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Portia Side Effects

Common Side Effects of Portia

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), and only vague information is available about Portia side effects. In fact, the side effects listed in the prescribing information of Portia are actually side effects of all birth control pills in general (not necessarily of Portia in particular). Some of the common bothersome (but usually not dangerous) side effects of birth control pills include, but are not limited to:
  • Breakthrough bleeding and spotting between periods (especially for the first few cycles)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Changes in your eyes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses
  • Bloating
  • Breast tenderness and swelling
  • Headaches (although birth control pills can improve headaches in some women)
  • Acne (although birth control pills can also improve acne)
  • Changes in sex drive (typically a decrease in sex drive).

Portia Clinical Studies

Medications must undergo clinical studies before they are approved in the United States. With the 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 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. This way, 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, since this would lead to many unintentional pregnancies.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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