STD Home > Loestrin Side Effects
Bloating, breakthrough bleeding, breast tenderness, and headaches are some of the common side effects of birth control pills such as Loestrin. Side effects can be bothersome, but are generally not dangerous. However, there are some potentially serious side effects of Loestrin that should be reported to a healthcare provider right away, including shortness of breath, chest pain, or sudden loss of vision.
An Introduction to Loestrin Side EffectsAs with any medicine, side effects are possible with Loestrin® (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol); however, not all women who use the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most 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. Often, many of the bothersome Loestrin side effects improve (or even completely go away) within the first few cycles of use.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Loestrin. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Loestrin side effects with you. Loestrin is not the same as Loestrin® Fe or Loestrin® 24 Fe. The information in this article does not apply to either of these medications.)
Problems With "The Pill" and Clinical StudiesIn the United States, medications must undergo clinical studies before they are approved for use. For most medications, these studies are "placebo-controlled," which means that one group of people is given the actual medication, while another group is given a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients). The people are not usually told if they were given the real medication or the placebo (this is known as "blinding").
The side effects in both groups are carefully documented and compared. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and if they are actual side effects of the medication. However, it is not possible to use a placebo in clinical trials for contraceptives, as this would lead to many unintentional pregnancies.