"Nov. 20, 2012 -- Oral contraceptives should be made available without a prescription to reduce unintended pregnancies, according to a newly published opinion by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Apri Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Apri (desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol) is used as contraception to prevent pregnancy. It contains a combination of female hormones that prevent ovulation. This medication is available in generic form. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, headache, stomach cramping/bloating, dizziness, vaginal discomfort/irritation, increased vaginal fluids, or breast tenderness/enlargement. Acne may improve or get worse. Vaginal bleeding between periods (spotting) or missed/irregular periods may occur, especially during the first few months of use.
The dosage of the Apri Tablet 28-Day Regimen is one rose-colored tablet daily for 21 days, then one white tablet daily for 7 days, taken without interruption. After 28 tablets have been taken, a new course is started. Apri may interact with acetaminophen, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), antibiotics, phenylbutazone, St. John's wort, seizure medicines, barbiturates, or HIV medicines. Tell your doctor all medications you use. Apri must not be used during pregnancy. If you have just given birth or had a pregnancy loss/abortion after the first 3 months, consult your doctor about birth control, and find out when it is safe to use birth control containing estrogen, such as this medication. This medication passes into breast milk. This may affect milk production and may have harmful effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Our Apri (desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Apri in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
- a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches;
- nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
- a breast lump; or
- symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes).
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps;
- breast pain, tenderness, or swelling;
- freckles or darkening of facial skin;
- increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair;
- changes in weight or appetite;
- problems with contact lenses;
- vaginal itching or discharge;
- changes in your menstrual periods, decreased sex drive; or
- headache, nervousness, dizziness, tired feeling.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Apri (Desogestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets) »
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Apri FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
An increased risk of the following serious adverse reactions has been associated with the use of oral contraceptives (see WARNINGS section):
- Thrombophlebitis and venous thrombosis with or without embolism
- Arterial thromboembolism
- Pulmonary embolism
- Myocardial infarction
- Cerebral hemorrhage
- Cerebral thrombosis
- Gallbladder disease
- Hepatic adenomas or benign liver tumors
The following adverse reactions have been reported in patients receiving oral contraceptives and are believed to be drug-related:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal cramps and bloating)
- Breakthrough bleeding
- Change in menstrual flow
- Temporary infertility after discontinuation of treatment
- Melasma which may persist
- Breast changes: tenderness, enlargement, secretion
- Change in weight (increase or decrease)
- Change in cervical erosion and secretion
- Diminution in lactation when given immediately postpartum
- Cholestatic jaundice
- Rash (allergic)
- Mental depression
- Reduced tolerance to carbohydrates
- Vaginal candidiasis
- Change in corneal curvature (steepening)
- Intolerance to contact lenses
The following adverse reactions have been reported in users of oral contraceptives and the association has been neither confirmed nor refuted:
- Pre-menstrual syndrome
- Changes in appetite
- Cystitis-like syndrome
- Loss of scalp hair
- Erythema multiforme
- Erythema nodosum
- Hemorrhagic eruption
- Impaired renal function
- Hemolytic uremic syndrome
- Changes in libido
- Budd-Chiari Syndrome
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Apri (Desogestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets) »
Additional Apri Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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