Loestrin Fe Side Effects

Headaches, bloating, and nausea are some of the common side effects of birth control pills (including Loestrin Fe). Side effects are usually minor and either don't require treatment or are easily treated. However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you develop more serious side effects of Loestrin Fe, such as chest pain, migraines, or signs of an allergic reaction.

An Introduction to Loestrin Fe Side Effects

As with any medicine, Loestrin® Fe (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) may cause side effects. However, not all women who use 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 are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Loestrin Fe. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Loestrin Fe side effects with you. Loestrin Fe is not the same as plain Loestrin® or Loestrin® 24 Fe. The information in this article does not apply to either of these medications.)

Clinical Studies on Contraceptives

Before medications are approved, they must undergo clinical studies to show that they are both safe and effective. In clinical studies for most medications, one group of people receives the medication, while another group is given a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients). Usually, the people are not told if they were given the real medication or the placebo.
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 whether they are actual side effects of the medication. However, it is not possible to use a placebo in clinical trials for contraceptives, as this would lead to many unintentional pregnancies. Such studies are considered unethical.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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