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Precautions and Warnings With Amethia

Specific Amethia Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this contraceptive include the following:
  • Even though you will have fewer periods while taking Amethia (only four periods per year), many women have breakthrough bleeding between periods while taking this form of birth control pill. This bleeding may be inconvenient and unpredictable. Keep taking the medication as usual, but contact your healthcare provider if the bleeding is heavy.
  • Combined oral contraceptives, including Amethia, increase the risk for blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. These risks are minimal for healthy, young nonsmokers. However, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or chest pain.
  • Amethia does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Amethia.
  • Smoking cigarettes greatly increases the risk for serious Amethia side effects, such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
  • Combined oral contraceptives may also slightly increase the risk for breast cancer or cervical cancer, although this is an unresolved and controversial issue. However, combined oral contraceptives seem to help protect women against ovarian and uterine cancer.
  • Birth control pills are sometimes not the best contraceptive choice for obese women. They may be less effective in these women, and obese women may have a higher risk for some of the serious side effects of Amethia.
  • Oral contraceptives can increase the risk of benign (noncancerous) liver tumors. In rare cases, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
  • Hormonal contraceptives, including Amethia, can make gallbladder disease worse. Therefore, if you have had a problem with your gallbladder, Amethia may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
  • This birth control pill may increase blood sugar levels, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely in this case. Tell him or her 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 Amethia and other hormonal contraceptives).
  • Contact your healthcare provider if you are taking Amethia and you experience a migraine for the first time, or if you have any changes in your migraines if you have had them before.
  • Amethia 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 the drug. If you notice any unusual changes in your bleeding patterns, however, let your healthcare provider know. If you miss a period, you should make sure you are not pregnant.
  • Occasionally, Amethia (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
  • Amethia is a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that you should not intentionally use it during pregnancy (see Seasonique and Pregnancy, as Amethia is a generic version of Seasonique).
  • Contraceptive hormones, such as the ones in Amethia, 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 Seasonique and Breastfeeding, as Amethia is a generic version of Seasonique). Combined hormonal contraceptives like Amethia are not usually recommended for breastfeeding women.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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