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Sprintec Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Sprintec (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol) is a combination of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone used as contraception to prevent pregnancy. It is also used to treat severe acne. Sprintec is available in generic form. Common side effects of Sprintec include nausea (especially when you first start taking Sprintec), vomiting, headache, stomach cramping/bloating, changes in weight or appetite, dizziness, vaginal discomfort/irritation/itching, increased vaginal discharge, breast tenderness/enlargement, nipple discharge, freckles or darkening of facial skin, increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair, problems with contact lenses, or decreased sex drive. Acne may improve or get worse. Bleeding between menstrual periods (spotting) or missed/irregular periods may occur, especially during the first few months of use.
Sprintec is a 28-day regimen of tablets, with 21 days of active (containing hormones) tablets, and 7 days of inert tablets, taken as prescribed. Sprintec may interact with phenylbutazone, St. John's wort, antibiotics, seizure medicines, barbiturates, or HIV medicines. Some drugs can make ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Discuss all medications you are taking with your doctor. Sprintec must not be used during pregnancy. This medication passes into breast milk, may affect milk production, and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Our Sprintec (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
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.
Sprintec in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using birth control pills and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden and severe 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;
- sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;
- pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
- a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches;
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, 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, tired feeling, mood changes).
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild nausea (especially when you first start taking this medicine), vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps;
- breast tenderness or swelling, nipple discharge;
- 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; or
- changes in your menstrual periods, decreased sex drive.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Sprintec (Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Sprintec Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: lumps in the breast, mental/mood changes (such as new/worsening depression), severe stomach/abdominal pain, unusual changes in vaginal bleeding (such as continuous spotting, sudden heavy bleeding, missed periods), dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
This medication may rarely cause serious (sometimes fatal) problems from blood clots (such as deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke). Get medical help right away if any of these side effects occur: chest/jaw/left arm pain, confusion, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, slurred speech, sudden shortness of breath/rapid breathing, unusual headaches (including headaches with vision changes/lack of coordination, worsening of migraines, sudden/very severe headaches), unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, vision problems/changes (such as double vision, partial/complete blindness).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Sprintec (Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Sprintec 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 Sprintec (Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets)
Additional Sprintec Information
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