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Birth Control Patch Side Effects

Some of the most common side effects of the birth control patch include headaches, nausea, and skin reactions at the site where the patch was applied. You should seek immediate medical attention if you develop more serious side effects, such as migraines, chest pain, or signs of an allergic reaction.

An Introduction to Birth Control Patch Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with the birth control patch (norelgestromin/ethinyl estradiol). However, not everyone who uses the contraceptive will experience side effects. In fact, most women tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with the birth control patch. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of side effects with you.)
 

Side Effects to Report

There are a number of side effects with the birth control patch that you should report to your healthcare provider. These include, but are not limited to:
 
  • A severe or persistent skin reaction where the patch was applied
  • Signs of a blood clot in the leg, such as pain in the calf, leg cramps, and leg or foot swelling
  • Signs of a blood clot in the lung, such as shortness of breath, sharp chest pain, or coughing up blood
  • Chest pain or heaviness, which may be signs of a heart attack
  • Sudden loss of vision or vision changes, which can be a sign of a blood clot in the eye
  • Signs of a stroke, such as vision or speech changes, weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, and a severe headache
  • Signs of liver damage, such as yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice), dark urine, and upper right abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Depression
  • Migraines
  • Breast lumps
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Toxic shock symptoms (high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, and a rash)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including an unexplained rash, hives, itching, unexplained swelling, wheezing, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
     
Pregnancy and Pain

Birth Control Patch Information

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