Sronyx is a type of low-estrogen birth control pill that contains both active pills and placebos in every pack. The placebos can be a helpful way to remember when you need to start taking pills again after your period.
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Reviewed by Dr Yasmin Aghajan, MD
Information last reviewed 07/07/19
Sronyx is a birth control pill that contains both estrogen and progesterone, but there is a lower-dose of estrogen than in standard combined contraceptives. This can help to reduce side effects associated with estrogen such as headaches, nausea and breast tenderness. Each pack of Sronyx contains the active pills, which are white in colour, and some peach pills that are inactive placebo pills. The placebo pills have no effect upon your body, but they are included to help you remember when to take your pills again after your period.
Sronyx contains synthetic versions of both estrogen and progesterone. The progesterone helps to prevent pregnancy by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) and by causing a thickening of the mucus around the vagina and cervix. This helps to stop sperm from reaching an egg to fertilize it. The estrogen further helps to prevent pregnancy, by stopping a fertilized egg from implanting itself in the lining of the womb/uterus (endometrium).
When taken correctly, Sronyx is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. A more accurate success rate, which takes into account women who occasionally forget to their pill, is around 97%. Sronyx will NOT protect you from STIs, nor will any other form or hormonal contraceptive. The only contraception to offer partial protection from STIs is condoms.
Sronyx contains active white pills and inactive placebo pills which are peach-coloured. The placebo pills do not contain any active ingredients. They are included as a way to help you remember when to start taking your pills again after your period.
The active ingredients in Sronyx are: 20mcg ethinyl estradiol (EE) and 0.1mg levonorgestrel.
The inactive ingredients in the white Sronyx pills are: croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, povidone and microcrystalline cellulose.
The inactive ingredients in the peach Sronyx placebo pills are: FD & C Yellow No. 6, anhydrous lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose and lactose monohydrate.
The usual dosage of Sronyx is 1 x active tablet containing 20 mcg ethinyl estradiol and 0.1 mg levonorgestrel, taken once daily for the first 21 days, then 1 placebo tablet each day for the next 7 days.
Before starting Sronyx, read the packet instructions carefully, and never start taking it without first consulting a doctor. Sronyx comes in the form of 28-day blister packs marked with the days of the week, containing 21 white active tablets (containing the active hormones) and 7 peach inactive tablets, which simply help you to keep track of your cycle. You have 2 options of how to start Sronyx:
Take 1 pill per day, at the same time each day. To help you remember, try and make this a part of your daily routine: for example, take your pill each morning when you brush your teeth. When you finish the 21 active pills in a pack, move onto the inactive pills the next day. During these 7 days, you will experience a withdrawal bleed; this is a simulation of a natural period, but will not necessarily last for 7 days. Make sure you take all 7 inactive pills even if you have stopped bleeding, and then move onto a new pack the next day without taking a break. Always have a new pack ready.
If you forget to take one of your active pills, take it as soon as you remember and then continue with your next pill at the usual time. If you miss 2 active pills, take 2 on the day you remember and another 2 the next day, then continue as normal. You are advised to use additional, non-hormonal contraception, such as condoms, for the next 7 days to avoid becoming pregnant, as missing 2 pills in a row can reduce the effectiveness of Sronyx. If you forget to take one of the inactive pills, just dispose of the missed dose and continue with the next one the following day. You may also experience some breakthrough bleeding in the event of missed pills. If you are unsure what to do about missed pills, contact your doctor or health worker for advice.
Sronyx may produce various side effects including the following:
Irregular vaginal bleeding, breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between your periods), spotting.
Swelling - particularly in your ankles or feet
Melasma (a darkening of the skin, especially around the face)
Difficulty wearing contact lenses
Other side effects are possible, so you should always read the patient information leaflet before taking any medication. It is important that you re-read the leaflet, whenever you start a new pack, to ensure that you are always up-to-date and aware of any issues you may experience.
If you experience any severe side effects, including symptoms of an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; swelling of tongue, mouth, lips, throat; hives) you should seek emergency medical attention.
Do NOT take Sronyx if:
Tell your doctor and take particular care with Sronyx if any of the following apply to you:
Before taking Sronyx, tell your doctor if you are taking or have recently taken any other medications, including those purchased over the counter without a prescription. The following medications may interfere with the effectiveness of Sronyx:
There are many different types of hormonal contraception and women often have to try a few before finding one that is right for them. Different pills contain different forms of progesterone and/or estrogen, and you may find that you are more sensitive to some types than others. Sronyx, Lessina and Low Ogestrel have the advantage of containing a lower dose of estrogen, and are therefore suitable for women who are particularly sensitive to estrogens. Alternatively, the progesterone-only pill, also known as the mini pill, does not contain any estrogen. This pill is does not allow a break for a monthly bleed and, in some cases, can also be taken by women who are breastfeeding.
If you do not wish to take a pill each day, you can try a form of hormonal contraception that is not taken orally. These include the implant (Implanon, Nexplanon), the shot (Depo-Provera), and the intrauterine device (IUD, Mirena, ParaGard, Skyla, Liletta, Kyleena). The IUD in particular is suited to women with certain other health conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, as it works locally to the reproductive system. For advice on which type of contraceptive might be best for you, speak to your doctor or health worker.
If you choose not to use hormonal methods of contraception at all, you will need to rely on barrier methods. These include the cervical cap (FemCap) and male and female condoms. Male condoms are the only form of contraception to offer some protection against STIs.
Sronyx is considered to be a safe and effective means of contraception, particularly for those women who are more sensitive to oestrogens. In general, hormonal contraceptives very slightly increase the risk of developing blood clots, heart disease, gallbladder disease, liver tumours, and estrogen sensitive cancers such as breast cancer, cervical cancer and endometrial cancer. While the benefits of hormonal contraceptives far outweigh these risks, women who have a personal or family history of the above health conditions should consult a doctor before taking them, as hormonal methods of contraception may not be suitable for them. See ‘Contraindications’ above for more information.
When taking Sronyx, you will experience a withdrawal bleed once a month while you are taking the peach-colored inactive pills. This is a simulation of a natural period and will not necessarily last for the full 7 days. When you first start taking Sronyx, you may experience some breakthrough bleeding or spotting between withdrawal bleeds. This is normal and usually nothing to worry about, and often stops with time. If you are concerned that you are bleeding very often or heavily, speak to your doctor for advice.
No, Sronyx does not offer protection from STIs, nor does any other form of hormonal contraception. The only contraceptive to offer partial protection from STIs is condoms.
While oral contraceptives are designed to prevent pregnancy, they can also be prescribed to treat acne and irregular, painful or heavy periods. In addition, they are also thought to decrease the incidence of ovarian cysts, lower the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer, and help prevent against ectopic pregnancy, in which a fertilized egg attaches outside of the uterus.
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