Deciding which method of birth control is best for you can often feel like walking through a minefield of potential health hazards and trying to find the least dangerous path. According to Drugs.com, Aviane, like other oral contraceptives, has a variety of side effects some more serious than others. A change in weight, both gain and loss, has been associated with taking Aviane. Equipped with your health history and current medication information, your gynecologist should be able to answer all your questions regarding Aviane and help you make the best decision for your protection against pregnancy and for your peace of mind.
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Aviane is the brand name of the generic medication ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel, which is prescribed for the prevention of pregnancy. These two active ingredients are a combination of female hormones that prevent the release of an egg from an ovary or ovulation. In addition to inhibiting ovulation, Aviane also works by changing the uterine lining and thickening the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to reach the uterus and decreasing the likelihood of implantation.
Aviane is normally prescribed to prevent pregnancy. However, your gynecologist may also recommend Aviane to regulate your menstrual cycle or to help to alleviate iron loss if you suffer from anemia. Drugwatch.com, a pharmaceutical drug information website, states that use of Aviane may also reduce the risk of female related cancers, such as ovarian or endometrial, and other health issues, such as ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease and ovarian cysts.
Serious Side Effects
Side effects associated with Aviane usage range from serious reactions requiring medical attention to less serious effects that are considered to be non-life threatening. You should call 911 if you experience signs of an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing, hives or swelling of your tongue, throat, lips or face. Some of the other serious side effects that require a call to your doctor include sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body, pain behind the eyes, sudden headache, confusion, difficulty with speech, vision or balance, chest pain, nausea accompanied by sweating and general ill feeling, dark urine or symptoms of jaundice.
Weight Loss and Common Side Effects
Drugs.com informs consumers that use of Aviane has been linked to changes in appetite which can lead to either weight loss or weight gain. Other non-serious side effects of the drug include mild nausea, bloating and stomach cramps, which may also contribute to weight loss. Complete loss of appetite however, is on the list of more serious side effects that should be reported to your doctor. In addition to stomach discomfort, other non-life threatening side effects include breast pain or tenderness and swelling, vaginal itching or discharge, decreased sex drive and nervousness.
Several drugs may interact with Aviane, making it less effective for preventing pregnancy. Contraindicated over-the-counter medications or supplements include Tylenol or acetaminophen, vitamin C and St. John's wort. Prescription drugs that should be reported to your doctor include prednisone, antibiotics, seizure medications, theophylline and cyclosporine. While taking Aviane, consult with your doctor before taking vitamins, minerals, natural supplements or any newly prescribed medications.
Considerations and Warnings
Health experts at MayoClinic.com advise that if you are considering taking oral contraceptives you need to consider all your options and understand that birth control pills aren't appropriate for everyone. You should not consider taking Aviane, which is a combination birth control pill, if you are currently breast-feeding, have a history of blood clots or stroke, are a smoker and over the age of 35, have kidney or liver problems, have unexplained uterine bleeding or a history of heart disease.