Ethinyl estradiol/ethynodiol diacetate (By mouth)


Ethinyl Estradiol (ETH-i-nil es-tra-DYE-ol), Ethynodiol Diacetate (e-thye-noe-DYE-ol dye-AS-e-tate)

Prevents pregnancy.

Brand Name(s)

Kelnor 1/35, Zovia 1/35e, Zovia 1/50e

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Start taking this medicine on the first Sunday after your menstrual period. If your period starts on a Sunday, start taking this medicine on that day. Then continue taking one pill each day in the order they appear in the package.
  • Take your pill at the same time every day. Birth control pills work best when there is no more than 24 hours between doses. It is very important that you take this medicine on schedule every day.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss one active pill, take it as soon as you can. Then take your next pill at the regular time. This means you may take two pills in one day.
  • If you miss two active pills in a row, take two pills as soon as you can. Then take two pills on the next day. Then go back to your regular schedule of taking one pill every day. Use another kind of birth control until you have been taking active pills for seven days in a row.
  • If you miss three or more active pills, do not take the pills you missed. Go back to taking one pill every day, starting with the pill for the day you remember. For example, you may forget or miss taking your pills on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. If this happens, take your Thursday pill (do not take the three you missed) and continue with your regular schedule.
  • You could have light bleeding or spotting any time you do not take a pill on schedule. The more pills you miss, the more likely you are to have bleeding.
  • If you miss any inactive pills, throw away the missed pills and go back to your regular schedule.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifamate®), troglitazone, phenylbutazone (Butazolidine®), medicine for seizures such as phenytoin (Depakote®, Dilantin®). Tell your doctor if you use antibiotics such as ampicillin, griseofulvin, or tetracycline (such as doxycycline, minocycline, Minocin®, or Vibramycin®).
  • There are many other drugs that can interact with this medicine. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breast feeding or if you have recently been pregnant. Tell your doctor if you have breast lumps or a family history of breast cancer.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have blood clotting problems, heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol or triglycerides in your blood.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have diabetes, depression, kidney disease, liver disease, a history of migraine headaches, seizures, or tuberculosis (TB).
  • Make sure your doctor knows about all the other medical problems you have before taking this pills.
  • This medicine can cause serious side effects such as heart attack or stroke. You are much more likely to have these side effects if you smoke cigarettes, are overweight, are over 35 years of age, or have certain health problems.
  • You might have some light bleeding or spotting when you first start using this medicine. This is usually normal and should not last long. However, if you have heavy bleeding or the bleeding lasts more than seven days in a row, call your doctor.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have vomiting or diarrhea while using this pills, you may need to use another kind of birth control for a few days.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • This medicine will not protect you from getting HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. If this is a concern for you, talk with your doctor.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Call your doctor for a pregnancy test if your menstrual period does not start while taking this pills.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Breast lump, breast tenderness or any swelling or discharge.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up of blood.
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding.
  • Missed or late menstrual periods.
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
  • Severe pain in lower leg (calf).
  • Spotting for more than 7 consecutive days while taking the active pills.
  • Sudden severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Acne or mild skin rash.
  • Depression.
  • Itching or white discharge from your vagina.
  • Loss of hair.
  • Mild nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your stomach.
  • Pain or discharge from your breasts.
  • Rapid weight gain or loss.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Problems with wearing contact lenses.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/12/2016

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.