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Indications And Usage

ZARAH (Drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol tablets) is indicated for the prevention of pregnancy in women who elect to use an oral contraceptive. Oral contraceptives are highly effective. Table 2 lists the typical accidental pregnancy rates for users of combination oral contraceptives and other methods of contraception. The efficacy of these contraceptive methods, except sterilization, depends upon the reliability with which they are used. Correct and consistent use of methods can result in lower failure rates. TABLE 2: Percentage of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy during the first year of typical use and first year of perfect use of contraception and the percentage continuing use at the end of the first year: United States. % of Women Experiencing an Accidental Pregnancy within the First Year of Use % of Women Continuing Use at One Year3 Emergency Contraceptive Pills: Treatment initiated within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse reduces the risk of pregnancy by at least 75%.9 Lactational Amenorrhea Method: LAM is a highly effective, temporary method of contraception.10 Source: Trussell J, Contraceptive efficacy. In Hatcher RA, Trussell J, Stewart F, Cates W, Stewart GK, Kowal D, Guest F, Contraceptive Technology: Seventeenth Revised Edition. New York, NY: Irvington Publishers, 1998. 1 Among typical couples who initiate use of a method (not necessarily for the first time), the percentage who experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year if they do not stop use for any other reason. 2 Among couples who initiate use of a method (not necessarily for the first time) and who use it perfectly (both consistently and correctly), the percentage who experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year if they do not stop use for any reason. 3 Among couples attempting to avoid pregnancy, the percentage who continue to use a method for one year. 4 The percents becoming pregnant in columns (2) and (3) are based on data from populations where contraception is not used and from women who cease using contraception in order to become pregnant. Among such populations, about 89% become pregnant within one year. This estimate was lowered slightly (to 85%) to represent the percentage who would become pregnant within one year among women now relying on reversible methods of contraception if they abandoned contraception altogether. 5 Foams, creams, gels, vaginal suppositories, and vaginal film. 6 Cervical mucus (ovulation) method supplemented by calendar in the pre-ovulatory and basal body temperature in the post-ovulatory phases. 7 With spermicidal cream or jelly. 8 Without spermicides. 9 The treatment schedule is one dose within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse, and a second dose 12 hours after the first dose. The Food and Drug Administration has declared the following brands of oral contraceptives to be safe and effective for emergency contraception: Ovral®* (1 dose is 2 white pills), Alesse®* (1 dose is 5 pink pills), Nordette®* or Levlen®* (1 dose is 2 light-orange pills), Lo Ovral®* (1 dose is 4 white pills), Triphasil®* or Tri-Levlen®* (1 dose is 4 yellow pills). 10 However, to maintain effective protection against pregnancy, another method of contraception must be used as soon as menstruation resumes, the frequency or duration of breastfeeds is reduced, bottle feeds are introduced, or the baby reaches six months of age. Method (1) Typical Use1 (2) Perfect Use2 (3) (4) Chance4 85 85 Spermicides5 26 6 40 Periodic abstinence 25 63 Calendar 9 Ovulation method 3 Sympto-thermal6 2 Post-ovulation 1 Withdrawal 19 4 Cap7 Parous women 40 26 42 Nulliparous women 20 9 56 Sponge Parous women 40 20 42 Nulliparous women 20 9 56 Diaphragm7 20 6 56 Condom8 Female (Reality®*) 21 5 56 Male 14 3 61 Pill 5 71 Progestin only 0.5 Combined 0.1 IUD Progesterone T 2.0 1.5 81 Copper T380A 0.8 0.6 78 Lng 20 0.1 0.1 81 Depo-Provera®* 0.3 0.3 70 Norplant®* and Norplant®* II 0.05 0.05 88 Female sterilization 0.5 0.5 100 Male sterilization 0.15 0.10 100 In clinical efficacy studies of drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol tablets of up to 2 years duration, 2,629 subjects completed 33,160 cycles of use without any other contraception. The mean age of the subjects was 25.5 ± 4.7 years. The age range was 16 to 37 years. The racial demographic was: 83% Caucasians, 1% Hispanic, 1% Black, < 1% Asian, < 1% other, < 1% missing data, 14% not inquired and <1% unspecified. Pregnancy rates in the clinical trials were less than one per 100 woman-years of use.

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Contraindications

Drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol tablets should not be used in women who have the following: Renal insufficiency Hepatic dysfunction Adrenal Insufficiency Thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders A past history of deep-vein thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders Cerebral-vascular or coronary-artery disease Valvular heart disease with thrombogenic complications Severe hypertension Diabetes with vascular involvement Headaches with focal neurological symptoms Known or suspected carcinoma of the breast Carcinoma of the endometrium or other known or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding Cholestatic jaundice of pregnancy or jaundice with prior pill use Liver tumor (benign or malignant) or active liver disease Known or suspected pregnancy Heavy smoking (> 15 cigarettes per day) and over age 35

