SAFYRAL- drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol/levomefolate calcium and levomefolate calcium
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular events from combination oral contraceptives (COC) use. This risk increases with age, particularly in women over 35 years of age, and with the number of cigarettes smoked. For this reason, COCs should not be used by women who are over 35 years of age and smoke [see Contraindications (4) ].
Safyral is indicated for use by women to prevent pregnancy.
Safyral is indicated in women who choose to use an oral contraceptive as their method of contraception, to raise folate levels for the purpose of reducing the risk of a neural tube defect in a pregnancy conceived while taking the product or shortly after discontinuing the product.
Take one tablet by mouth at the same time every day. The failure rate may increase when pills are missed or taken incorrectly.
To achieve maximum contraceptive effectiveness, Safyral must be taken as directed, in the order directed on the blister pack. Single missed pills should be taken as soon as remembered.
Instruct the patient to begin taking Safyral either on the first day of her menstrual period (Day 1 Start) or on the first Sunday after the onset of her menstrual period (Sunday Start).
During the first cycle of Safyral use, instruct the patient to take one orange Safyral daily, beginning on Day 1 of her menstrual cycle. (The first day of menstruation is Day 1.) She should take one orange Safyral daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by one light orange tablet, containing levomefolate alone, daily on Days 22 through 28. Safyral should be taken in the order directed on the package at the same time each day, preferably after the evening meal or at bedtime with some liquid, as needed. Safyral can be taken without regard to meals. If Safyral is first taken later than the first day of the menstrual cycle, Safyral should not be considered effective as a contraceptive until after the first 7 consecutive days of product administration. Instruct the patient to use a non-hormonal contraceptive as back-up during the first 7 days. The possibility of ovulation and conception prior to initiation of medication should be considered.
During the first cycle of Safyral use, instruct the patient to take one orange Safyral daily, beginning on the first Sunday after the onset of her menstrual period. She should take one orange Safyral daily for 21 consecutive days, followed by one light orange tablet, containing levomefolate alone, daily on Days 22 through 28. Safyral should be taken in the order directed on the package at the same time each day, preferably after the evening meal or at bedtime with some liquid, as needed. Safyral can be taken without regard to meals. Safyral should not be considered effective as a contraceptive until after the first 7 consecutive days of product administration. Instruct the patient to use a non-hormonal contraceptive as back-up during the first 7 days. The possibility of ovulation and conception prior to initiation of medication should be considered.
The patient should begin her next and all subsequent 28-day regimens of Safyral on the same day of the week that she began her first regimen, following the same schedule. She should begin taking her orange tablets on the next day after ingestion of the last light orange folate tablet, regardless of whether or not a menstrual period has occurred or is still in progress. Anytime a subsequent cycle of Safyral is started later than the day following administration of the last light orange tablet, the patient should use another method of contraception until she has taken an orange Safyral daily for seven consecutive days.
When switching from another birth control pill, Safyral should be started on the same day that a new pack of the previous oral contraceptive would have been started.
When switching from a transdermal patch or vaginal ring, Safyral should be started when the next application would have been due. When switching from an injection, Safyral should be started when the next dose would have been due. When switching from an intrauterine contraceptive or an implant, Safyral should be started on the day of removal.
Withdrawal bleeding usually occurs within 3 days following the last orange tablet. If spotting or breakthrough bleeding occurs while taking Safyral, instruct the patient to continue taking Safyral by the regimen described above. Counsel her that this type of bleeding is usually transient and without significance; however, advise her that if the bleeding is persistent or prolonged, she should consult her healthcare provider.
Although the occurrence of pregnancy is low if Safyral is taken according to directions, if withdrawal bleeding does not occur, consider the possibility of pregnancy. If the patient has not adhered to the prescribed dosing schedule (missed one or more active tablets or started taking them on a day later than she should have), consider the possibility of pregnancy at the time of the first missed period and take appropriate diagnostic measures. If the patient has adhered to the prescribed regimen and misses two consecutive periods, rule out pregnancy. Discontinue Safyral if pregnancy is confirmed.
The risk of pregnancy increases with each active orange tablet missed. For additional patient instructions regarding missed pills, see the “WHAT TO DO IF YOU MISS PILLS” section in the FDA-Approved Patient Labeling. If breakthrough bleeding occurs following missed tablets, it will usually be transient and of no consequence. If the patient misses one or more light orange tablets, she should still be protected against pregnancy provided she begins taking a new cycle of orange tablets on the proper day.
