Precautions and Warnings With Apri

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Apri

Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Apri include the following:
  • Make sure you understand exactly how to take Apri (including when and how to start it and what to do if you miss any pills). When taken correctly, Apri is very effective at preventing pregnancy. However, it becomes much less effective if it is not taken correctly.
  • Combined oral contraceptives (including Apri) increase the risk of life-threatening problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. The risk is minimal for healthy, young, nonsmoking women. Make sure to 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 serious Apri side effects. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
  • Apri does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Apri.
  • Apri can interact with a number of different medications (see Drug Interactions With Apri for more information).
  • Combined oral contraceptives may slightly increase the risk of 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.
  • Oral contraceptives increase the risk of developing benign (non-cancerous) liver tumors. Very rarely, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
  • Hormonal contraceptives (such as Apri) can make gallbladder disease worse. If you have had a problem with your gallbladder, Apri may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
  • Apri may increase blood sugar levels, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely. 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 Apri and other hormonal contraceptives).
  • Hormonal contraceptives (including Apri) can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
  • Apri 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 Apri. 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.
  • Apri can affect your cholesterol. Your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start Apri, 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 depression symptoms.
  • Occasionally, Apri (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
  • Apri is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be used during pregnancy (see Desogen and Pregnancy).
  • Contraceptive hormones (such as the ones in Apri) do pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Desogen and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives (such as Apri) are not usually recommended for women who are breastfeeding.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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