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Microgestin Fe (Generic Estrogen and Progestin)

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Microgestin Fe is a prescription medication that combines two hormones, estrogen, and progestin, and is commonly used as a birth control pill. Like any medication, it comes with potential risks and side effects that should be discussed with a healthcare provider before starting the medication. Here are some of the risks associated with taking Microgestin Fe:

  • Blood Clots: Birth control pills like Microgestin Fe can slightly increase the risk of blood clots, which can lead to serious conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE).
  • Cardiovascular Issues: Some individuals may be at an increased risk of heart attack or stroke while taking birth control pills, especially if they have certain underlying health conditions or risk factors.
  • Hormonal Side Effects: Users may experience side effects related to the hormonal changes induced by the medication, including mood swings, breast tenderness, and changes in menstrual bleeding patterns.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Some people may experience nausea and vomiting when they first start taking Microgestin Fe. Taking it with food or at bedtime may help reduce these side effects.
  • Headaches: Birth control pills can sometimes trigger headaches or migraines in certain individuals.
  • Breast Changes: Users may experience changes in breast size or tenderness.
  • Weight Changes: Some individuals may experience weight changes while taking birth control pills, although this effect varies from person to person.
  • Decreased Libido: Some people report a decrease in sexual desire as a side effect of hormonal birth control.
  • Other Side Effects: Other potential side effects may include abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in skin pigmentation.
  • Serious Allergic Reactions: Although rare, serious allergic reactions to Microgestin Fe can occur. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
  • Interactions with Other Medications: Microgestin Fe can interact with certain medications, so it’s essential to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking.
  • Cancer Risk: There is some evidence to suggest that long-term use of combined hormonal contraceptives may be associated with a slightly increased risk of breast and cervical cancer, although the overall risk is low.

It’s important to note that the risks and side effects of Microgestin Fe can vary from person to person. Your healthcare provider can help assess your individual health history and guide you in making an informed decision about whether this medication is suitable for you. They can also discuss alternative birth control options if you have concerns about the potential risks. If you experience severe or unusual side effects while taking Microgestin Fe, contact your healthcare provider promptly.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Microgestin Fe is a prescription medication primarily prescribed for two main purposes:

  • Birth Control: Microgestin Fe is a combination oral contraceptive pill that contains both estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and progestin (norethindrone). It is prescribed to prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovaries), thickening cervical mucus to make it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg, and altering the uterine lining to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. It is an effective form of contraception when taken as directed.
  • Menstrual Cycle Regulation: Some individuals may be prescribed Microgestin Fe to help regulate their menstrual cycles. It can be used to treat irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding.

How should this medicine be used?

Here’s how Microgestin Fe is typically used:

  • Start Date: Microgestin Fe is usually started on the first day of your menstrual period or on the Sunday following the start of your period. Your healthcare provider will provide specific instructions on when to start.
  • Daily Dosage: Take one tablet of Microgestin Fe at the same time each day, as directed by your healthcare provider. It’s essential to take the pills consistently and not miss any doses to maintain its effectiveness in preventing pregnancy.
  • Pack Instructions: Microgestin Fe comes in a 28-day pack. There are 21 active pills containing hormones (usually marked with the days of the week) and 7 inactive reminder pills (placebos). Take one active pill daily for 21 days, followed by one inactive pill daily for the next 7 days. This cycle helps maintain your contraceptive protection while allowing for your menstrual period.
  • Use Backup Contraception: It’s recommended to use backup contraception methods, such as condoms, during the first 7 days of starting Microgestin Fe, or if you miss active pills or take them irregularly.
  • Continuous Use: In some cases, healthcare providers may recommend continuous use of active pills to reduce or eliminate monthly bleeding. This means skipping the inactive pills and starting a new pack immediately. Always follow your healthcare provider’s guidance on this.
  • Follow-up: Attend follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider as recommended. They can monitor your health and adjust your prescription if necessary.
  • Emergency Contraception: If you miss multiple active pills or have unprotected intercourse, consult your healthcare provider or a pharmacist for guidance on emergency contraception.

It’s essential to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully when using Microgestin Fe and to discuss any concerns or side effects with them. This medication may not be suitable for everyone, so your healthcare provider will help determine if it’s the right choice for you based on your individual health and contraceptive needs.

Other uses for this medicine

Microgestin Fe is primarily designed as a contraceptive, but it may have other medical uses. Your healthcare provider may prescribe it for conditions such as:

  • Irregular periods: It can help regulate menstrual cycles.
  • Menstrual cramps: It may help reduce the severity of cramps.
  • Acne: Some individuals may see an improvement in acne when using this birth control.
  • Endometriosis: It may be used as part of a treatment plan for endometriosis.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): In some cases, Microgestin Fe may be used to manage symptoms associated with PCOS.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special precautions to consider when taking Microgestin Fe include:

