An Introduction to Ortho Evra Side Effects
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Ortho Evra®
(norelgestromin/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.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Ortho Evra. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
Common Side Effects of Ortho Evra
In clinical studies for most medications, one group of people receives the actual medication, while another group is given a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients). 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 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. Therefore, some of the "side effects" of Ortho Evra may not really be true side effects, but there is no way of knowing, because the studies did not use a placebo.
In these studies, the most common Ortho Evra side effects (occurring in 9 to 22 percent of women) included:
- Breast symptoms (such as breast tenderness or swelling)
- Skin reactions at the site where the patch was applied
- Upper respiratory tract infections (such as the common cold)
- Menstrual cramps
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain).