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Reviewed by Dr Yasmin Aghajan, MD
Information last reviewed 07/17/19
Cryselle is a type of birth control known as the combined pill. This means it contains estrogen and progestin hormones that are released into the body to prevent unwanted pregnancies. It’s one of the most common forms of birth control available on the market.
Combination pills like Cryselle contain 2 hormones: estrogen and progestin, which work by preventing ovulation (release of an egg from an ovary) during your menstrual cycle, which in turn enables fertilization. It also changes your cervical mucus (vaginal fluid) by making it thicker, which prevents sperm from reaching an egg, and changes the uterine lining (cells that line the womb), which prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. Cryselle does not protect you or your partner against sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) and HIV.
Cryselle is a very effective form of birth control, successfully preventing pregnancy in over 99% of cases. However, it’s effectiveness relies upon you taking it properly. Missing pills, starting a pack late, vomiting and taking medications which interfere with it are all factors which can cause Cryselle to fail.
There are several non-contraceptive benefits that come from using Cryselle. It controls your menstrual cycle giving you lighter, less painful and more regular periods. It also helps to reduce the symptoms of PMS. Birth control, like Cryselle, is often prescribed to treat acne and can ease the symptoms of endometriosis.
Cryselle contains the active ingredients norgestrel at a concentration of 0.3mg and ethinyl estradiol at a concentration of 0.03mg.
Cryselle also contains the following inactive ingredients: hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol 400, polyethylene glycol 8000, starch, corn.
Unless you have a known allergy or hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients (active or inactive) in Cryselle, it is very rare you will experience a severe allergic reaction to this birth control. However, if you do notice yourself struggling to breathe, a rash/hives, or dizziness shortly after taking the birth control, make sure to seek immediate medical attention.
Cryselle comes in packages of 6 blister card dispensers, each containing 28 tablets: 21 active tablets that are white, and 7 inactive tablets that are light-green colored.
For this contraceptive method to be fully effective, you must take it exactly as prescribed and not exceed intervals of 24 hours.
Take your first pill on the first day of your period or on the first Sunday after your period begins.
You should take one white tablet every day for 21 consecutive days. After the 21 days, continue by taking one light-green inactive tablet daily for 7 consecutive days. Take your tablets every day at the same time each day, preferably after your evening meal or before going to bed. You should always start a new cycle of Cryselle on the same day of the week (Sunday) on which you began the first one. If you start a cycle later than you should protect yourself by using another method of contraception until you have taken a white tablet daily for 7 days.
Do not skip any doses as pregnancy is more likely to occur if you miss pills, start a new pack late, or take your pill at a different time than usual.
If you forget to take one white, active pill, take it right away and then take your next one at your scheduled time. Your birth control will not be affected. If you miss two in weeks 1-2 of your cycle, take two pills on the day you remember and two the following day. Continue with the rest as usual and use condoms for the next 7 days. If you miss two pills in week three, throw out the rest of your pack and begin a new one right away. If you began your pack on a Sunday, then keep taking your pills until the next Sunday, stopping the pack and then starting a new one on that Sunday. If you’re ever unsure, use condoms or a diaphragm until you have taken your pills properly for 7 days.
If you take a pill later in the day than usual, this will not affect your birth control. Continue to take the rest as you normally do and consider setting a reminder on your phone to help you remember. If it has been more than 24 hours since you were due to take it, follow the steps for a missed pill.
Side effects of oral contraceptive like Cryselle may include:
Vaginal bleeding between periods (spotting) or missed/irregular periods
Fluid retention which may cause swelling of ankles or fingers, and may raise your blood pressure
Nausea (feeling sick)
Change in appetite
Vomiting (being sick)
Intolerance to contact lenses
The following side effects are rare but serious. If any of these occur while taking Cryselle, call your doctor immediately:
Sharp chest pain, coughing of blood, or sudden shortness of breath (possible clot in the lung)
Severe pain or tenderness in the stomach area (indicating a possibly ruptured liver tumor)
Crushing chest pain or heaviness in the chest (possible heart attack)
Breast lumps (indicating possible breast cancer or fibrocystic disease of the breast)
Sudden partial or complete loss of vision (possible clot in the eye)
Pain in the calf (indicating a possible clot in the leg)
Sudden severe headache or vomiting, dizziness or fainting, disturbances of vision or speech, weakness, or numbness in an arm or leg (possible stroke)
Difficulty in sleeping, weakness, lack of energy, fatigue, or change in mood ( indicating severe depression).
Yellowing of the skin or eyeballs (jaundice), fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, dark-colored urine, or light-colored bowel movements (possible liver problems)
Some drugs may interfere with the effectiveness of Cryselle to prevent pregnancy. Do not take Cryselle with any of the following drugs:
amitriptyline, bupropion, clonazepam, fluoxetine, gabapentin, ibuprofen, levothyroxine, metformin, multivitamin, ethinyl estradiol/norgestrel, omeprazole, montelukast, topiramate, tramadol, trazodone, Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), alprazolam, sertraline, cetirizine
Cryselle is contraindicated in the following cases:
Untreated high blood pressure
Heart disease, chest pain, coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, or blood clot
History of hormone-related cancer, cancer of the breast, of the uterus/cervix, or vagina
If you are at high risk of having blood clots due to a heart problem or a hereditary blood disorder
Liver disease or liver cancer
If you experiencing unusual vaginal bleeding and have not been checked by your doctor yet
If you have suffered from jaundice in the past due to birth control pills
If you take any Hepatitis C medication (e.e. Technivie) containing ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir
If you are at high risk of arterial or venous thrombotic diseases. This may be the case for women who suffer from coagulopathies, cerebrovascular disease, coronary artery disease, have diabetes mellitus with vascular disease, have or have had deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, have thrombogenic valvular or thrombogenic rhythm diseases of the heart, have hypertension, women who are over 35 and smoke or suffer from migraine
If you suffer from benign or malignant liver tumors, or any liver disease
If you are pregnant
If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Cryselle. See the ingredients section above.
Cryselle and Low Ogestrel contain the same active ingredients; norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol. They are both generic versions of the brand name birth control known as Lo/Ovral.
We offer a 3 month supply of Cryselle for $234. Our rates are competitive and include the simple online consultation, prescription fee and delivery.
When you first start taking Cryselle it is likely to cause spotting. This is where you have light bleeding in between periods which usually lasts for a very short time. Any bleeding or spotting outside of your monthly period usually stops after you’ve been taking Cryselle for a couple of months. If it doesn’t, see your doctor for advice.
Taking birth control like Cryselle increases the risk of experiencing a blood clot. If you have any underlying medical conditions which can increase your blood pressure, then using Cryselle can exacerbate this. It’s important to have regular check-ups with your doctor while you are using birth control so that they can measure your blood pressure at least once a year.
If you start taking Cryselle in the first 24 hours of your period beginning then Cryselle will be effective right away. Otherwise, if you are a Sunday starter then you’ll need to use an additional barrier method of birth control for the first 7 days of using Cryselle.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. You and your physician will determine if and how you should take any medication prescribed to you following a medical consultation.
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