Problems With Ocella

Common side effects of Ocella™ (drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol) include breast pain, headaches, and menstrual problems or changes. However, most women are able to take this drug safely; if side effects do occur, they tend to be mild and easy to treat.
Keep in mind that serious reactions are always a possibility. As with other combined hormonal contraceptives, Ocella increases the risk of certain problems, such as blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. It can also make certain conditions (like gallbladder disease) worse.
Unlike traditional birth control pills, Ocella uses a progesterone (drospirenone) that is closely related to spironolactone, a medication used as a diuretic ("water pill"). Drospirenone has anti-androgenic activity, which means that it works against testosterone and other "male" hormones. Drospirenone may increase the level of potassium in your blood, which can be a problem for some women.
Because Ocella may not be the best choice for everyone, it's important to tell your healthcare provider if you have any allergies, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have high blood pressure or other medical conditions before taking it.
(For a more in-depth discussion of the problems that can occur with this drug, click Precautions and Warnings With Ocella and Ocella Side Effects.)
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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