


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Palpitation, thrombosis, hypertension, hot flush

Rare (less than 0.1%): Tachycardia, arterial thromboembolism

Frequency not reported: Myocardial infarction, venous thromboembolic event, deep vein thrombosis


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dyspnea

Frequency not reported: Pulmonary embolism


Common (1% to 10%): Rash, acne

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Alopecia, hirsutism, urticaria, pruritus, erythema, skin discoloration

Rare (less than 0.1%): Hyperhidrosis, photosensitivity reaction

Frequency not reported: Angioedema, erythema nodosum, night sweats


Common (1% to 10%): Weight fluctuation, fluid retention

Rare (less than 0.1%): Appetite disorder

Frequency not reported: Dyslipidemia


Common (1% to 10%): Muscle spasms, pain in extremity, back pain

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Myalgia


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Cervical dysplasia

Rare (less than 0.1%): Breast cyst

Frequency not reported: Breast cancer, carcinoma of the cervix in situ, hepatic adenoma, breast cancer, benign breast neoplasm, focal nodular hyperplasia, fibroadenoma of breast


Rare (less than 0.1%): Hepatitis


Common (1% to 10%): Depression, mood altered, mood disorder, nervousness, insomnia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anxiety, libido disorder

Frequency not reported: Irritability, mood swing


Common (1% to 10%): Hypersensitivity


Common (1% to 10%): Weight increased, weight decreased, fatigue, chest pain, asthenic conditions, edema


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Vision impaired, dry eye

Frequency not reported: Contact lens intolerance, retinal vascular thrombosis

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by USARx EDITORIAL TEAM Last updated on 1/3/2022.

Source: Drugs.com Previfem (www.drugs.com/mtm/previfem.html).