As a means of preventing accidental pregnancies, oral contraceptives, like Apri Birth Control, are very effective when taken correctly. However, along with the high levels of effectiveness often comes a long list of side effects that women who use the medication need to be fully aware of before starting their birth control regimen. Be certain to use a back-up contraceptive until your body has had an opportunity to adjust to the medication.
Preexisting Health Conditions
There are many medical conditions that can increase the severity of the Apri birth control side effects; it is important that patients disclose any prior medical conditions to their physician so that they can avoid a serious and life-threatening complication.
- Blood Clots: blood clots have long been known to be a side effect of birth control pills; however, if you have already experienced a blood clot without currently taking a birth control medication then you are at an increased chance of developing a repeat blood clot. Deep vein thrombophlebitis (DVT’s) are blood clots that can break apart and travel to the lungs, heart, or head – causing a life-threatening condition.
- Cancer: patients who have been diagnosed with and treated for various forms of cancers that are affected by hormones, including breast and uterine cancers, should not take birth control pills.
- Pregnancy: patients who are pregnant should not take birth control pills as it can jeopardize the health of both the fetus and the mother.
Life-Threatening Side Effects
There are several possible side effects of Apri birth control that require emergency medical treatment if you experience any of them.
- Sudden and persistent swelling in your feet, ankles, hands, and wrists.
- Sweating accompanied by chest pain that radiates out into your arm, shoulder, and back.
- Nausea and vomiting accompanied by fever, jaundice, loss of appetite, and stomach pain.
- Rapid onset sensations of being numb or weak on one side of your body.
- Shortness of breath – especially when accompanied by any of the above side effects.
- Suicidal thoughts and feelings – this is a much more serious concern for patients who are already on an antidepressant medication.
Less Severe Side Effects
While all side effects of Apri birth control should be taken seriously, the following side effects are less severe and may subside after the first two weeks of being on the medication.
- Tenderness in the breast, often accompanied by swelling
- Menstrual changes
- Increase in appetite accompanied with a change in weight
- Mild nausea and often stomach cramps
- An increase in feelings of depression and anxiety
Remember that you may experience a side-effect not listed above so be sure to tell your doctor if you experience anything that strays from the norm for you and your body.
As with any new prescription medication it is important that you disclose your current and prior medical conditions to your prescribing physician. If you are currently taking any other medications – both prescription and over the counter – be certain to provide your physician with this information as it could dramatically decrease the effectiveness of Apri birth control.