MonoNessa and Sprintec are two types of birth control pills. Each is a generic version of Ortho-Cyclen, a brand-name birth control pill. This article talks about how these two drugs are alike and how they’re different. This information may help you decide if MonoNessa or Sprintec is right for you.

Because they’re generics of the same medication, MonoNessa and Sprintec contain the same drugs in the same strengths. That means they have the same use, dosage, and storage needs.

Use

MonoNessa and Sprintec are prescribed to lower the chance of pregnancy in women of childbearing age. Both of these drugs contain the same amounts of two female hormones: ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen) and norgestimate (a progestin). These hormones help prevent pregnancy by:

  • stopping your ovulation (the release of an egg from one of your ovaries)
  • causing other changes in your cervix and uterus that make it harder for pregnancy to take place

MonoNessa and Sprintec do not protect you against HIV infection or other sexually transmitted infections.

Dosage

MonoNessa and Sprintec are tablets that you take by mouth. They come in blister packs with 28 tablets per pack. In each pack, 21 tablets contain hormones and the rest do not. For each cycle, you take one tablet per day for 28 days.

MonoNessa

  • Take one blue tablet (has hormones) daily for 21 days.
  • Then take one green tablet (doesn’t have hormones) daily for 7 days.

Sprintec

  • Take one blue tablet (has hormones) daily for 21 days.
  • Then take one white tablet (doesn’t have hormones) daily for 7 days.

Storage

You should store the MonoNessa and Sprintec blister packs at room temperature.

Because MonoNessa and Sprintec are generic drugs, you’ll probably find them at a lower cost than their brand-name version. Also, your local pharmacy likely carries them.

Generic drugs are typically cheaper than brand-name drugs. So, insurance companies cover generics more often than they cover brand-name drugs. That means MonoNessa and Sprintec are more likely to be covered than Ortho-Cyclen, their brand-name version. Even so, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider to see if they cover these drugs.

Generic drugs also tend to have a lower cash price than brand-name drugs. The cash price is what you would pay without insurance. So, whether you have insurance or not, both MonoNessa and Sprintec would likely be cheaper than Ortho-Cyclen.

All birth control pills, including MonoNessa and Sprintec, can cause side effects. Some of these are more common and may go away after a few days. Others are more serious and can require medical care. You should consider all side effects when deciding if a drug may work for you.

Common side effects

MonoNessa and Sprintec have similar common side effects. These include:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • bleeding between menstrual periods
  • weight gain
  • breast tenderness
  • headache
  • trouble wearing contact lenses (they may not fit as well)

Serious side effects

MonoNessa and Sprintec also have similar serious side effects. These serious side effects are rare in healthy women. They include:

  • blood clots
  • high blood pressure
  • gallbladder disease
  • liver tumors (rare; may or may not be cancerous)

An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. An interaction can be harmful or keep the drug from working well.

Certain drugs may interact with MonoNessa, Sprintec, or other birth control pills. Examples of drugs that may interact with MonoNessa or Sprintec include:

  • tuberculosis drugs such as rifabutin or rifampin
  • levothyroxine (thyroid medication)
  • HIV drugs such as nelfinavir or ritonavir
  • anti-seizure drugs such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, or lamotrigine
  • antibiotics such as clarithromycin or erythromycin
  • cholesterol drugs such as atorvastatin or rosuvastatin
  • antifungal drugs such as itraconazole, voriconazole, or fluconazole
  • pain drugs such as morphine or acetaminophen
  • drugs to prevent organ transplant rejection such as mycophenolate

These other drugs can increase breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between your periods). They can also make your birth control pills less effective in preventing pregnancy. If you take any of these drugs, you may need to use an additional birth control method.

To find out if MonoNessa or Sprintec might interact with another drug you’re taking, talk with your doctor. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking.

You and your doctor need to consider your overall health when deciding if a drug is a good choice for you. If you have a certain condition or disease, a particular drug could make it worse. MonoNessa and Sprintec would have the same effects on any medical conditions you have.

These pills are safe for use in many women. However, you should avoid them in some cases.

Don’t use MonoNessa or Sprintec if:

  • you’re pregnant or think you might be pregnant
  • you smoke and are older than 35 years of age

Also avoid MonoNessa or Sprintec if you have:

  • a history of blood clots
  • a history of stroke
  • a history of heart attack
  • certain heart valve problems or heart rhythm problems that can cause blood clots to form in your heart
  • a blood clotting problem that runs in your family and causes your blood to clot more than normal
  • high blood pressure that’s not controlled by medication
  • diabetes that has caused kidney, eye, nerve, or blood vessel damage
  • a history of severe migraine headaches
  • a history of breast cancer or any cancer that’s affected by female hormones
  • liver disease, including liver tumors
  • kidney disease
  • adrenal disease

Birth control pills may not be a good choice for you if you have or have had:

  • cholestasis of pregnancy (jaundice caused by pregnancy)
  • chloasma gravidarim (darkening of your skin during pregnancy)
  • hereditary angioedema, a rare but serious immune system problem that’s passed down in families

Finally, if you have a history of depression, talk with your doctor about whether MonoNessa or Sprintec is safe for you. If your doctor prescribes one of these birth control pills for you, watch your depression symptoms. If your depression comes back or gets worse, stop taking the pill and call your doctor.

MonoNessa and Sprintec work as well as most other birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. When they’re used correctly, about 1 out of 100 women may get pregnant during the first year of use.

Because MonoNessa and Sprintec tablets contain the same drugs in the same amounts, there are few differences between them. However, your insurance coverage could affect your decision, especially if your provider covers one of these drugs but not the other.

To help you decide if one of these pills is right for you, talk with your doctor. Review the information in this article, and ask any questions you have. Your doctor can help you choose a birth control pill that meets your health, cost, and other needs.