What to Expect While Taking Amethyst
Amethyst is a generic version of Lybrel®, a drug that has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In the studies for most medications, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and then compared to those that occur in another group of people not taking the medicine (they take a placebo that does not contain active ingredients).
As a result, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. However, it is not possible to use a placebo in clinical trials for contraceptives, as this would lead to many unintentional pregnancies.
Because it is difficult to obtain much information about possible side effects from studies that do not use a placebo, only vague information is available about potential Amethyst side effects. In fact, the side effects listed in the prescribing information are actually possible with all birth control pills in general, not necessarily just Amethyst. Some of the common reactions include but are not limited to:
- Breast tenderness and enlargement
- Changes in your eyes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses
- Headaches (although sometimes birth control pills improve headaches)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Acne (although many women find that birth control pills actually improve acne)
- Changes in sex drive.
You will not have a regular, scheduled monthly period while taking Amethyst. However, you will probably have some bleeding and spotting at irregular intervals. Almost all women will have irregular bleeding and spotting when first starting the drug. This tends to improve over time. In one study, after 13 months of taking Amethyst, 20 percent of women only had spotting, 21 percent had full bleeding (with or without spotting), and 59 percent had stopped bleeding and spotting altogether.
For many women, this unpredictable bleeding and spotting is bothersome enough to stop taking Amethyst. Keep in mind that it probably will improve, although some women will continue to spot and bleed.