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Is Amethyst Dangerous?

Specific Amethyst Precautions and Warnings

Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this medication include the following:
 
  • Amethyst is taken continuously, with no hormone-free periods. Compared to traditional birth control pills, it provides 13 additional weeks of hormones per year. It is not known if this increases the risk of any of the problems that can occur with birth control pills.
     
  • Combined oral contraceptives, including Amethyst, increase the risk of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. These risks are minimal for healthy, young nonsmokers. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or chest pain.
     
  • Even though you will not have a regular monthly period while taking Amethyst, you will likely have some bleeding and spotting from time to time. This bleeding may be inconvenient and unpredictable. Keep taking the drug as usual, but make sure to contact your healthcare provider if the bleeding is heavy or prolonged.
     
  • This medicine does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Amethyst.
     
  • Smoking cigarettes greatly increases the risk of serious Amethyst side effects, such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
     
  • Combined oral contraceptives may also slightly increase the risk of breast cancer or cervical cancer, although this is an unresolved and controversial issue. However, combined oral contraceptives seem to help protect women against ovarian and uterine cancer.
     
  • Birth control pills are sometimes not the best contraceptive choice for obese women. This form of contraception may be less effective in these women, and obese women may have a higher risk for some of the serious side effects.
     
  • Oral contraceptives increase the risk of benign (noncancerous) liver tumors. In rare cases, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
     
  • Hormonal contraceptives can make gallbladder disease worse. If you have had a problem with your gallbladder, Amethyst may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
     
  • This medicine may increase blood sugar levels, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any sudden vision changes, as this may be a sign of a blood clot in the eyes (a possible side effect of Amethyst and other hormonal contraceptives).
     
  • Hormonal contraceptives can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
     
  • If you experience a migraine for the first time, or have changes in your migraines if you have had them before, while taking Amethyst, please contact your healthcare provider.
     
  • This drug can change your menstrual bleeding patterns. Some women have breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between periods), while others may not have a period at all. It is normal to have shorter and lighter periods while using Amethyst. If you notice any unusual changes in your bleeding patterns, let your healthcare provider know. If you miss a period, you should make sure you are not pregnant.
     
  • Amethyst can affect your cholesterol. Your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start taking it, especially if you already have high cholesterol.
     
  • Sometimes, hormonal contraceptives can make depression worse. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop new or worsening depression symptoms.
     
  • Occasionally, Amethyst (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
     
  • This product can react with a number of different medications (see Drug Interactions With Amethyst for more information).
     
  • Amethyst is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be used during pregnancy (see Lybrel and Pregnancy, since Amethyst is a generic version of Lybrel).
     
  • Contraceptive hormones do pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Lybrel and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives are not usually recommended for breastfeeding women.
     
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