For postpartum women who do not breastfeed or after a second trimester abortion, start Safyral no earlier than 4 weeks postpartum due to the increased risk of thromboembolism. If the patient starts Safyral postpartum and has not yet had a period, evaluate for possible pregnancy, and instruct her to use an additional method of contraception until she has taken Safyral for 7 consecutive days.
In case of severe vomiting or diarrhea, absorption may not be complete and additional contraceptive measures should be taken. If vomiting occurs within 3-4 hours after tablet-taking, this can be regarded as a missed tablet.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women of childbearing age consume supplemental folic acid in a dose of at least 0.4 mg (400 mcg) daily.1 Consider other folate supplementation that a woman may be taking before prescribing Safyral. Ensure that folate supplementation is maintained if a woman discontinues Safyral due to pregnancy.
Safyral (drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol/levomefolate calcium tablets and levomefolate calcium tablets) is available in blister packs.
Each blister pack contains 28 film-coated, round, bi-convex tablets in the following order:
- 21 orange tablets each containing 3 mg drospirenone (DRSP), 0.03 mg ethinyl estradiol (EE) as betadex clathrate and 0.451 mg levomefolate calcium embossed with a “Y+” in a regular hexagon on one side
- 7 light orange tablets each containing 0.451 mg levomefolate calcium embossed with a “M+” in a regular hexagon on one side
Do not prescribe Safyral to women who are known to have the following:
- Renal impairment
- Adrenal insufficiency
- A high risk of arterial or venous thrombotic diseases. Examples include women who are known to:
- Smoke, if over age 35 [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
- Have deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, now or in the past [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) ]
- Have cerebrovascular disease [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
- Have coronary artery disease [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
- Have thrombogenic valvular or thrombogenic rhythm diseases of the heart (for example, subacute bacterial endocarditis with valvular disease, or atrial fibrillation) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
- Have inherited or acquired hypercoagulopathies [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
- Have uncontrolled hypertension [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
- Have diabetes mellitus with vascular disease [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]
- Have headaches with focal neurological symptoms or have migraine headaches with or without aura if over age 35 [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)]
- Undiagnosed abnormal uterine bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)]
- Breast cancer or other estrogen- or progestin-sensitive cancer, now or in the past [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
- Liver tumor (benign or malignant) or liver disease [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4) and Use in Specific Populations (8.7)]
- Pregnancy, because there is no reason to use COCs during pregnancy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11) and Use in Specific Populations (8.1)]
- Use of Hepatitis C drug combinations containing ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir due to the potential for ALT elevations [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5) and Drug Interactions (7.3)].
Stop Safyral if an arterial or venous thrombotic (VTE) event occurs.
Based on presently available information on DRSP-containing COCs with 0.03 mg ethinyl estradiol (that is, Yasmin), DRSP-containing COCs may be associated with a higher risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) than COCs containing the progestin levonorgestrel or some other progestins. Epidemiologic studies that compared the risk of VTE reported that the risk ranged from no increase to a three-fold increase. Before initiating use of Safyral in a new COC user or a woman who is switching from a contraceptive that does not contain DRSP, consider the risks and benefits of a DRSP-containing COC in light of her risk of a VTE. Known risk factors for VTE include smoking, obesity, and family history of VTE, in addition to other factors that contraindicate use of COCs [see Contraindications (4)].
A number of studies have compared the risk of VTE for users of Yasmin (which contains 0.03 mg of EE and 3 mg of DRSP) to the risk for users of other COCs, including COCs containing levonorgestrel. Those that were required or sponsored by regulatory agencies are summarized in Table 1.
