Medical Questions > Womens Health > Birth Control Forum

Allergic Reactions to the Pill (Page 1)

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How common is it to have an allergic reaction to something that's in birth control pills?

When I was looking up info on Drospirenone, one of the questions was about possible side effects and this is what one of them said:

"Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat."

This is new to me since I've never heard of people getting allergic reactions to anything in birth control pills. Has anyone else ever heard of this before?
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First Helper kaitlynbbb
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replied June 30th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
I've never heard of an actual case, but I know that allergic reactions can occur, I believe a few posters to this forum have had that issue.

It does seem odd to be allergic to a pill that simply provides hormones naturally found in your body, but anything is possible!
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replied June 30th, 2007
Experienced User
Eiri wrote:
I've never heard of an actual case, but I know that allergic reactions can occur, I believe a few posters to this forum have had that issue.

It does seem odd to be allergic to a pill that simply provides hormones naturally found in your body, but anything is possible!

If a person was actually allergic to the hormones in BC pills, wouldn't that person get a reaction from them regardless of the brand? I looked up info on levonorgestrel and it didn't say anything about the possibility of allergic reactions.

Sorry for the questions but I just find this really odd.
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replied January 31st, 2012
I am actually experiencing this, I think. I was on Norinyl and got a rash on my upper right lip that sometimes spread to my cheek. I stopped using all makeup/face products, it still occurred so I stopped the pill along with it and the rash went away. I was off BC pill for a month and never got a rash. I am now just starting a new BC pill (Tricyclen) and am getting a rash again.
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Users who thank kourtny for this post: kaitlynbbb 

replied May 24th, 2012
I've had the exact same thing happening to me for the past year! I've been on 3 different pills, all with the same result. I've been saying for a year that it's the bc pills but all of my doctors keep saying its not. I'm going to a new OB/GYN next week bc I can't stand having a face rash anymore! It's so nice to hear that someone else has had the same problem! I'm going to try and get a non-hormonal IUD.
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replied June 30th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Red_Rose wrote:
Eiri wrote:
I've never heard of an actual case, but I know that allergic reactions can occur, I believe a few posters to this forum have had that issue.

It does seem odd to be allergic to a pill that simply provides hormones naturally found in your body, but anything is possible!

If a person was actually allergic to the hormones in BC pills, wouldn't that person get a reaction from them regardless of the brand? I looked up info on levonorgestrel and it didn't say anything about the possibility of allergic reactions.

Sorry for the questions but I just find this really odd.


Yes they would, if they're allergic to the hormones themselves. However, there may either be something added to the pills you have, or, levon just doesn't bother with an allergy warning...
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replied June 30th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Actually, the hormones themselves in pills can vary.

The hormone is Yaz and Yasmin, DRSP, is a new type, and could cause reactions in women that have not had reactions before.
Allergic reactions to hormonal BC are extremely rare.
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replied June 30th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Carifairy wrote:
Actually, the hormones themselves in pills can vary.

The hormone is Yaz and Yasmin, DRSP, is a new type, and could cause reactions in women that have not had reactions before.
Allergic reactions to hormonal BC are extremely rare.


Ah, there's the right answer ^^
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replied June 30th, 2007
Experienced User
Thank you.

The reason I'm worried about this is because I have a lot of allergies(seasonal, perennial and some to food) to begin with but none of them cause reactions like tightening of the throat, tongue/lip swelling, etc.(well, the shellfish might but I don't eat it to begin with) so just thinking of that scares the hell out of me.

One site I came across said not to take drospirenone if you are allergic to it but how do you know if you are if you've never taken it before? Should I wet one of the pills, flick the skin on the inside of my arm with a pin and smear the pill all over it to see if I react? lol
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replied June 30th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
You can go to a doctor to have allergy tests done, and they'll do it on patches of your arm skin, though I don't think pricking it is involved lol.
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replied June 30th, 2007
Experienced User
Eiri wrote:
You can go to a doctor to have allergy tests done, and they'll do it on patches of your arm skin, though I don't think pricking it is involved lol.

I mentioned the pricking because that's what they do when you get allergy tests done. I've had quite a few done in the past.

