Kariva birth control prescription available online

Kariva birth control (desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is effective for preventing pregnancy. Get a new prescription or refill of Kariva today from a caring, board-certified primary care doctor online.*

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Helps to prevent ovulation

Available as a tablet

Combination pill that contains desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol

*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor’s discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how you can save up to 80% with our prescription discount card.

About Kariva birth control

Kariva is considered a combination birth control pill, which contains the hormones desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol, which prevent ovulation. Kariva also thickens the cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus.

Kariva is used to prevent pregnancy. Kariva is available only by prescription. It may be available in a generic formulation as desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol, as well as under different brand names. 

Kariva is prescribed as a tablet. It’s always important to follow the specific instructions on your prescription, as they can vary based on the formulation and dosage prescribed.

If you're prescribed Kariva, be sure to take the oral contraceptive as directed unless your doctor specifically tells you to stop. If you don’t adhere to your prescription, the birth control may not work as effectively to prevent pregnancy.

Kariva uses

There is one FDA-approved use for Kariva, but it may also be used off-label to treat other conditions. It’s also possible that your doctor may prescribe it for other reasons not listed here. If you have questions about why a medication is prescribed, ask your online doctor or pharmacist.

  • Pregnancy prevention

    Kariva is FDA-approved as a birth control. It contains two hormones, progestin (desogestrel) and estrogen (ethinyl estradiol), which prevent ovulation and thicken the cervical mucus. Like other oral contraceptives, Kariva does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or infections.

Kariva contraceptive pill side effects

The side effects associated with taking Kariva are typically mild. Most Kariva side effects are associated with gastrointestinal discomfort. Common side effects of Kariva may include:

    • Nausea

    • Breast tenderness

    • Breakthrough bleeding (spotting)

    Other side effects, which are less common but might be more severe, could include:

    • Signs of a blood clot (vision changes, chest pain, shortness of breath)

    • High blood pressure

    • Severe migraine headaches

    • Weight gain

    • Mood changes

    You should call your doctor if you notice any of these side effects, or if you develop any other new or concerning symptoms. The use of Kariva in children is not recommended before the first occurrence of their menstrual cycle.

How to take Kariva

Your pharmacist will provide you with instructions on how to take your Kariva prescription. Be sure to read your prescription label and follow the instructions. Call your doctor or pharmacy if you have any questions.

Desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol can come in different forms and doses, so be sure to follow the specific instructions on your prescription. The brand name Kariva has 21 active tablets of Ethinyl estradiol 0.02 mg and desogestrel 0.15 mg, 2 inactive tablets taken day 22-23, and 5 tablets of Ethinyl estradiol 0.01 mg taken days 24-28 of the month. You should take your first birth control pill on the first day of your period or the first Sunday after your period begins. You'll need to use a backup method, such as condoms or spermicide, to prevent sexually transmitted diseases or infections.

To achieve maximum contraceptive effectiveness, take one pill each day, no more than 24 hours apart. When the pill pack runs out, start a new pack the next day. Women taking oral contraceptives should tell their doctor if they're planning for major surgery.

What to avoid while taking Kariva

Kariva has many possible drug interactions. Don’t change what you are taking without checking with your doctor or pharmacist. That includes other medications or supplements, as well as over-the-counter drugs.

Possible drug interactions with Kariva include:

  • St. John's Wort

  • HIV/AIDs medicine

  • Seizure medications

  • Certain antibiotic or antifungal medications

  • Medicine used to treat hepatitis C

It is safe to drink alcohol while taking oral contraceptives. Talk to your doctor before consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Grapefruit may increase the plasma concentrations of Kariva (desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol).

Do not take birth control pills if you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Talk to your doctor before taking Kariva while breast-feeding. Patients discontinuing oral contraceptives should talk to their doctor before stopping the medication.

Medication alternatives to Kariva

If your healthcare provider prefers to put you on another treatment altogether, they may suggest other combination oral contraceptives or birth control in another drug class. Here are some common doctor-recommended alternatives based on your health issue:

Kariva prescription FAQs

  • How much does Kariva cost?

    Depending on your pharmacy, the brand name Kariva costs around $103 for 168 birth control pills without insurance. Fortunately, it’s significantly more affordable as the generic formulation. Also, many health insurance plans offer free or low-cost oral contraceptive formulations. If it's not covered under your insurance, our prescription discount card helps members save up to 80% on prescriptions.

  • Can you skip your period on Kariva?

    Yes, you can skip your period with Kariva. Instead of taking the blue pills at the end of your pill pack, start a new pack. Talk to your doctor before skipping your period while taking oral contraceptives.

  • How long does it take for Kariva contraception to kick in?

    Kariva (desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol) starts working right away if you take it within five days after starting your last period. If you start taking combined oral contraceptives after the fifth day of your cycle, you'll need to use a back-up method for seven days.

  • What are the blue pills in Kariva?

    The blue pills in your pill pack contain 0.01 mg ethinyl estradiol. You should take the blue pills during the week of your menstrual period.

  • Can you vape on Kariva?

    No, you should avoid vaping or smoking cigarettes while taking oral contraceptives.

  • How can I refill my Kariva prescription?

    To refill your Kariva prescription, book a virtual appointment with one of our top rated board-certified doctors. After reviewing your medical history, your doctor can send an electronic prescription to your local pharmacy.

  • Who should not take Kariva?

    To make sure oral contraceptive agents are safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

    • Cardiovascular disease risks, such as elevated blood pressure

    • History of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke

    • Recurrent abnormal vaginal bleeding

    • High cholesterol or triglycerides

    • Gallbladder disease

    • Kidney or liver disease

    • Migraine headaches

    • Breast cancer or higher breast cancer risk

    • Diabetes

    If you have other underlying risk factors for cardiovascular disease, you may require regular laboratory tests to make sure hormonal birth control is safe for you.

    When it comes to cerebrovascular diseases, oral contraceptives can lead to an increased lifetime relative risk of cerebrovascular events (blood clots, or strokes). In other words, the risk of cerebrovascular events after discontinuing oral contraceptives persists for several years.

    Women who are 35 years or older and who smoke should not use third-generation oral contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. Ask your doctor for medical advice about non-hormonal birth control.

  • What happens if I miss a dose of Kariva?

    If you miss an active pill, take two pills on the day you remember. Then, follow your regular dosing schedule for the rest of the pill pack.

    If you miss two active pills in a row on week 1 or 2, take two pills per day for two days in a row. Make sure to use back-up birth control for at least seven days following missed birth control pills.

  • What happens if I take too much Kariva?

    If you've taken too much Kariva, seek emergency medical attention or contact your local poison control center.

3 simple steps to request your Kariva prescription today 

Step 1

Book a Kariva prescription request appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your Kariva prescription.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3

Pick up your Kariva prescription.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Kariva prescription pricing details

How pricing works

To get a new or refill on your Kariva prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits.

Paying with insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • Cigna

Paying without insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

Book an appointment

If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.


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