Rigevidon

Rigevidon tablets are a hormonal contraception commonly referred to as "the pill" or combined oral contraceptive pill.

Rigevidon is used primarily used for contraception, i.e. preventing pregnancy.

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Whilst Rigevidon is used to prevent pregnancy, it can also be used to alieviate issues associated with menstrual bleeding like most other contraceptive pills.

The contraceptive pill also can result in lighter, less painful and more regular menstrual bleeding.  This means that women that suffer from heavy or painful periods can be prescrived Rigevidon.

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How does Rigevidon work?

Rigevidon tablets contain two active ingredients, ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel. These are synthetic versions of the naturally occurring female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. Ethinylestradiol is a synthetic version of oestrogen and levonorgestrel is a synthetic form of progesterone.

Combined oral contraceptives like Rigevidon work by over-riding the normal menstrual cycle. In a woman's normal menstrual cycle, levels of the sex hormones change throughout each month. The hormones cause an egg to be released from the ovaries (ovulation) and prepare the lining of the womb for a possible pregnancy. At the end of each cycle, if the egg has not been fertilised the levels of the hormones fall, causing the womb lining to be shed as a monthly period.

The daily dose of hormones taken in the pill work mainly by tricking your body into thinking that ovulation has already happened. This prevents an egg from ripening and being released from the ovaries each month.

The hormones also increase the thickness of the natural mucus at the neck of the womb, which makes it more difficult for sperm to cross from the vagina into the womb and reach an egg. They also change the quality of the womb lining (endometrium), making it less likely that a fertilised egg can implant there.

How to take Rigevidon?

Rigevidon is a monophasic pill, which means that each pill has the same dosage of the hormones in it.  A single pill is taken every day for 21 days followed by a 7 day break from taking the pill.

During the 7 day break, hormone levels fall and a withdrawl bleed should take place that is similar to a normal period.

The next pack of pills is started once the 7 pill free days are complete, even if a withdrawl bleed is still occuring.

For ease of use the tablets are supplied in a calendar pack, labelled by day of the week so its easy to remember to take one each day.  It is advisable to take the pill at the same time each day.

When to start taking Rigevidon

Rigevidon should be started on day 1 of your menstrual cycle, which is the first day of your period.  This provides immediate protection from unwanted pregnancy.

It can be started up to day 5 of your cycle without the need for any additional contraception.  However if you have a short menstrual cycle this may not provide you with immediate contraceptive cover and you should discuss this with your doctor.

Rigevidon can also be started at any other time too, as long as you are not pregnant.  You won't be protected from pregnancy straight away and additional contraception will be required for the first 7 days.

Rigevidon can be taken as soon as 21 days after giving birth as long as you are not breast feeding, however in these circumstances PrivateDoc is unable to provide medication and you must seek advice from your GP.

In the event of abortion or miscarriage at less than 24 weeks, Rigevidon can be started immediately for immediate protection from pregnancy.

Missed a Rigevidon Pill

If you forget to take your pill at your usual time, take it as soon as you remember. A missed pill is one that is 24 hours or more late. If you miss a pill, follow the instructions below.

One pill missed

If you forget to take ONE pill, or start your new pack one day late, you should take the pill you missed as soon as possible, even if this means taking two pills at the same time. Then continue taking the rest of the pack as normal. You will still be protected against pregnancy and you don't need to use extra contraception.

Two or more pills missed

If you forget to take TWO or more pills, or start your new pack two or more days late, you won't be protected against pregnancy. You should take the last pill you missed as soon as possible, even if this means taking two pills at the same time. Leave out the other missed ones. Then continue to take your pills, one every day, as normal. You should either not have sex, or use an extra barrier method of contraception, e.g. condoms, for the next seven days.

If there are fewer than seven pills left in your pack after your last missed pill, you should finish the pack and then start a new pack straight away without a break. This means skipping your pill-free week.

If there are seven or more pills left in your pack after your last missed pill, you should finish the pack and have your seven day break as usual before starting the next pack.

If you had unprotected sex in the seven days before you missed pills, you may need emergency contraception (the morning after pill). Ask for medical advice.

If you are confused about any of this, you can get individual advice for your circumstances from your doctor, pharmacist or local family planning clinic.

What if I have vomiting or diarrhoea?

If you vomit within two hours of taking a pill, it may not have been fully absorbed into your bloodstream. You should take another pill as soon as you feel well enough and take your next pill at your usual time. You should still be protected from pregnancy. However, if vomiting continues for more than 24 hours, this may make your pill less effective. You should keep taking your pill at your normal time, but treat each day that you have vomiting as if you had forgotten to take a pill and follow the instructions under "what do I do if I miss a pill" above.

If you have very severe diarrhoea for more than 24 hours, this may make your pill less effective. You should keep taking your pill at your normal time, but treat each day that you have severe diarrhoea as if you had forgotten to take a pill and follow the instructions under "what do I do if I miss a pill" above.

Who should not use Rigevidon?

  • Women who are breastfeeding (the combined pill shouldn't be taken until weaning or for six months after birth - see below for more information).
  • Women who have ever had a blood clot in a vein (venous thromboembolism), eg in the leg (deep vein thrombosis) or in the lungs (pulmonary embolism).
  • Women with blood disorders that increase the risk of blood clots in the veins, eg antiphospholipid syndrome or factor V Leiden.
  • Women having sclerosing treatment for varicose veins.
  • Women with two or more other risk factors for getting a blood clot in a vein, eg family history of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism before the age of 45 (parent, brother or sister), obesity, smoking, long-term immobility.
  • Women who have ever had a heart attack, stroke or mini-stroke caused by a blood clot in an artery.
  • Women with angina, heart valve diseaseor an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation.
  • Women with moderate to severe high blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Women who smoke more than 40 cigarettes per day.
  • Women over 50 years of age.
  • Women over 35 years of age who smoke more than 15 cigarettes per day.
  • Women with severe diabetes, eg with complications affecting the eyes, kidneys or nerves.
  • Women with two or more other risk factors for getting a blood clot in an artery, eg family history of heart attack or stroke before the age of 45 (parent, brother or sister), diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol levels, obesity, migraines.
  • Women who get migraines with aura, severe migraines regularly lasting over 72 hours despite treatment, or migraines that are treated with ergot derivatives.
  • Women with breast cancer or a history of breast cancer (although the pill can be used if you have been free of cancer for five years and you don't want to use non-hormonal methods of contraception).
  • Women with abnormal vaginal bleeding where the cause is not known.
  • Women with a long-term condition called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
  • Women with a history of excess of urea in the blood, causing damaged red blood cells (haemolytic uraemic syndrome).
  • Women with active liver disease, eg liver cancer, hepatitis.
  • Women with a history of liver disease when liver function has not returned to normal.
  • Women with disorders of bile excretion that cause jaundice (eg Dubin-Johnson or Rotor syndrome).
  • Women with gallstones.
  • Women with a history of jaundice, severe itching, hearing disorder called otosclerosis, or rash called pemphigoid gestationis during a previous pregnancy, or previous use of sex hormones.
  • Women with hereditary blood disorders known as porphyrias.
  • Rigevidon tablets contain lactose and sucrose and should not be taken by women with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency, fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption or sucrase-isomaltase insufficiency.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy. If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.