Combined oral contraceptive pills such as Rigevidon can cause dangerous blood clots which, if left untreated, can cause severe complications or even death.
Some studies have found an increased risk of cervical cancer in people who take the pill long term. It is however not known if this increased risk is caused by the pill or other factors.
Breast cancer has also been found more often in women who take the pill than those of similar age who don’t. 10 years after the pill is stopped, the risk reduces to the same level as for those women who have never taken the pill. It is not known if it is the pill that causes the increased breast cancer risk or whether the reason is that women who take the pill have more frequent breast examinations, so the disease is picked up on earlier.
Benign liver tumours have also been reported in women taking the pill.
It should also be noted that combined oral contraceptive pills can’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), only barrier contraceptives such as condoms can protect you from these.
Taking certain medicines at the same time as taking Rigevidon can stop the pill from working properly. These include:
- some medicines used to treat epilepsy
- certain antibiotics
- some medicines used to treat HIV (ritonavir, nevirapine)
- a medicine used to treat tuberculosis (rifampicin)
- an anti-fungal medicine (griseofulvin)
- some sedatives (barbiturates)
- St. John’s Wort (a herbal remedy for treating mild depression)
If you do need to take any of the above medicines while also taking Rigevidon, you may need to use additional contraception such as condoms for a while. Talk to your doctor or nurse about any other medicines you’re taking.
Your doctor may advise you against taking Rigevidon in certain circumstances.
Do not take Rigevidon if you:
- have or have a history of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the blood vessels of your legs)
- have or have had a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in your lungs)
- have had a stroke
- have had a heart attack or angina pectoris (severe chest pain which can be a warning sign of a heart attack)
- have severe high blood pressure
- have a history of migraines with visual disturbances
- have had a transient ischaemic attack (TIA, or temporary symptoms of stroke)
- have type 2 diabetes with damaged blood vessels
- have high cholesterol levels in the blood
- if you have or have had eye disorders, for example retinopathy
- have or have ever had liver tumours
- have or have had liver disease and your liver function has not returned to normal
- currently have or have a history of breast cancer or cancer of the uterus
- have unexplained vaginal bleeding
- are allergic to any levonorgestrel or ethinylestradiol or any of the other ingredients contained in Rigevidon
- if you are or think you might be pregnant
Also tell also your doctor if you are a smoker (especially if you are over 35) and if you are overweight, before you start taking Rigevidon.
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