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Ortho-Cyclen Side Effects

Bloating, breakthrough bleeding and spotting, breast tenderness, and headaches are some of the common side effects of birth control pills (such as Ortho-Cyclen). Side effects can be bothersome but are not dangerous in most cases. However, there are some potentially serious Ortho-Cyclen side effects that should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately, including chest pain, sudden loss of vision, and breast lumps.

An Introduction to Ortho-Cyclen Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Ortho-Cyclen® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol); however, not every woman 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 Ortho-Cyclen. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Ortho-Cyclen side effects with you. Ortho-Cyclen is equivalent to Estarylla™, Mono-Linyah™, MonoNessa®, Previfem®, and Sprintec® birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to each of these medications.)

Birth Control Pills and Clinical Trials

Before medications are approved in the United States, they must undergo several clinical studies to show that they are both safe and effective. In the clinical studies for most medications, 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 told if they are taking the real medication or the placebo.
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 whether they are actual side effects of the medication. However, it is not usually possible to use a placebo in clinical trials for contraceptives, as this would lead to many unintentional pregnancies.
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Information on Ortho-Cyclen

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