Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol


This combination hormone medication consists of 2 hormones: estrogen and progestin, which is used for:

  • birth control ( prevent pregnancy)
  • acne
  • menstruation pain
  • heavy/irregular periods
  • premenstrual disorder

IUPAC name: Desogestrel 3-deketo-11-methylene-17α-ethynyl-18-methyl-19-nortestosterone   

Ethinyl estradiol (8R,9S,13S,14S,17R)-17-ethynyl-13-methyl-7,8,9,11,12,14,15,16-octahydro-6H-cyclopenta[a]phenanthrene-3,17-diol

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Product type: Birth control pill

Drug class: Contraceptive, oral, estrogen/progestins

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This combination works by inhibiting ovulation which decreases the number of ovarian cysts and decreases hormone-related symptoms of PCOS.

Side effects

  • nausea/vomiting
  • bloating
  • vaginal irritation
  • dizziness
  • breast tenderness
  • increase in vaginal discharge
  • headache
  • water retention
  • acne


Before using this combination, tell your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to estrogen (mestranol, Ethinyl estradiol) or progestin ( desogestrel, norethindrone) or if you have any other kind of allergies.
  • If you have or ever had a history of stroke, weakness, severe headache, signs of blood clots, heart attack, chest pain, high blood pressure, liver disease (yellowing of skin/eyes), loss of appetite, swelling in hands/feet/ankles, edema, high cholesterol, diabetes, migraine.
  •  It may cause melasma, avoid going out in the sun, and always wear sunscreen.
  • It may take longer to get pregnant after you stop taking this pill.
  • During pregnancy, this medication should be avoided.

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