Kariva is a medication that is made up of two hormones: a progestin (desogestrel) and estrogen (ethinyl estradiol). It is used as an oral birth control pill for women to prevent the release of eggs from the ovaries, thereby preventing pregnancy. The use of Kariva can make periods more regular, as well as decrease blood loss. Women have also described their periods as being less painful after the use of this drug.
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Written by Dr Karen Paulson, MD
Information last reviewed 06/21/19
Kariva is an oral birth control pill used to prevent pregnancy. It contains two female hormones: a progestin and estrogen. Kariva works by blocking the release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). The drug also changes the lining of the womb and prevents pregnancy. The drug is known to make the vaginal fluid thicker, as this helps serve as a prevention mechanism that makes it hard for the sperm to reach an egg. Birth control pills like this Kariva are very effective, but it should be noted that they do not prevent the spread of viruses like HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Kariva can also be used to treat acne in some patients. It works by reducing the amounts of certain naturally occurring substances in the body that causes acne.
Kariva works by releasing two types of hormones; estrogen and progestin, into your womb to prevent pregnancy. They take action by stopping ovulation so that your ovaries don’t release an egg each month. In addition to this, the hormones thicken the cervical mucus to make it difficult for sperm to get through and alters the uterine lining so that it is thinner, preventing an egg from implanting should fertilization occur.
The active ingredients in Kariva are 0.15 mg desogestrel and 0.02 mg ethinyl estradiol (EE). These are synthetic forms of the female hormones, estrogen and progestogen.
The inactive ingredients in Kariva are: colloidal silicon dioxide, Hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, polyethylene glycol, povidone, pregelatinized starch, stearic acid, and vitamin E.
The patient information leaflet provided by the pharmacist should be read before the use of Kariva, and each time a refill is obtained. You can get the relevant information required to use this drug properly on the leaflet, as well as directives on what to do if any dose is missed. You should ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions that you might have.
Kariva/ oral contraceptives come in a pack of 21, 28 or 91 tablets which can be taken via the mouth. The recommended dosage is once a day every day or almost every day as long as a regular cycle is maintained. It is better to take oral contraceptives with food or milk to prevent nausea in some patients.
Usually, the prescribing doctor should tell you when you should start taking kariva/ oral contraceptive. Oral contraceptives like Kariva are usually started on the first or fifth day of the menstrual period. It can also be started on the first Sunday after or on which the bleeding begins. Also, for effectiveness, the doctor should tell you if you need to use another method of contraception (Birth control method) during the first 7 to 9 days when you begin using Kariva. The doctor should also help you choose what method might be suitable for you.
There are two different options you can choose from when starting Kariva. You can either start taking it on the first day of your period or on the first Sunday after your period starts. The Sunday option helps you to remember which day to start a new pack each month. If you start taking Kariva on the first day of your period, you’ll be protected from pregnancy right away. If you wait until the Sunday, you’ll need to use condoms or a diaphragm for the first 7 days of taking the pill.
Kariva should be taken at the same time every day to ensure the proper cycle is maintained. Every direction on the prescription label should be followed carefully, and the drug should be used exactly as described. It is important not to take more or less of the drug, as well as not too often or for longer than the time prescribed by the doctor/pharmacist.
Here are some of the regular doses:
For a 21-tablet packet, a tablet should be taken daily for 21 days, and then the patient should go 7 days without the drug. After this period of 28 days, a new packet should be started.
For a 28-tablet packet, 1 tablet should be taken daily for 28 days in a row and in the order that was specified in the pack. A new pack should be started the day after the 28th tablet is taken. You should note that most 28-tablet pack may have tablets with different colors. These different colors of tablet usually indicate different amounts of estrogen and progestin. However, other colored tablets contain an inactive ingredient or a folate supplement.
For a 91-day tablet pack, a table should be taken daily for 91 days. This pack usually contains three trays of tablets which should be taken in order. The patient should start with the first tablet on the first tray and continue taking 1 tablet per day at the same time every day in the exact order specified on the pack. On the last tray, the tablets have a different color from the first two sets. These last set of tablets would usually contain an inactive ingredient, or have a very low dose of estrogen. A new pack should be started on the next day after the 91st tablet is taken.
First, you should know that if you miss your dose, you may not be protected from getting pregnant. You may also need to use a backup contraception for 7 to 9 days or until the end of your menstrual cycle.
Depending on the brand of Kariva you use, every brand of Oral contraceptive comes with specific directives to be followed if a dose is missed or more. You should, therefore, read the manual that comes with your contraceptive.
For further questions, you should call your doctor or pharmacist. You should, however, continue to use your pills as scheduled, as well as a backup contraception until your doctor answers your questions.
During the use of Kariva drugs, you might experience side effects such as withdrawal bleeding which is similar to the menstrual period, while taking the inactive tablet or the low estrogen models of the Kariva tablets. Withdrawal bleeding could also occur during the week that you do not take your oral contraceptive. For patients using the packets containing only active tablets, they will not experience any scheduled bleeding. However, they might experience unexpected bleeding and spotting at the beginning of the drug use.
Action: Ensure you continue the use of your new packet on schedule even if you are bleeding.
Also, if you experience vomiting or diarrhea while using Kariva, you may need to use a backup method of birth control. You should discuss with your doctor for backup contraception before you begin the use of Kariva drugs.
Action: You should call your doctor if you vomit or experience diarrhea while using Kariva, to find out how long you should use your backup method.
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If you experience any of the side effects listed above, you should call your doctor before you stop the medication.
Kariva should not be taken by women who:
Tell your doctor if any of the above apply to you.
There are some medications which interfere with the way Kariva works. These include:
You should seek medical attention immediately or call the poison line at 1-800-222-1222. Some of the symptoms you might experience are vomiting, vaginal bleeding, and nausea.
You should keep the medication in the pack it came in, while keeping it tightly closed. The drug should be kept at room temperature and avoid excess heat and moisture. Certainly not in your bathroom.
You should ensure that when the medication is not needed anymore, it should be disposed of in ways that ensure it is out of reach of children and other people.
Note: Do not flush the medication down the toilet. You should use a medicine take-back program if it is available in your area.
All mediation, including this one should be kept out of reach of children to protect them from child poisoning. You should ensure that the caps of drugs are appropriately locked and the drugs should be locked up in a safe location and out of reach and sight of children.
Both Kariva and Azurette contain the same hormonal components and dosage. They are both generic versions of a birth control pill called Mircette and work in the same way.
Kariva cannot be used as emergency contraception. If you have had unprotected sex before starting the pill, you will need to take the morning after pill first as Kariva will not work in this way. You can also take the morning after pill while you are on Kariva if you have missed pills or vomited, making your pill ineffective. Alternatively, an IUD can also be used as emergency contraception and can be inserted up to 5 days after unprotected sex.
Taking birth control pills like Kariva don’t cause yeast infections. However, they might increase your likeliness of getting a yeast infection due to the way the pill changes the natural balance of hormones in your body.
Taking Kariva in the early stages of pregnancy cannot cause a miscarriage. If there is a chance you might be pregnant then you shouldn’t take Kariva until you’ve taken a pregnancy test. On the other hand, if you are pregnant and wish to terminate the pregnancy, you need to make an appointment to get an abortion. You’ll be given a pill which induces a miscarriage but this works in a completely different way to birth control pills.
This depends on how you have started taking Kariva. For Sunday starters, i.e if you started the pill on the Sunday after your period, Kariva won’t be effective for the first 7 days. This means you’ll need to use additional birth control during this time. If you started Kariva at the beginning of your period, you’ll be protected from pregnancy right away.
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