  • Medical History: Inform your healthcare provider of your complete medical history, including any prior or existing medical conditions, allergies, and medications you are currently taking. This information helps them assess whether Microgestin Fe is safe and suitable for you.
  • Interactions: Microgestin Fe may interact with certain medications, including antibiotics and some antiseizure drugs. Inform your healthcare provider of all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking to check for potential interactions.
  • Health Monitoring: Your healthcare provider may periodically monitor your blood pressure and overall health while you are on Microgestin Fe. Attend follow-up appointments as recommended.
  • Smoking: If you smoke, especially if you are over the age of 35, the use of birth control pills like Microgestin Fe can increase the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects. Discuss the risks with your healthcare provider.
  • Age: Microgestin Fe may not be suitable for all age groups. Your healthcare provider will consider your age and individual health status when prescribing this medication.
  • Pregnancy: Do not use Microgestin Fe if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Breastfeeding: If you are breastfeeding, discuss the use of Microgestin Fe with your healthcare provider, as it may affect milk production and the composition of breast milk.
  • Side Effects: Be aware of potential side effects and contact your healthcare provider if you experience any unusual or severe symptoms.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and guidance regarding Microgestin Fe, and do not hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification if you have concerns about its use or potential side effects. It’s important to use this medication as directed to ensure its effectiveness in preventing pregnancy or managing other medical conditions.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Microgestin Fe. However, it’s generally a good idea to take it with a meal or snack to help reduce the chances of stomach upset. Avoid grapefruit or grapefruit juice, as it can interact with certain medications, but this is usually not a concern with birth control pills.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

The exact steps to take when you miss a dose may vary depending on the specific pill pack and your healthcare provider’s instructions. However, here’s a general guideline for missed doses:

  • One Missed Pill: Take the missed pill as soon as you remember, even if it means taking two pills in one day. Then, continue taking the rest of the pills at your regular time. You may need to use backup contraception (like condoms) for the next 7 days.
  • Two or More Missed Pills: If you miss two or more pills in a row, take the most recent missed pill as soon as you remember. Discard any other missed pills. Continue taking the rest of the pills at your regular time. You may need backup contraception for the next 7 days, and you might consider contacting your healthcare provider for further guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Microgestin Fe, like all medications, can cause side effects in some individuals. It’s important to remember that not everyone will experience these side effects, and the severity and frequency can vary from person to person. Common side effects of Microgestin Fe may include:

  • Nausea: Some individuals may experience nausea, especially when they first start taking Microgestin Fe. Taking the pill with food or at bedtime can help reduce this side effect.
  • Breast Tenderness: Some users may notice breast tenderness or swelling.
  • Headaches: Headaches or migraines can occur in some individuals as a side effect of hormonal birth control.
  • Mood Changes: Hormonal changes can sometimes affect mood, leading to mood swings or feelings of irritability.
  • Changes in Menstrual Bleeding: Microgestin Fe can alter menstrual bleeding patterns. Some individuals may experience lighter periods, while others may experience irregular bleeding or spotting between periods.
  • Weight Changes: Some users report slight weight changes while taking birth control pills, although this effect varies widely among individuals.
  • Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Digestive issues such as abdominal cramping, bloating, or changes in bowel habits can occur in some cases.
  • Decreased Libido: A decrease in sexual desire is a potential side effect for some individuals.
  • Skin Changes: Hormonal birth control can affect the skin. While some individuals may experience improvements in acne, others may experience skin changes, such as acne breakouts or changes in skin pigmentation.
  • Vaginal Discharge: Some users may notice changes in vaginal discharge.
  • Eye Changes: Rarely, contact lens wearers may experience intolerance to lenses or visual changes while taking birth control pills.
  • Serious Side Effects: Although less common, some serious side effects of Microgestin Fe can include blood clots, cardiovascular events (such as heart attacks and strokes), severe allergic reactions, and liver problems. These require immediate medical attention.

It’s important to discuss any side effects or concerns with your healthcare provider, especially if they are severe or persistent. Your healthcare provider can help determine if Microgestin Fe is the right contraceptive option for you and can explore alternative options if necessary. Additionally, they can provide guidance on managing side effects and any necessary precautions based on your individual health history. If you experience severe or unusual symptoms while taking Microgestin Fe, seek medical attention promptly.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?


  • Store Microgestin Fe at room temperature (between 68°F to 77°F or 20°C to 25°C).
  • Keep the medication in its original packaging to protect it from light and moisture.
  • Store the pills away from the reach of children and pets.
  • Do not store Microgestin Fe in the bathroom, as moisture and humidity can affect the stability of the medication.


When it comes to disposing of Microgestin Fe or any medication, it’s important to do so safely and responsibly:

  • Do not flush unused or expired medications down the toilet or drain, as this can potentially contaminate the water supply.
  • Instead, follow local guidelines or programs for medication disposal. Many communities have specific drug take-back programs or drop-off locations for safe disposal.
  • If no take-back program is available, you can mix the unused pills with an undesirable substance (e.g., coffee grounds or kitty litter) in a sealed bag or container and throw it in the household trash. Make sure the container is child-resistant.

In case of emergency/overdose

If you suspect you or someone else has taken an overdose of Microgestin Fe, or if you experience severe symptoms or adverse reactions, seek immediate medical attention or call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Signs of an overdose may include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty speaking or slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
  • Severe abdominal pain

What other information should I know

  • Microgestin Fe is a prescription medication, and you should only use it as directed by your healthcare provider. Follow the instructions carefully, and do not share your medication with others.
  • Attend regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your health while taking Microgestin Fe.
  • Inform any healthcare provider or dentist you see that you are taking Microgestin Fe, as it can interact with other medications and affect certain medical treatments.
  • Microgestin Fe does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you are at risk for STIs, consider using condoms or other barrier methods in addition to birth control.
  • If you experience any new or unusual symptoms, especially if they persist or worsen, consult your healthcare provider. This includes symptoms that may not seem directly related to your birth control, as they could be signs of underlying medical conditions.
  • If you plan to become pregnant or are already pregnant, inform your healthcare provider immediately, and discontinue the use of Microgestin Fe.

Always keep your healthcare provider informed about any changes in your health or medication regimen, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification if you have concerns about your medication or its use.

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