Microgestin vs Junel – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects

Microgestin

It is the brand name of a combination of norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol, two hormones which belong to a group of medications called hormonal contraceptives.

Norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol prevent pregnancy by altering cervical mucus and the lining of the uterus to prevent sperm from entering and by stopping ovulation.

Uses

This birth control medication is typically used to prevent pregnancy.

Dosage

Take one pill a day, no more than 24 hours apart.

Side Effects and Precautions

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Common side effects may include:

  • bloating;
  • changes in appetite;
  • increased hair growth;
  • stomach cramps;
  • darkening of facial skin;
  • problems with contact lenses;
  • changes in the menstrual periods;
  • nipple discharge;
  • decreased sex drive;
  • loss of scalp hair;
  • mild nausea;
  • breast tenderness or swelling;
  • vomiting;
  • vaginal itching or discharge.

Less common side effects may include:

  • general ill feeling;
  • coughing up blood;
  • a sudden cough;
  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body);
  • swelling of the ankles, lips, hands, or feet;
  • a change in the severity of migraine headaches;
  • mood changes;
  • problems with vision or balance;
  • tired feeling;
  • rapid breathing;
  • sleep problems;
  • slurred speech;
  • clay-colored stools;
  • wheezing;
  • upper stomach pain;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • dark urine;
  • a breast lump;
  • chest pain;
  • pain or swelling in one or both legs;
  • pain spreading to the shoulder.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Do not use these birth control medications if you are pregnant or if you have recently had a baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

Also, the hormones in these birth control medications can pass into breast milk and may negatively affect a baby. Do not use these birth control pills if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Smokingsmoking tobacco

You should not take these birth control medications if you smoke since smoking tobacco can increase your risk of stroke or blood clot while taking this medication.

Contraindications

To make sure that these birth control medications are safe for you, tell your healthcare professional if you have:

  • seizures or epilepsy;
  • underactive thyroid;
  • a history of irregular menstrual cycles;
  • varicose veins;
  • a history of fibrocystic breast disease;
  • gallbladder disease;
  • tuberculosis;
  • high blood pressure;
  • an abnormal mammogram;
  • a history of depression;
  • high LDL cholesterol;
  • if you are overweight;
  • high triglycerides;
  • type 2 diabetes.

Drug Interactionsdrugs pills meds

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • clonazepam;
  • Lamictal (lamotrigine);
  • Topamax (topiramate);
  • amoxicillin;
  • trazodone;
  • Lexapro (escitalopram);
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine);
  • zzzquil;
  • bupropion;
  • melatonin;
  • omeprazole;
  • prednisone;
  • metformin;
  • sertraline;
  • cyclobenzaprine;
  • tramadol;
  • gabapentin;
  • Xanax (alprazolam);
  • ibuprofen;
  • unisom;
  • Peri-DS (casanthranol/docusate).

Junel

It is a combination of norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol, two hormones that belong to a group of drugs called hormonal contraceptives.

These hormones prevent pregnancy by altering cervical mucus and the lining of the uterus to prevent sperm from entering and by stopping ovulation.

Uses

This prescription birth control medication is typically used to prevent pregnancy.

Dosage

Take one tablet by mouth at the same time of day.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • decreased sex drive;
  • vomiting;
  • changes in the menstrual periods;
  • nausea;
  • vaginal itching or discharge;
  • breast swelling;
  • problems with contact lenses;
  • changes in weight;
  • loss of scalp hair;
  • increased hair growth;
  • darkening of the facial skin.

Rare side effects may include:

  • vision changes;
  • problems with vision or balance;
  • swelling in your ankles, hands, or feet;
  • slurred speech;
  • a breast lump;
  • sudden severe headache;
  • mood changes;
  • tired feeling;
  • a change in the pattern of migraine headaches;
  • sudden numbness or weakness;
  • sleep problems;
  • pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder;
  • chest pain or pressure;
  • warmth in one or both legs;
  • coughing up blood;
  • chest pain.

Smoking

You should not take these birth control medications if you smoke since smoking tobacco can increase your risk of stroke or blood clot while taking this medication.

Contraindications

You should not take birth control pills if you have:

  • liver cancer;
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure;
  • a history of jaundice caused by pregnancy;
  • a history of stroke, heart attack, or blood clot;
  • if you are over 35 years old;
  • liver disease;
  • uncontrolled heart valve disorder;
  • severe migraine headaches;
  • coronary artery disease;
  • unusual vaginal bleeding;
  • a history of hormone-related cancer, like – uterine or breast cancer;
  • circulation problems caused by diabetes;
  • problems with your eyes;
  • a blood-clotting disorder.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • Tylenol (acetaminophen);
  • Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine);
  • Ventolin (albuterol);
  • Adderall XR (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine);
  • Seroquel (quetiapine);
  • Effexor XR (venlafaxine);
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine).

Pregnancy & BreastfeedingM

The hormones in these birth control medications can pass into breast milk and may negatively affect a baby. Do not use these birth control pills if you are breast-feeding a baby.

In addition, do not use these birth control medications if you are pregnant or if you have recently had a baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

Bottom Line – Microgestin vs Junel

Microgestin (ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone) is a combination drug that is used as contraception to prevent pregnancy. These hormones work by preventing ovulation and causing changes in the cervical mucus and uterine lining.

Junel (ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone) is a combination drug which prevents ovulation and causes changes in the cervical mucus and uterine lining.

In conclusion, the hormones and ingredients in both products are exactly the same. They are just different in price. For instance, the average retail price of Microgestin is $26, while the average retail price of Junel is $31.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0010217/
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/health/birth-control-breast-cancer-hormones.html
https://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/05/health/birth-control-depression-risk/index.html

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