1. What is a birth control patch?
A birth control patch is a patch that resembles a bandage and adheres directly to the skin. It releases hormones, and the body absorbs the medication through the skin. The FDA approved the use of a combination contraceptive patch (Ortho Evra) in 2002, but it has since been discontinued. Currently, Xulane, along with its generic version, is the sole birth control patch available in the United States. V.ARIA prescribes the generic version of Xulane, which combines Ethinyl estradiol and Norelgestromin.
2. How does it work?
The patch releases a daily dose of 20 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 150 mcg of norelgestromin through the skin. Its mechanism of action is similar to that of oral contraceptive pills, primarily by preventing ovulation.
3. How long does it last, and how often should it be replaced?
The patch is applied weekly for three consecutive weeks, followed by a patch-free week during which withdrawal bleeding typically occurs.
4. Where can the patch be applied?
You have the flexibility to choose the application site based on your preference, but recommended locations include the upper arm, buttocks, lower abdomen, and upper torso (such as the upper back or chest, excluding the breasts).
5. What is the expected cost of the patch at a local pharmacy?
With the use of a coupon, the most common generic Xulane patch is available for approximately $41, which represents a discount of about 70% off the average retail price of $138.24.