There are several reported side effects associated with taking the Apri® birth control pill. The most common Apri® side effects are abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, and nausea. Many patients may also experience headache and a stuffy or runny nose. These symptoms are generally not serious, but should be discussed with a doctor if they become severe.
Other common Apri® side effects include weight gain and bloat, stomach cramps, and changes in appetite. There may be swelling or tenderness of the breast, uncharacteristic and persistent tiredness, and vaginal discharge or itching. Some patients may also experience an increased sensitivity to sunlight. While these Apri® side effects are not severe, they should be discussed with a doctor.
More serious Apri® side effects should receive immediate medical care. Bloody urine, diarrhea, or vomiting are all severe potential effects from taking the drug. Fever, chills, shortness of breath, and dark urine should be reported to a doctor.
Other severe side effects from taking Apri® include pains on the groin, calves, or chest. Some patients may also develop lumps in the breast. Patients may also experience changes in the amount of urine, chest pain, or a sore throat that does not go away. An allergic reaction, which can include swelling in the face, breathing problems, itching, hives, or a tight sensation in the chest, is also considered to be serious.
There are also several potential long term Apri® side effects. These conditions can affect users of this particular drug, and oral contraceptives in general. They include pulmonary embolism, cerebral hemorrhage or thrombosis, hypertension, and gallbladder disease. Some patients may also experience venous thrombosis, myocardial infarction, or benign liver tumors as a result of taking the drug.
Women who smoke or are over 35 can increase their risk of heart attack, stroke, or blood clots if they take Apri®. Doctors may advise against taking the drug if the patient has a history of circulation problems, liver disease, high blood pressure, or migraine headaches. Previous conditions such as liver, uterine, or breast cancer may also make taking the drug too risky. Apri® can cause birth defects. Women who have recently given birth or who are pregnant are advised not to take the drug.
Apri® is the product name for ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel. It consists of a mixture of female hormones that halt ovulation. The drug is marketed under several other names, including Cesia®, Cyclessa®, Desogen®, Kariva®, Mircette®, Ortho-Cept®, Reclipsen®, Solia®, and Velivet®.