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Ortho-Novum Side Effects

Headaches, changes in sex drive, and breast tenderness are some of the more common side effects reported with birth control pills, such as Ortho-Novum. Reactions such as these generally improve or go away completely within a few months, but some require immediate medical attention. If you experience any serious side effects, such as chest pain, migraines, or depression, contact your healthcare provider right away.

An Introduction to Ortho-Novum Side Effects

As with any medicine, Ortho-Novum® can cause side effects. However, not all women who use the drug 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 are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. Often, many of the bothersome 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 Ortho-Novum. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
 

Issues With the "Pill" and Clinical Studies

In 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 receives the actual medication, while another group is given a placebo (a "sugar pill" that looks just like the actual medication, but does not contain any 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. As a result, 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 usually ethical to use a placebo in clinical trials for contraceptives, as this would lead to many unintentional pregnancies.
 
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Ortho-Novum Birth Control

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