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Specific Safety Concerns With Ogestrel

Specific Ogestrel Warnings and Precautions

Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Ogestrel include the following:
  • Combined oral contraceptives, including Ogestrel, can cause life-threatening conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. The risk is small for healthy, young, nonsmoking women. However, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or chest pain. Smoking cigarettes greatly increases the risk of these serious Ogestrel side effects. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
  • Ogestrel contains a higher dose of estrogen than most other birth control pills that are currently on the market. This high-estrogen dose increases the risk of dangerous side effects, such as blood clots and strokes, since estrogen is responsible for these problems. You should only take the drug if your healthcare provider thinks that it is the best option for your situation. For instance, high-estrogen birth control pills may be useful for women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding or heavy bleeding between periods while taking regular birth control pills.
  • Like all birth control pills, Ogestrel does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV or AIDS. As a result, it is often a good idea to use condoms in addition to Ogestrel in order to prevent the transmission of STDs.
  • Ogestrel is effective at preventing pregnancy when taken correctly. However, it becomes much less effective if it is taken incorrectly. Most cases of accidental pregnancy while taking "the pill" occur when it is not taken correctly. Make sure you understand exactly how to take Ogestrel, including how and when to start it and what to do if you miss any pills.
  • Ogestrel can interact with a number of different medications, possibly increasing the risk of unintentional pregnancy (see Ogestrel Drug Interactions).
  • Combined oral contraceptives may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer or cervical cancer, although this is an unresolved issue. However, combined oral contraceptives seem to help protect women against ovarian and uterine cancer.
  • 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. Therefore, if you have had a problem with your gallbladder, Ogestrel may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
  • Ogestrel may increase blood sugar levels, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely in this case. 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 Ogestrel and other hormonal contraceptives).
  • Hormonal contraceptives, including Ogestrel, can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
  • The medication 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 Ogestrel. However, 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.
  • Ogestrel can affect your cholesterol. Your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start 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 symptoms of depression while taking Ogestrel.
  • Occasionally, Ogestrel (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
  • Ogestrel is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be used during pregnancy (see Ogestrel and Pregnancy).
  • Contraceptive hormones, such as the ones in Ogestrel, do pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the contraceptive (see Ogestrel and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives are not usually recommended for women who are breastfeeding.
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