Side effects

 

Make sure Micronor is OK for you

It’s important that you understand the benefits and risks of taking the Pill

before you start taking it, or when deciding whether to carry on taking it.

Although the Pill is suitable for most healthy women it isn’t suitable for

everyone.

► Tell your doctor if you have any of the illnesses or risk factors mentioned in

this leaflet.

1. Before you start taking the Pill

● Your doctor will ask about you and your family’s medical problems and

check your blood pressure. You may also need other checks, such as a

breast examination but only if these are necessary for you or you have

any specials concerns.

While you’re on the Pill

● You will need regular check-ups with your doctor or family planning

nurse, usually when you need another prescription of the Pill.

● You should go for regular cervical smear tests.

Check your breasts and nipples every month for changes – tell your

doctor if you can see or feel anything odd, such as lumps or dimpling of

the skin.

If you need a blood test tell your doctor that you are taking the Pill,

because the Pill can affect the results of some tests.

If you’re going to have an operation, make sure your doctor knows

about it. You may be advised to stop taking the Pill to reduce the risk of

a blood clot (see section 2.1). Your doctor will tell you when you can

start taking the Pill again.

2. The Pill and blood clots

The Pill may slightly increase your risk of having a blood clot (called a

thrombosis), especially in the first year of taking it.

A clot in a leg vein – a deep vein thrombosis (or DVT) – is not always serious.

However, if it moves up the veins to the lungs, it can cause chest pain,

breathlessness, collapse or even death. This is called a ‘pulmonary embolism’

and is very rare.

You are more at risk of having a blood clot in your veins:

● as you get older

● if you are seriously overweight

● if you smoke

● if you or any of your close family have had blood clots

● if you have any blood clotting problem that needs treatment with a

medicine such as warfarin

● if you’re off your feet for a long time because of major surgery, injury

or illness

● if you have had one or more miscarriages

● if you have recently had a baby

Tell your doctor if any of these risk factors apply to you. Taking the Pill

may add to this risk so Micronor may not be suitable for you.

Signs of a blood clot include:

painful swelling in your leg

● sudden chest pain difficulty breathing

● sudden changes in eyesight (such as loss of vision or blurred vision

See a doctor as soon as possible. Do not take any more Micronor until

your doctor says you can. Use another method of contraception, such as

condoms, in the meantime.

Very rarely, blood clots can also form in the blood vessels of the heart

(causing a heart attack) or the brain (causing a stroke). In healthy young

women the chance of having a heart attack or stroke is extremely small.

You are more at risk of having a heart attack or stroke:

● as you get older

● if you have high blood pressure

● if you smoke or drink too much alcohol

● if you have high levels of fat in your blood or are seriously overweight

● if you have an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation), problems with heart

valves or heart failure

● if you or someone in your close family has had a heart attack or stroke

at a young age

● if you have migraines

● if you have diabetes

● if you have a blood problem called sickle cell anaemia.

Tell your doctor if any of these risk factors apply to you. Taking the Pill

may add to this risk so Micronor may not be suitable for you.

Signs of a heart attack or stroke include:

● sudden crushing pains in your chest which may reach your left arm

● sudden weakness or numbness in one side or part of your body

severe headache or migraine for the first time or worse than normal

slurred speech or any other difficulties affecting your speech

● any sudden changes to your eyesight (such as loss of vision or blurred

vision)

See a doctor as soon as possible. Do not take any more Micronor until

your doctor says you can. Use another method of contraception, such as

condoms, in the meantime.

3. The Pill and cancer

The Pill reduces your risk of cancer of the ovary and womb if used for a long

time. However, it also seems to slightly increase your risk of cancer of the

cervix – although this may be due to having sex without a condom, rather

than the Pill. All women should have regular smear tests.

If you have breast cancer, you should not take the Pill. The Pill slightly

increases your risk of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is rare in women under the age of 40 whether or not they are

on the Pill. The age you stop taking the Pill is the most important risk factor for

breast cancer. There is slightly more chance of you having breast cancer the

older you are when you stop taking the Pill, compared to women who have

never taken the Pill.

● Of 10,000 women who have never taken the Pill:

– by the age of 30, 44 women will have breast cancer

– by the age of 40, 160 women will have breast cancer.

● Of 10,000 women who take the Pill for up to 5 years:

– and then stop by the age of 20, there will be less than 1 extra case

of breast cancer diagnosed in the next 10 years

– and then stop by the age of 30, there will be about 2 to 3 extra

cases of breast cancer diagnosed in the next 10 years

– and then stop by the age of 40, there will be about 10 extra cases of

breast cancer diagnosed in the next 10 years.

The risk of having breast cancer returns to normal within about 10 years of

stopping the Pill.

Your risk of breast cancer is higher:

● as you get older

● if you have a close relative (mother, sister or grandmother) who has had

breast cancer

● if you are seriously overweight

See a doctor as soon as possible if you notice any changes in your

breasts, such as dimpling of the skin, changes in the nipple or any lumps you

can see or feel.

Taking the Pill has also been linked to liver diseases, such as jaundice and

non-cancer liver tumours, but this is rare. Very rarely, the Pill has also been

linked with some forms of liver cancer in women who have taken it for a long

time.

See a doctor as soon as possible if you get severe pain in your

stomach, or yellow skin or eyes (jaundice). You may need to stop taking

Micronor.

4. Micronor should not be taken by some women

► Tell your doctor or family planning nurse if you have any medical problems

or illnesses.

Do not take Micronor if any of the following apply to you.

● If you have breast cancer

● If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to any of the ingredients in Micronor.

If you suffer from either of these, or get them for the first time while taking

Micronor, contact your doctor as soon as possible. Do not take Micronor as it

may put your health at risk..

