ELVINA® - a contraceptive alternative to Yasmin®1

ELVINA®contains the same active ingredients as Yasmin®1

What is ELVINA® & what is it used for?

  • ELVINA® is a contraceptive pill and is used to prevent pregnancy.
  • Each tablet contains a small amount of two different female hormones, namely drospirenone and ethinylestradiol.
  • Contraceptive pills that contain two hormones are called “combination” pills.
How does it work?
  • Your contraceptive pill acts in various ways to prevent pregnancy; most importantly it works to prevent egg release. 
  • It also causes changes to the lining of your womb.
How to take ELVINA®

Take ELVINA® every day for 21 days

  • ELVINA® comes in strips of 21 pills, each marked with a day of the week.
  • Take your pill at the same time every day.
  • Start by taking a pill marked with the correct day of the week.
  • Follow the direction of the arrows on the strip. Take one pill each day, until you have finished all 21 pills.

Then have seven pill-free days

  • After you have taken all 21 pills in the strip, you have seven days when you take no pills. So, if you take the last pill of one pack on a Friday, you will take the first pill of your next pack on the Saturday of the following week.
  • Within a few days of taking the last pill from the strip, you should have a withdrawal bleed like a period. This bleed may not have finished when it is time to start your next strip of pills.
  • You don’t need to use extra contraception during these seven pill-free days – as long as you have taken your pills correctly and start the next strip of pills on time.

Then start your next strip

  • Start taking your next strip of ELVINA® after the seven pill-free days – even if you are still bleeding. Always start the new strip on time.
How to start taking ELVINA®

If you have not used a contraceptive with hormones in the previous month

  • Begin with ELVINA® on the first day of your cycle (that is the first day of your period)
  • If you start ELVINA® on the first day of your period you are immediately protected against pregnancy
  • You may also begin on day 2-5 of the cycle, but then you must use extra protective measures (for example, a condom) for the first 7 days

 

Changing from a combined hormonal contraceptive, or combined contraceptive vaginal ring or patch

  • You can start ELVINA® preferably on the day after the last active tablet of your previous pill, or on the day after the tablet-free days of your previous pill finish 

 

Changing from a progestogen-only-method (progestogen-only pill, injection, implant or a progestogen-releasing intrauterine system (IUS)

  • You may switch any day from the progestogen-only pill 
  • You may switch to ELVINA® from an implant or an IUS on the day of its removal
  • You may switch to ELVINA® from an injectable when the next injection would be due
  • In all cases use extra protective measures (for example, a condom) for the first 7 days of taking ELVINA®

 

What if I forget to take ELVINA®?
  • If you are less than 12 hours latetaking a tablet, protection against pregnancy is not reduced. Take the tablet as soon as you remember and then take the following tablets again at the usual time.
     
  • If you are more than 12 hours late taking a tablet, protection against pregnancy may be reduced. The greater the number of tablets that you have forgotten, the greater is the risk of becoming pregnant. The risk of incomplete protection against pregnancy is greatest if you forget a tablet at the beginning or at the end of the strip. 

For step by step guidance on what to do if you forget to take your tablets, please click on the button below:

 

What if I vomit or have severe diarrhoea after taking ELVINA®?

If you vomit or you have severe diarrhoea within 3-4 hours of taking a tablet, there is a risk that the active substances in the pill will not be fully taken up by your body. 

  • After vomiting or diarrhoea, take another tablet from a reserve strip as soon as possible. 
  • If possible take it within 12 hours of when you normally take your pill. 
  • If that is not possible or 12 hours have passed, you should follow the missed pill guidance to ensure you are protected against pregnancy

For step by step guidance on what to do if you vomit or have severe diarrhoea, please click on the button below:

 

Frequently asked questions about ELVINA®

I was previously on Yasminelle® and have now been changed to ELVINA® - what is the difference?
There is very little difference between these pills as they both contain exactly the same active ingredients in the same quantities, but they are made by different manufacturers and therefore have different names.
ELVINA™ contains soya oil. If you are allergic to peanuts or soya you should not use this product.

 

What if I miss a dose of ELVINA®?
If you miss a pill, follow the missed pill guidance or review the Patient Information Leaflet contained inside every pack of ELVINA®. If you miss more than one pill ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for advice.

 

What happens if I have a stomach upset?
If you have been sick within 3-4 hours after taking your pill or you have severe diarrhoea, your body may not get its usual dose of hormones from that pill. After vomiting or diarrhoea, take another pill from a reserve strip as soon as possible. If possible take it within 12 hours of when you normally take your pill. If that is not possible or 12 hours or more have passed, you should follow the advice given for missing a pill.

 

What side effects may I experience?
Like all medicines ELVINA® may cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Common side effects include depressive mood, headache, migraine, nausea, breast pain, tenderness, menstrual disorders, bleeding between periods, thick whitish vaginal discharge and vaginal yeast infection. If you get side effects, including any possible side effects not listed above, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

 

Am I likely to develop a blood clot if I take ELVINA®?
The use of any combined oral contraceptive pill increases your risk of developing a blood clot compared with women who do not take any contraceptive pill. If you notice any of the signs below, stop taking your pill and contact your doctor immediately.

  • Severe pain and/or swelling in one of your legs
  • Sudden severe pain in the chest which may reach the left arm
  • Sudden breathlessness
  • Sudden cough without an obvious cause
  • Any unusual, severe or long-lasting headache or worsening of migraine
  • Partial or complete blindness or double vision
  • Difficulty in speaking or inability to speak
  • Giddiness or fainting
  • Weakness, strange feeling or numbness in any part of the body
  • Severe pain in your tummy (abdomen)

 

Are there any medicines I shouldn’t take whilst I am on oral contraceptives?
Some medicines may stop your pill from working properly and mean that you need to take extra contraceptive precautions. These include antibiotics, St John’s Wort and medicines to treat epilepsy, tuberculosis, HIV and fungal infections. Your pill may also stop other medicines from working properly such as ciclosporin, (an immunosuppressant) and lamotrigine (to treat epilepsy). Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you if you are unsure about taking other medicines in combination with ELVINA®.

 

Am I at risk of developing breast cancer?
Breast cancer has been observed slightly more often in women using combined oral contraceptive pills, but it is not known whether this is caused by the treatment. For example, it may be that more tumours are detected in women on combined oral contraceptive pills because they are examined by their doctors more often. The risk of breast cancer gradually reduces after stopping combined oral contraceptives.

 

ELVINA® general information
  • If taken correctly, ELVINA® is an effective, reversible form of contraception. 
  • If you are allergic to peanuts or soya you should not take ELVINA®
  • ELVINA® will not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. Only condoms can help to do this.
  • ELVINA® slightly increases the risk of having a blood clot in veins and arteries, especially in the first year of use or     when restarting a combined hormonal contraceptive following a break of 4 or more weeks
  • Please be alert and see your doctor if you think you may have symptoms of a blood clot, or suffer any side effects when     taking ELVINA®

 

 

References:

  1. MIMS Ireland (August 2016) Contraception pp.322-325. MPI Media Ltd. Dublin
  2. ELVINA Patient Information Leaflet