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Triphasil Side Effects

Breakthrough bleeding, changes in sex drive, and bloating are some of the common side effects reported with Triphasil. Side effects are merely bothersome in most cases and are usually not dangerous. However, some Triphasil side effects could be potentially serious and should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately, including high cholesterol, chest pain, high blood pressure, or breast lumps.

An Introduction to Triphasil Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Triphasil® (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol); however, not every woman who uses the contraceptive will experience side effects. In fact, most women tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Triphasil. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Triphasil side effects with you. Triphasil is equivalent to Enpresse®, Levonest™, Myzilra™, and Trivora® birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to these medications.)

Common Side Effects of Triphasil

All prescription medications must be shown to be safe and effective in clinical studies before they are approved in the United States. For most medications, clinical studies involve two different groups; one group of people is given the actual medication, while another group is given a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients). Usually, the subjects do not know if they are taking the real medication or the placebo.
During the clinical studies, the side effects in both groups are carefully documented. 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 usually possible to use a placebo in clinical trials for contraceptives, as this would lead to many unintentional pregnancies.
Since 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 whether any particular problem is actually a side effect of the medication), only vague information is available about Triphasil side effects. In fact, the side effects listed in the prescribing information of Triphasil are actually side effects of all birth control pills in general (not necessarily of Triphasil in particular). Some of the common bothersome (but usually not dangerous) side effects of birth control pills include:
  • 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
  • Acne (although many women find that birth control pills actually improve acne)
  • Bloating
  • Breast tenderness other breast changes (such as swelling)
  • Headaches (although birth control pills can improve headaches in some women)
  • Changes in sex drive (often a decrease, rather than an increase).
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