The combined oral contraceptive pill containing drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol plus levomefolate calcium

Rachel B. Rapkin, Mitchell D Creinin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Neural tube defects are the second most common congenital anomaly in the United States, although their incidence may be decreased by periconception folic acid supplementation. A new oral contraceptive containing drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol plus levomefolate calcium was formulated to decrease the risk of neural tube defects in pregnancies conceived while taking or shortly after discontinuing this pill. Areas covered: Because of its novelty, very few studies have been performed to evaluate the efficacy, side effects and safety related to contraception, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and acne; therefore, literature evaluating similar contraceptives without levomefolate is reviewed. Additionally, we review studies evaluating the addition of levomefolate calcium to oral contraceptives containing 3 mg drospirenone and either 20 or 30 μg ethinyl estradiol. To date, no study has been performed to evaluate the effect this new oral contraceptive has on reducing the incidence of neural tube defects. Expert opinion: This new pill has similar contraceptive efficacy, side effect, safety and benefits profile to other drospirenone- containing contraceptives. While also approved to prevent neural tube defects, no studies validate this claim and physician time is better spent counseling women, regardless of contraceptive choice, on the importance of folic acid supplementation during the child-bearing years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2403-2410
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Volume12
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Combined oral contraceptive
  • Drospirenone
  • Ethinyl estradiol
  • Folic acid
  • Levomefolate
  • Neural tube defect
  • Oral contraceptive pills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology

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