Loestrin 24 Fe Side Effects
Menstrual cramps, acne, and weight gain are some of the common side effects that have been reported with Loestrin 24 Fe. In most cases, problems with this form of birth control are minor and easy to treat. However, some side effects (such as chest pain, depression, or migraines) are potentially serious and require medical attention.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Loestrin® 24 Fe (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol); however, not everyone 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. Because Loestrin 24 Fe contains a low dose of hormones, compared to older birth control pills, in theory, side effects may be less common with Loestrin 24 Fe.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Loestrin 24 Fe. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Loestrin 24 Fe side effects with you.)
In 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 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 how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. However, it is not possible to use a placebo in clinical trials for contraceptives, as this would lead to many unintentional pregnancies.
It is difficult to obtain much information about side effects from studies that do not use a placebo (since there is no way of knowing if any particular problem is actually a side effect of the medication). Therefore, although the following side effects were commonly reported in clinical studies of Loestrin 24 Fe, it is difficult to know if they are "true" side effects or not. These common side effects (occurring in 2 to 6 percent of women) included:
- Vaginal yeast infections
- Upper respiratory tract infections (such as the common cold) or sinus infections
- Menstrual cramps
- Breast tenderness
- Abnormal pap smear results
- Bladder infection (urinary tract infection, or UTI)
- Mood swings
- Weight gain (see Loestrin 24 Fe and Weight Gain)
- Bleeding or spotting between periods (known as breakthrough bleeding).