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THE MINI PILL.

SIDE EFFECTS &  SAFETY INFO.

It’s the safer option for women who can’t use combined birth control (the pill, the ring and the patch). And just as reliable at preventing pregnancy. It can help to lighten or even stop periods as well, which some women prefer.

Even though the mini pill is generally very safe, there are some things to be aware of before you start taking it, and during use.

This includes:

  • side effects
  • conditions that mean you shouldn’t use it
  • and taking it with other medications.

Below you’ll find some generalised, helpful info on each.

But it isn’t comprehensive. 

The best place to find this info is in the patient leaflet that comes with your treatment. This will contain up-to-date information that relates to the specific pill you’re using.

Side effects of the mini pill.

 

It’s pretty common to get side effects when taking the pill. Most of the time, these will only last for a few weeks or a couple of months, and pass once your body has gotten used to the hormones in the pill you’re taking.

If you find that these persist, or you get any side effects that are a nuisance or cause discomfort, let your prescriber know. They may be able to suggest an alternative pill that doesn’t cause these effects. If you’re subscribed to a contraceptive treatment with EveAdam, you can do this by signing in to your account and sending the prescriber a message.

If you get any side effects that are serious or cause you concern, go to hospital right away or call 999. 

This includes any of the following:

    • Any signs of a blood clot in a leg (deep vein thrombosis or DVT): pain, redness or discolouration, tenderness, or feeling of heat or swelling in one or both legs. 
  • Any signs of a blood clot in a lung (pulmonary embolism or PE): shortness of breath; increased breathing rate; fast onset of a severe cough, with or without blood; pain the chest that gets worse with deeper breathing; dizziness or feeling faint; irregular or fast heartbeat; feeling weak or anxious.
  • Any signs of a blood clot in the eye (retinal thrombosis): loss of vision that occurs suddenly, reduced vision or blurred vision.
    • Any signs of a serious liver problem: yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice); darker urine; or itchy skin.
    • A lump in the breast or changes in breast tissue.
    • Drastic mood changes or depression.  
  • Sudden or severe abdominal pain.
  • Unusual or heavy bleeding from the vagina.
  • Any signs of an allergic reaction: swelling around the eyes, lips, face, mouth or throat; hives; change in heartbeat.

Some of the following side effects may not be as serious, but you should still let your doctor or prescriber know if you notice them.

Side effects that tend to be common (affecting up to 1 in 10) among women using the mini pill include: 

  • altered mood or depressed mood; 
  • loss of libido; 
  • headache; 
  • nausea; 
  • acne; 
  • pain in the breasts; 
  • loss of periods, irregular periods or spotting between periods; 
  • or a rise in body weight.

Uncommon side effects reported with mini pill use (affecting up to 1 in 100 users) include: 

  • vaginal infection; 
  • intolerance of contact lenses; 
  • vomiting; 
  • hair loss; 
  • painful periods; 
  • ovarian cysts; 
  • feeling tired.

Side effects that are reported to occur rarely (up to 1 in 1,000 users) with the mini pill include: 

  • rash; 
  • hives; 
  • red bumps on the skin; 
  • allergic reaction; 
  • leakage or discharge from the breasts.

The risk of a blood clot when using the mini pill is thought to be slightly higher than in women who don’t use hormonal contraceptives at all. But this risk is lower than in women who use combined hormonal contraceptives.

mini pill contraindications.

 

Not everyone can use the progestogen-only pill. It’s important to tell your doctor or prescriber about any medical conditions you have or have had before, so they can recommend a safe option for you.

You shouldn’t use the mini pill if:

  • you have any kind of blood clot (including in the leg or the lungs)
  • you have or have ever had jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • you have or have recently had a liver problem which means that your liver isn’t functioning normally
  • you have or have ever had any kind of cancer that reacts to sex hormones (such as cancer of the womb) or have breast cancer
  • you have unexplained bleeding from the vagina.

It’s very important for your prescriber to know if:

  • you have ever had breast cancer
  • you have liver cancer
  • you have diabetes
  • you have epilepsy
  • you have tuberculosis (TB)
  • you have high blood pressure
  • you have ever had chloasma.

You might be able to use the mini pill if these apply to you, but you may need to be closely monitored.

The mini pill and other medications.

 

There are some medicines that can interact with the mini pill. This means that they might enhance the action of the pill and increase the risk of side effects. In other cases, they might stop the pill from working properly (or the pill might stop them from working properly).

Tell your prescriber about any medicines you are taking during your consultation, and keep your information in your medical profile up to date (by adding any new medicines you start taking).

If you receive care from another provider, it’s important to let them know that you’re taking the mini pill.

Medicines that may interact with the mini pill or affect how it works include: 

  • Epilepsy treatments (for example primidone, phenytoin, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, felbamate, topiramate and phenobarbital)
  • Tuberculosis treatments (rifampicin, rifabutin)
  • Hepatitis C medicines (like boceprevir or telaprevir)
  • Antibiotics or antifungals (griseofulvin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, ketoconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole)
  • Medicines for pulmonary hypertension (bosentan) 
  • St John’s Wort
  • High blood pressure treatments
  • Medications for angina or irregular heartbeat (diltiazem).