What is Zovia and why is it prescribed?
Zovia is a highly effective means of preventing pregnancy. Oral contraceptives consist of synthetic forms of two hormones produced naturally in the body, either progestin alone or estrogen and progestin. Estrogen and progestin regulate a woman's menstrual cycle, and the fluctuating levels of these hormones play an essential role in fertility. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious heart-related side effects (stroke, heart attack, blood clots, etc.) in women who use oral contraceptives. This risk increases with heavy smoking and with age. There is an especially significant increase in heart disease risk in women over 35 years old who smoke and use oral contraceptives.

How should you take Zovia?
Follow your doctors directions for taking Zovia. Oral contraceptives should be taken daily, no more than 24 hours apart, for the duration of the prescribed cycle of 21 or 28 days. Start the cycle according to package directions. Ideally, you should take your pill at the same time every day to reduce the chance of forgetting a dose. If you neglect to take only one Zovia pill, take it as soon as you remember, take the next pill at your regular time, and continue taking the rest of the medication cycle. The risk of pregnancy is small if you miss only one combination pill per cycle. If you miss more than one tablet, check your product's patient information for instructions. Missing a single progestin-only tablet increases the chance of pregnancy. Consult your doctor immediately if you miss a single dose or if you take it 3 or more hours late, and use another method of birth control until your next period begins or pregnancy is ruled out. To help keep track of your Zovia doses, use the original container. Store at room temperature.

Are there any Zovia side effects?
Zovia side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Zovia side effects may include abdominal cramps, acne, appetite changes, bladder infection, bleeding in spots during a menstrual period, bloating, blood clots, breast tenderness or enlargement, cancer of the reproductive organs, cataracts, chest pain, contact lens discomfort, decreased flow of milk when given immediately after birth, depression, difficulty breathing, dizziness, fluid retention, gallbladder disease, growth of face, back, chest, or stomach hair, hair loss, headache, heart attack, high blood pressure, inflammation of the large intestine, kidney trouble, lack of menstrual periods, liver tumors, lumps in the breast, menstrual pattern changes, migraine, muscle, joint, or leg pain, nausea, nervousness, pancreatitis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), secretion of milk, severe allergic reactions, sex drive changes, skin infection, skin rash or discoloration, stomach cramps, stroke, swelling, temporary infertility, unexplained bleeding in the vagina, vaginal inflammation or discharge, vaginal infections, visual disturbances and loss of vision, vomiting, weight gain or loss, worsening of lupus, worsening of twitches or tics, worsening of varicose veins, and yellow skin or whites of eyes.

What are the possible food and drug interactions when taking Zovia?
If Zovia is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Be sure to inform your doctor of all the prescription and over the counter medications you are taking. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Zovia with Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Amitriptyline (Elavil), Ampicillin (Principen), Aspirin, Atorvastatin (Lipitor), Barbiturates (phenobarbital, Seconal), Carbamazepine (Tegretol), Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin), Clofibrate (Questran), Clomipramine (Anafranil), Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), Diazepam (Valium), Doxepin (Sinequan), Fluconazole (Diflucan), Glipizide (Glucotrol), Griseofulvin (Fulvicin, Gris-PEG), HIV protease inhibitor drugs (such as Crixivan), Imipramine (Tofranil), Lorazepam (Ativan), Metoprolol (Lopressor), Modafinil (Provigil), Morphine (MS Contin), Oxazepam (Serax), Penicillin (Veetids, Pen-Vee K), Phenylbutazone, Phenytoin (Dilantin), Prednisolone (Prelone, Pediapred), Prednisone (Deltasone), Primidone (Mysoline), Propranolol (Inderal), Rifabutin (Mycobutin), Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), St. John's Wort, Sulfonamides (Bactrim, Septra), Temazepam (Restoril), Tetracycline (Sumycin), Theophylline (Theo-Dur), Topiramate (Topamax), Troleandomycin (Tao), Vitamin C, or Warfarin (Coumadin). Zovia may affect tests for blood sugar levels and thyroid function and may cause an increase in blood cholesterol levels.

Are there any special warnings about Zovia?
Zovia should be used with caution if you are over 40 years old, smoke tobacco, have liver, heart, gallbladder, kidney, or thyroid disease, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, or porphyria, or tend to be seriously overweight. Caution is also advised if you have blood circulation problems or have had a heart attack or stroke in the past. Be cautious, too, if you have problems with depression, migraine or other headaches, irregular menstrual periods, or visual disturbances. If you have a family history of breast cancer or other cancers, you might want to consider using a progestin-only product. You should also be aware that some experts think oral contraceptives may increase the risk of cervical cancer. This remains controversial, however. Many doctors think other factors are to blame. Since the blood's clotting ability may be affected by Zovia, your doctor may take you off them prior to surgery. If you miss a menstrual period but have taken your pills regularly, contact your doctor but do not stop taking your pills. If you miss a period and have not taken your pills regularly, or if you miss two consecutive periods, you may be pregnant; stop taking your pills and check with your doctor immediately to see if you are pregnant. Use another form of birth control while you are not taking your pills. You should also be aware that Zovia has been know to cause rare cases of noncancerous, but dangerous, liver tumors. In people prone to high cholesterol and similar problems, oral contraceptives have been known to raise triglyceride levels, leading to pancreatitis.

Information on this website is provided for educational purposes and should not replace discussions with your doctor.


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