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Kariva (Desogestrel / Ethinyl Estradiol and Ethinyl Estradiol) is a daily combination birth control pill that prevents pregnancy with two hormones—progestin and estrogen. This medication may also help regulate periods and reduce menstrual symptoms.
Other brand-name versions include Azurette, Bekyree, Mircette, Pimtrea, Simliya and Viorele.
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How Dr. B treats birth control
Tell us about your condition with a $15 online consultation—no video call necessary.
A medical provider will review your information and prescribe treatment, if appropriate.
Pick up and pay for the medication at the pharmacy of your choice. Or, get it delivered.
About Kariva (Desogestrel / Ethinyl Estradiol and Ethinyl Estradiol)
How does it work?
Kariva works by releasing hormones into your body that stop your ovaries from releasing eggs. It also thickens the cervical mucus so it’s harder for sperm to reach the egg. Finally, it thins out your uterine lining so an egg is less likely to implant.
What symptoms or conditions can it help manage?
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Irregular periods
- Ovarian cysts
- Painful periods
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms
- Endometriosis pain and inflammation
What forms does it come in?
This medicine comes in a blister pack with 28 pills that are taken by mouth. Kariva is a biphasic birth control pill. That means the pills in the pack contain different hormone levels. This better imitates the natural hormonal changes that occur during your cycle.
Kariva vs. Desogestrel / Ethinyl Estradiol and Ethinyl Estradiol
Desogestrel / Ethinyl Estradiol and Ethinyl Estradiol are the active ingredients in birth control pills like Kariva and Mircette. These are the hormones that actually prevent pregnancy. Different brands of this medicine might come in different packaging or have slightly different hormone levels. But they all work the same way to prevent pregnancy.
How much will it cost?
Dr. B offers online consultations for $15—which is less than most copays. If a birth control prescription is appropriate, your out-of-pocket medication cost will depend on your insurance and where you decide to get your prescription filled. With a drug discount card, prices for Azurette (3 28-tablet blister packs) start at $22.97.
* Prices shown with drug discount card applied. Price may differ depending on location.
Azurette (3 28-tablet blister packs)*
More Birth Control Prescriptions
Looking for a different medication? Here are some options.
Kariva (Desogestrel / Ethinyl Estradiol and Ethinyl Estradiol) prescription FAQ
What are the benefits of taking Kariva (Desogestrel / Ethinyl Estradiol and Ethinyl Estradiol)?
- Prevents pregnancy (99% effective when used correctly)
- Lowers the risk of anemia
- Regulates menstrual cycles
- Reduces heavy menstrual bleeding
- Eases menstrual cramps
- Improves hormonal acne
- Treats polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) symptoms
- Treats endometriosis and uterine fibroids
- Lowers the risk of ovarian, endometrial and uterine cancer
- Reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cyst formation
- Lowers the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Who should not take this medication?
- People with allergies or hypersensitivity to Kariva ingredients
- People who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- People with vascular problems (blood clots or stroke)
- People with heart disease
- People with breast cancer or other hormonal cancers
- People with high blood pressure
- Those who have undiagnosed vaginal or uterine bleeding
- People with liver disease
- Those taking hepatitis C medication: Ombitasvir, Paritaprevir, Ritonavir, with or without Dasabuvir, and Tranexamic Acid
- Smokers over 35 years old
Tell your healthcare provider about any medicines you use and your full medical history.
How do you take this medication?
Take one pill a day, at the same time every day. Use a timer or alarm to help you remember.
What happens if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, it’s possible to get pregnant. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, and use back-up birth control (like condoms) in the meantime. If you miss more than two pills, ask your medical provider for guidance.
What happens if I take too much?
If you take too much of this medicine, it can cause nausea or unusual bleeding. Always follow your licensed provider’s advice.
If you’ve taken too much of your birth control prescription, call your healthcare provider or local poison control center (800-222-1222) immediately.
Can I get Kariva (Desogestrel / Ethinyl Estradiol and Ethinyl Estradiol) online?
Yes! Just complete a Dr. B health questionnaire. A licensed medical provider will review your health history and, if appropriate, send an online prescription or refill to your pharmacy.
Medical information reviewed by Dr. Sudip Bose
Sudip Bose, MD is a world-leading emergency medicine physician, combat veteran, professor, and entrepreneur. With a wide variety of experience, Dr. Bose is focused on endeavors with large-scale health and educational impact. He founded The Battle Continues, a nonprofit assisting veterans with healthcare needs. Dr. Bose is also a clinical professor at Texas Tech and University of Illinois College of Medicine. He is a graduate of the honors program at Northwestern University, where he continued his medical school education at The Feinberg School of Medicine.
Some people have side effects while using this medicine, especially in the first few months. These usually get better as your body adjusts. You might experience:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Spotting between periods
- Breast tenderness
- Weight changes
- Increased blood pressure
Be alert to signs of a more severe reaction. This could include dizziness, confusion, new or unusually bad headaches or blurred vision. Let your health provider know if you have any concerns or get emergency medical help right away.