Epidemiologic Study (Author, Year of Publication) Population Studied
Comparator Product (all are low-dose COCs; with ≤ 0.04 mg of EE)
Hazard Ratio (HR) (95% CI)
i3 Ingenix (Seeger 2007) Initiators, including new users *
All COCs available in the USduring the conduct of the study †
EURAS(Dinger 2007)Initiators, including new users *
All COCs available in Europeduring the conduct of the study ‡
HR: 0.9 (0.6-1.4)
FDA-funded study” (2011)
New users *
Other COCs available during the course of the study §
Levonorgestrel/0.03 mg EE
All users(i.e., initiation and continuing use of study combination hormonal contraception)
Other COCs available during the course of the study §
Levonorgestrel/0.03 mg EE
In addition to these “regulatory studies,” other studies of various designs have been conducted. Overall, there are two prospective cohort studies (see Table 1): the US post-approval safety study Ingenix [Seeger 2007], the European post-approval safety study EURAS (European Active Surveillance Study) [Dinger 2007]. An extension of the EURAS study, the Long-Term Active Surveillance Study (LASS), did not enroll additional subjects, but continued to assess VTE risk. There are three retrospective cohort studies: one study in the US funded by the FDA (see Table 1), and two from Denmark [Lidegaard 2009, Lidegaard 2011]. There are two case-control studies: the Dutch MEGA study analysis [van Hylckama Vlieg 2009] and the German case-control study [Dinger 2010]. There are two nested case-control studies that evaluated the risk of non-fatal idiopathic VTE: the PharMetrics study [Jick 2011] and the GPRD study [Parkin 2011]. The results of all of these studies are presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1: VTE Risk with Yasmin Relative to LNG-Containing COCs (adjusted risk#)
Risk ratios displayed on logarithmic scale; risk ratio < 1 indicates a lower risk of VTE for DRSP, > 1 indicates an increased risk of VTE for DRSP.
*Comparator “Other COCs”, including LNG- containing COCs
† LASS is an extension of the EURAS study
# Some adjustment factors are indicated by superscript letters: a) Current heavy smoking, b) hypertension, c) obesity, d) family history, e) age, f) BMI, g) duration of use, h) VTE history, i) period of inclusion, j) calendar year, k) education, l) length of use, m) parity, n) chronic disease, o) concomitant medication, p) smoking, q) duration of exposure, r) site
(References: Ingenix [Seeger 2007]2 , EURAS (European Active Surveillance Study) [Dinger 2007]3 , LASS (Long-Term Active Surveillance Study) [Dinger, unpublished document on file], FDA-funded study [Sidney 2011]4 , Danish [Lidegaard 2009]5 , Danish re-analysis [ Lidegaard 2011]6 , MEGA study [van Hylckama Vlieg 2009]7 , German Case-Control study [Dinger 2010]8 , PharMetrics [Jick 2011]9 , GPRD study [Parkin 2011]10)
Although the absolute VTE rates are increased for users of hormonal contraceptives compared to non-users, the rates during pregnancy are even greater, especially during the post-partum period (see Figure 2). The risk of VTE in women using COCs has been estimated to be 3 to 9 per 10,000 woman-years. The risk of VTE is highest during the first year of use. Data from a large, prospective cohort safety study of various COCs suggest that this increased risk, as compared to that in non-COC users, is greatest during the first 6 months of COC use. Data from this safety study indicate that the greatest risk of VTE is present after initially starting a COC or restarting (following a 4 week or greater pill-free interval) the same or a different COC.
The risk of thromboembolic disease due to oral contraceptives gradually disappears after COC use is discontinued.
Figure 2 shows the risk of developing a VTE for women who are not pregnant and do not use oral contraceptives, for women who use oral contraceptives, for pregnant women, and for women in the postpartum period. To put the risk of developing a VTE into perspective: If 10,000 women who are not pregnant and do not use oral contraceptives are followed for one year, between 1 and 5 of these women will develop a VTE.
Figure 2: Likelihood of Developing a VTE
If feasible, stop Safyral at least 4 weeks before and through 2 weeks after major surgery or other surgeries known to have an elevated risk of thromboembolism.
Start Safyral no earlier than 4 weeks after delivery, in women who are not breastfeeding. The risk of postpartum thromboembolism decreases after the third postpartum week, whereas the risk of ovulation increases after the third postpartum week.
Use of COCs also increases the risk of arterial thromboses such as strokes and myocardial infarctions, especially in women with other risk factors for these events.
COCs have been shown to increase both the relative and attributable risks of cerebrovascular events (thrombotic and hemorrhagic strokes), although, in general, the risk is greatest among older (>35 years of age), hypertensive women who also smoke. COCs also increase the risk for stroke in women with other underlying risk factors.
Oral contraceptives must be used with caution in women with cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Stop Safyral if there is unexplained loss of vision, proptosis, diplopia, papilledema, or retinal vascular lesions. Evaluate for retinal vein thrombosis immediately. [See Adverse Reactions (6).]
DrugInserts.com provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the US Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by DrugInserts.com. Every individual package label entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the US National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.