Xulane: Newly Approved Generic Ortho Evra Patch

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Posted on

As of April 16, 2014, the FDA has approved Xulane by Mylan Pharmaceuticals as a generic alternative for the Ortho Evra contraceptive patch.

What is Ortho Evra (Xulane)?
Xulane is a form of birth control indicated for the prevention of pregnancy. It is a topical patch that provides pregnancy prevention through skin absorption.

How is this medication usually used?
Xulane is a topical patch that is to be applied and changed once-weekly for 3 weeks then allowing a patch-free week on week 4. The patch free week will produce a period.

Where can the patch be applied?

The patch can be applied to the stomach, upper outer arm, buttocks, or back.

Can I apply the patch in the same place each week?

NO. The patch must be rotated to a different location than the previous patch.

Important information for applying the patch:

What to do it if patch is partially or fully detached:

If the patch becomes partially detached press down firmly on the patch with the palm of your hand for 10 seconds, also making sure to run your fingers over the surface of the patch and smooth out any wrinkles.

If the patch becomes fully detached and does not completely re-adhere and stick to skin, you must remove it and apply a replacement patch. The non-sticky patch should NOT be taped or wrapped for it to remain in place.

How do I go about getting a replacement patch?

A replacement patch will require a new prescription from your doctor.

Once you notice that you cannot salvage your current patch, I would recommend placing a call into your doctor’s office and explain the situation at hand. The doctor can then either call, fax, or electronically prescribe a replacement patch to your pharmacy. The replacement patch is a box that contains 1 single patch rather than your monthly box of 3 patches.

It is important to obtain a replacement patch rather than use one of the patches from your current box because you will run out of your weekly patches. This will cause a “refill too soon” issue from your insurance if you try to go to the pharmacy and refill the medication.

A “refill too soon” basically means that your insurance knows how much medication you have received, and exactly when it is time to refill the medication. Because they are aware of these details and do not factor in for mistakes (such as patches falling off) they will not pay for another refill before it is actually due.

Will my insurance cover the replacement patch?

Maybe. Depending on how your individual insurance plan is set-up, there may be an allowance for a replacement patch.

However, I would recommend calling the member service number on the back of your prescription insurance card before going into the pharmacy to find out if it will be covered so that there are no surprises once you get there.

If it is covered, you will be responsible for the co-pay that your insurance sets for you.

If it is not covered, you can always use a discount to help alleviate up to 80% of the cost.

How do I dispose of the used patch?

Because you will be changing your patch once weekly, this process should become second nature after awhile.

The old patch, once removed, should be folded together, placed into a child-resistant container if possible, and discarded into the trash.

The patch should NOT be flushed down the toilet.

Drugs featured in this story

Filed under