5. Micronor can make some illnesses worse

Some of the conditions listed below can be made worse by taking the Pill. Or

they may mean it is less suitable for you. You may still be able to take

Micronor but you need to take special care and have check-ups more

often.Tell your doctor or family planning nurse if any of these apply to

you :

If you have or have had problems with your heart,

● If you have had breast cancer

● If you have severe liver problems

● If you have the disease Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

● If you have ever had a stroke (including a “mini-stroke” also known as

“TIA”)

● If you have a blood problem called porphyria

Tell your doctor or family planning nurse if any of these apply to you.

Also tell them if you get any of these for the first time while taking the

Pill, or if any get worse or come back, because you may need to stop taking

Micronor and use another method of contraception, such as condoms.

6. Taking other medicines

If you ever need to take another medicine at the same time as being on the

Pill, always tell your doctor, pharmacist or dentist that you’re taking Micronor.

Also check the leaflets that come with all your medicines to see if they can be

taken with hormonal contraceptives.

Some medicines can stop Micronor from working properly – for example:

some medicines used to treat epilepsy (such as carbamazepine and

phenytoin)

bosentan (for high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs)

rifampicin and rifabutin (for the treatment of TB)

griseofulvin (for fungal infections)

certain sedatives (called ‘barbiturates’)

St. John’s Wort (a herbal remedy)

anti-HIV medicines

aprepitant and fosaprepitant (for prevention of nausea and vomiting

caused by certain cancer drug treatments)

If you do need to take one of these medicines, Micronor may not be suitable

for you or you may need to use extra contraception for a while. Your doctor,

pharmacist or dentist can tell you if this is necessary and for how long.

7. Taking Micronor with food and drink

There are no special instructions about food and drink while on Micronor.

8. Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Do not start to use Micronor if you are pregnant. If you think you might be

pregnant while taking Micronor, do a pregnancy test to confirm that you are

before you stop taking it. If you do get pregnant while taking this Pill, there is a

slightly greater chance that it could form outside of the womb (ectopic

pregnancy).

If you are breast-feeding, your doctor or family planning nurse may advise

you not to take Micronor. Talk to them about alternative contraception. Breastfeeding

may not stop you getting pregnant.

9. Driving and using machines

Micronor has no known effect on the ability to drive or use machines.

10. Micronor contains lactose

If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some

sugars, contact your doctor before using Micronor.

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS

Like all medicines, Micronor can cause side effects, although not everybody

gets them.

Tell your doctor, pharmacist or family planning nurse if you are worried

about any side effects which you think may be due to Micronor.

1. Serious side effects –see a doctor straight away

Signs of a blood clot in a vein include:

painful swelling in your leg

● sudden chest pain, difficulty breathing

● sudden changes in eyesight (such as loss of vision or blurred vision).

Signs of heart attack or stroke include:

● a severe headache or migraine for the first time, or any that is worse

than normal

● sudden changes in eyesight (such as loss of vision or blurred vision)

● sudden weakness or numbness in one side or part of your body

slurred speech or any other difficulties affecting your speech

● sudden crushing pains in your chest which may reach your left arm.

Signs of breast cancer include:

dimpling of the skin

changes in the nipple

● any lumps you can see or feel.

Signs of severe liver problems include:

● severe pain in your upper abdomen

yellow skin or eyes (jaundice).

Other serious side effects include:

hives (urticaria), swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat

which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing. These may

be signs of severe allergy

severe bleeding from the vagina

severe pain in the lower abdomen, bleeding or collapse (may be

signs of pregnancy outside the womb)

If you think you may have any of these, see a doctor straight away.

You may need to stop taking Micronor.

2. Other possible side effects – tell your doctor

Very common side effects (affects more than 1 in 10 patients)

Bleeding and spotting between your periods

Common side effects (affects more than 1 in 100 patients)

Headache, (but if severe, unusual or long lasting, see a doctor as

soon as possible)

● Feeling dizzy

● Feeling sick or being sick

No menstrual periods

Tender breasts

● Feeling tired

Weight gain.

Uncommon side effects (affects fewer than 1 in 100 patients)

Depression; feeling nervous

Stomach pain and other stomach problems

Acne

Rash

Hair thinning (alopecia), excessive hair growth

Pain in legs

Painful periods with heavy bleeding

Vaginal discharge

Ovarian cyst (may cause pain and swelling of the abdomen,

changes in periods)

Rare side effects (affects fewer than 1 in 1000 patients)

Hypersensitivity (allergic reaction)

Frequency not known

Itchy rash

Breast problems such as painful breasts; reduced amount of breast

milk (if breast feeding)

Irregular periods

Bleeding when stopping Micronor

Tell your doctor, pharmacist or family planning nurse if you are worried

about any side effects which you think may be due to Micronor. Also tell them

if any existing conditions get worse while you are taking Micronor.

3. Bleeding between periods should not last long

A few women have a little unexpected bleeding or spotting while they are

taking Micronor, especially during the first few months. Normally, this bleeding

is nothing to worry about and will stop after a day or two. Keep taking

Micronor as usual. The problem should disappear after the first few strips.

You may also have unexpected bleeding if you are not taking your pills

regularly, so try to take your pill at the same time every day. Also, unexpected

bleeding can sometimes be caused by other medicines.

Make an appointment to see your doctor if you get breakthrough

bleeding or spotting that:

● carries on for more than the first few months

● starts after you’ve been taking Micronor for a while

● carries on even after you’ve stopped taking Micronor.

Other contraceptive pills side effects:

Marvelon side effects

Zoely side effects

Cerazette side effects

Cilest side effects