Like all medications, Maexeni can cause side effects in some people. Most side effects are mild and not serious. Always read the patient information leaflet carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about your medication.
Common side effects of Maexeni include:
- nausea (feeling sick)
- abdominal (stomach pain)
- depression ( feeling low in mood)
- mood swings
- tender, sore, or painful breasts
Uncommon side effects include:
- vomiting (being sick)
- migraine (severe, prolonged headache)
- skin rash
- fluid retention
- enlarged breasts
- less interest in sex
Rare side effects include:
- weight loss
- increase or change in vaginal discharge
- breast discharge
- increased sex drive
- discomfort when wearing contact lenses
- a reaction to the medication
Though weight gain is listed as a potential side effect by the manufacturers, more recent studies show there’s no link between contraceptive pills and weight gain.
If you have any of the above side effects and they are causing you concern, getting worse, or not going away, talk to your GP. If you start to get migraines whilst taking Maexeni stop the pill as soon as you are able to and speak to a doctor about changing to a different method of contraception.
Serious side effects
Rarely, serious side effects can occur when taking Maexeni.
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:
- swelling, pain, and redness in the lower leg
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- chest pain
- fast heartbeat
- stomach pain
- changes to your vision (eyesight)
- sweating, nausea, vomiting or dizziness
- weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- severe headache or headache that doesn’t go away
Anaphylaxis is a very rare, but serious allergic reaction that can occur after taking Maexeni. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:
- swelling of the face, lips, and tongue
- difficulty breathing
- red, itchy rash (hives)
Taking the contraceptive pill can cause depression and mood swings in some women. Rarely this may lead to suicidal thoughts. If you experience changes in your mood after starting Maexeni, talk to your GP or health care provider as soon as possible.
Blood clots can occur in arteries or veins in many places in the body including the calves (deep vein thrombosis), lungs (pulmonary embolism) heart (myocardial infarction), or brain (stroke). The risk of developing blood clots when taking Maexeni is slightly increased but remains extremely small. For example in one year, around 2 out of every 10, 000 women not taking the contraceptive pill will develop blood clots. This increases to around 5 to 7 women when taking Maexeni. If you are already at high risk of developing blood clots, Maexeni may not be suitable for you. You are at higher risk of developing blood clots if you:
- are overweight (BMI above 35)
- have had a blood clot before
- someone in your immediate family has had a blood clot under 45
- are inactive because of recent surgery or illness
- smoke over the age of 35
- have high blood pressure
- have high cholesterol
- have diabetes
- have heart problems
- have had a stroke
- have a genetic condition that makes your blood more likely to clot
- suffer from migraines with aura
- have Lupus (SLE)
- have recently had a baby
- have had an organ transplant with complications
Does the pill cause cancer?
The contraceptive pill appears to slightly increase your risk of developing breast cancer. If you have breast cancer or have had breast cancer in the past, it is not safe for you to take the pill. Always check your breasts at the same time each month and see your doctor immediately if you notice any changes such as lumps, dimpling of the skin, or changes to your nipples. If you have a close family member with a history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor before starting Maexeni.
How long do Maexeni side effects last?
Most side effects of the pill go away on their own after a few weeks. If your side effects are causing you distress, or if they are getting worse or not going away, talk to your GP or healthcare provider about trying a different type of pill.
What to do if you get Maexeni side effects
Some side effects like nausea can be helped by taking your pill with food and sticking to smaller, frequent meals and plain, non-greasy foods. If you experience headaches (not migraines), make sure you get enough sleep and drink plenty of water. Taking painkillers can also help short-term, so ask your pharmacist to recommend one. If you have side effects in your pill free week you can try running strips back to back without a break.
Side effects vary a lot between people, and what works well for one person may cause unpleasant side effects in another. You may have to try different types of pill to see which one works best for you.
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