I will ask my Allergist about it though. Thank you. Smile
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replied July 21st, 2009
I started my first pack of birth control pills last month and I mysteriously began breaking out in fat hives, starting from the back of my knees all the way up to my neck. I went to my physician and where I got my pills and they switched me to a different brand. I took a break from the pills to see if the symptoms would go away, and they did with minor break outs here and there. I just started my new pills again and I'm already breaking out all over my body once more. I plan on seeing another doctor, but I can't see any other reason why I'd get the same hives again.
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replied July 23rd, 2009
I had a terrible allergy on 2 of the pills, they were Diane and Logest. On the first one i had severe stomach aches after 1 week of taking the pill, and on Logest i had a terrible rush on my whole body, after the 3rd pill.so i had to stop taking both of them, now trying to find other way of protecting myself.
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replied October 16th, 2009
I have also had hives and swelling of my eyes, throat and lips. I have tried Yasmin, Loestrin, and Kelnor, all with the same results. I am currently off any type of birth control pill and the hives seam to be going away though now that I'm on my period, I have experiences minute welling and small welts. However, they are not nearly as bad as what I had been experiencing. Additionally, the research I've done indicates that outbreaks will get worse around a woman's period so I think this is normal. As if hives and swelling are normal to begin with...
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User Profile
replied October 22nd, 2009
Supporter
I AM ALLERGIC TO BIRTH CONTROL PILLS.
They have not yet figured out if its the dye in the pills or the hormone its self. I have to try the nuvaring Monday to see if that gives me the same reaction. Life is great!
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replied November 3rd, 2009
My daughter is also allergic to birth control pills, breaking out from head to toe in hives. She has tried Yasmin, Loestrin, the Nuvaring and a couple others. Anyone find anything that works???
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replied November 6th, 2009
allergies to BC pills
My daughter is getting hives with the second BC bill too. after less than a week hives and swelling. Has anyone found an answer?
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replied December 23rd, 2009
Allergy?
I also had a allergic reaction, hives and swelling an all, when taking the birth control pills called "dianette" (supposed to be, ironically, good for the skin by clearing acne). It was quite surprising to me as I don't have any known allergies at all [well, I used to anyway] so I'm annoyed I had to come off the pill just 5 days after starting them. My doctor says its quite uncommon. I'm curious to know if anyone has any answers too? (:
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replied December 30th, 2009
I personally have had an allergic reaction to birth control "Alesse". This is because the hormones in birth control are not natural but synthetically made in a lab and sometimes the types of additives used to create these hormones can cause an allergic reaction. The original birth control actually came from a hormone in a mare's urine (horse's urine). This is not a natural hormone to the human body. If anyone knows of a birth control they have not had a reaction to please let me know
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replied March 27th, 2012
Hello, I am wondering when your symptoms started occurring with Alesse? I took the whole first pack with no adverse effects, but am now starting the 3rd week of the second pack, and my entire body has been itching for the past 4 days... I'm wondering if it could be attributed to the birth control. Thank you!
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replied March 27th, 2012
Hello, I am wondering when your symptoms started occurring with Alesse? I took the whole first pack with no adverse effects, but am now starting the 3rd week of the second pack, and my entire body has been itching for the past 4 days... I'm wondering if it could be attributed to the birth control. Thank you!
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replied January 2nd, 2010
Dianette
I have been on Dianette (AKA Diane) for 2 weeks and the last three days I have broken out in hives, and my body itches from head to toe. I have stopped taking it from today and am taking an over-the-counter antihistamine. I haven't in the past had a reaction to Yasmin, Microgynon or Loestrin, so it must be a certain chemical in the Dianette. Possibly cyproterone acetate (which creates the anti-androgen effect), which has been linked to liver abnormalities and toxins in the blood.
Think I'll take a break from the pill completely and give my body a rest from synthetic hormones (which I can't imagine do any good in the long term!) Smile
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replied January 2nd, 2010
Dianette
I have been on Dianette (AKA Diane) for 2 weeks and the last three days I have broken out in hives, and my body itches from head to toe. I have stopped taking it from today and am taking an over-the-counter antihistamine. I haven't in the past had a reaction to Yasmin, Microgynon or Loestrin, so it must be a certain chemical in the Dianette. Possibly cyproterone acetate (which creates the anti-androgen effect), which has been linked to liver abnormalities and toxins in the blood.
Think I'll take a break from the pill completely and give my body a rest from synthetic hormones (which I can't imagine do any good in the long term!) Smile
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replied January 9th, 2010
I started taking the pill and my face started to break out in hives. This was odd cuz i have taken the pill b4 with no problem. I went in to my doc recently to get the implnon and he wanted to check with the allergist b4 i got it. He called me back and had me come back in. What he said was more then likly if u are allergic to the pill it is the estrogin in the pill, which again is odd because obviously we all have it so im guessing its just i can not have more then my body produces. all pills have that so there is no way i can take the pill again. There is always a chance that sometime throughout life u develop of allergy to something that u might have not had b4. but the implnon is a really good one to get if u are allergic cuz it does not have ne of the hormones the pill does. One other thing he told me is it is very rare to be allergic to it and that because i am i am also at a greater risk for thyroid desease. So just a heads up to those of u that are allergic to the pill to make sure u have ur thyroid checked once a year at ur annual exam.
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