Adverse Reactions

An increased risk of the following serious adverse reactions has been associated with the use of oral contraceptives (see " WARNINGS " section). Thrombophlebitis Arterial thromboembolism Pulmonary embolism Myocardial infarction Cerebral hemorrhage Cerebral thrombosis Hypertension Gallbladder disease Hepatic adenomas or benign liver tumors There is evidence of an association between the following conditions and the use of oral contraceptives, although additional confirmatory studies are needed: Mesenteric thrombosis Retinal thrombosis The following adverse reactions have been reported in patients receiving oral contraceptives and are believed to be drug-related: Nausea Vomiting Gastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal cramps and bloating) Breakthrough bleeding Spotting Change in menstrual flow Amenorrhea Temporary infertility after discontinuation of treatment Edema Melasma which may persist Breast changes: tenderness, enlargement, secretion Change in weight (increase or decrease) Change in cervical ectropion and secretion Diminution in lactation when given immediately postpartum Cholestatic jaundice Migraine Rash (allergic) Mental depression Reduced tolerance to carbohydrates Vaginal candidiasis Change in corneal curvature (steepening) Intolerance to contact lenses The following adverse reactions have been reported in users of oral contraceptives and a causal association has been neither confirmed nor refuted: Acne Budd-Chiari syndrome Cataracts Changes in appetite Changes in libido Colitis Cystitis-like syndrome Dizziness Erythema multiforme Erythema nodosum Headache Hemolytic uremic syndrome Hemorrhagic eruption Hirsutism Impaired renal function Loss of scalp hair Nervousness Porphyria Pre-menstrual syndrome Vaginitis The following are the most common adverse events reported with use of drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol during the clinical trials, occurring in > 1% of subjects and which may or may not be drug related: Headache, Menstrual Disorder, Breast Pain, Abdominal Pain, Nausea, Leukorrhea, Flu Syndrome, Acne, Vaginal Moniliasis, Depression, Diarrhea, Asthenia, Dysmenorrhea, Back Pain, Infection, Pharyngitis, Intermenstrual Bleeding, Migraine, Vomiting, Dizziness, Nervousness, Vaginitis, Sinusitis, Cystitis, Bronchitis, Gastroenteritis, Allergic Reaction, Urinary Tract Infection, Pruritus, Emotional Lability, Surgery, Rash, Upper Respiratory Infection.

Drug Interactions

Effects of Other Drugs on Combined Hormonal Contraceptives Rifampin: Metabolism of ethinyl estradiol and some progestins (e.g., norethindrone) is increased by rifampin. A reduction in contraceptive effectiveness and an increase in menstrual irregularities have been associated with concomitant use of rifampin. Anticonvulsants: Anticonvulsants such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, and carbamazepine have been shown to increase the metabolism of ethinyl estradiol and/or some progestins, which could result in a reduction of contraceptive effectiveness. Antibiotics: Pregnancy while taking combined hormonal contraceptives has been reported when the combined hormonal contraceptives were administered with antimicrobials such as ampicillin, tetracycline, and griseofulvin. However, clinical pharmacokinetic studies have not demonstrated any consistent effects of antibiotics (other than rifampin) on plasma concentrations of synthetic steroids. Atorvastatin: Coadministration of atorvastatin and an oral contraceptive increased AUC values for norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol by approximately 30% and 20%, respectively. St. John’s Wort: Herbal products containing St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) may induce hepatic enzymes (cytochrome P450) and p-glycoprotein transporter and may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives and emergency contraceptive pills. This may also result in breakthrough bleeding. Other: Ascorbic acid and acetaminophen may increase plasma concentrations of some synthetic estrogens, possibly by inhibition of conjugation. A reduction in contraceptive effectiveness and an increased incidence of menstrual irregularities has been suggested with phenylbutazone. Effects of Drospirenone on Other Drugs Metabolic Interactions Metabolism of DRSP and potential effects of DRSP on hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes have been investigated in in vitro and in vivo studies (see Metabolism). In in vitro studies DRSP did not affect turnover of model substrates of CYP1A2 and CYP2D6, but had an inhibitory influence on the turnover of model substrates of CYP1A1, CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 with CYP2C19 being the most sensitive enzyme. The potential effect of DRSP on CYP2C19 activity was investigated in a clinical pharmacokinetic study using omeprazole as a marker substrate. In the study with 24 postmenopausal women [including 12 women with homozygous (wild type) CYP2C19 genotype and 12 women with heterozygous CYP2C19 genotype] the daily oral administration of 3 mg DRSP for 14 days did not affect the oral clearance of omeprazole (40 mg, single oral dose). Based on the available results of in vivo and in vitro studies it can be concluded that, at clinical dose level, DRSP shows little propensity to interact to a significant extent with cytochrome P450 enzymes. Interactions with Drugs that Have the Potential to Increase Serum Potassium There is a potential for an increase in serum potassium in women taking drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol with other drugs (see BOLDED WARNING ). Of note, occasional or chronic use of NSAID medication was not restricted in any of the drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol clinical trials. A drug-drug interaction study of DRSP 3 mg/estradiol (E2) 1 mg versus placebo was performed in 24 mildly hypertensive postmenopausal women taking enalapril maleate 10 mg twice daily. Potassium levels were obtained every other day for a total of 2 weeks in all subjects. Mean serum potassium levels in the DRSP/E2 treatment group relative to baseline were 0.22 mEq/L higher than those in the placebo group. Serum potassium concentrations also were measured at multiple timepoints over 24 hours at baseline and on Day 14. On Day 14, the ratios for serum potassium Cmax and AUC in the DRSP/E2 group to those in the placebo group were 0.955 (90% CI: 0.914, 0.999) and 1.010 (90% CI: 0.944, 1.080), respectively. No patient in either treatment group developed hyperkalemia (serum potassium concentrations > 5.5 mEq/L). Effects of Combined Hormonal Contraceptives on Other Drugs Combined oral contraceptives containing ethinyl estradiol may inhibit the metabolism of other compounds. Increased plasma concentrations of cyclosporine, prednisolone, and theophylline have been reported with concomitant administration of oral contraceptives. In addition, oral contraceptives may induce the conjugation of other compounds. Decreased plasma concentrations of acetaminophen and increased clearance on temazepam, salicylic acid, morphine, and clofibric acid have been noted when these drugs were administered with oral contraceptives.