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Ovral-21 Side Effects

Generic name: ethinyl estradiol / norgestrel

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 24, 2024.

Note: This document contains side effect information about ethinyl estradiol / norgestrel. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Ovral-21.

Applies to ethinyl estradiol / norgestrel: oral tablet.


Oral route (Tablet)

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from oral contraceptive use. This risk increases with age and with heavy smoking (15 or more cigarettes per day) and is quite marked in women over 35 years of age. Women who use oral contraceptives should be strongly advised not to smoke.

Serious side effects of Ovral-21

Along with its needed effects, ethinyl estradiol/norgestrel may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking ethinyl estradiol / norgestrel:

Incidence not known

Other side effects of Ovral-21

Some side effects of ethinyl estradiol / norgestrel may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to ethinyl estradiol / norgestrel: oral tablet.


The frequency of the reported side effects is unknown, however, an increased risk of the following side effects has been associated with the use of oral contraceptives: thrombophlebitis, arterial thromboembolism, pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction, cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral thrombosis, hypertension, gallbladder disease, hepatic adenomas, carcinomas, or benign liver tumors.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Breakthrough bleeding, spotting, menstrual flow changed, amenorrhea, cervical erosion change, cervical secretion change, decreased lactation, vaginal candidiasis, premenstrual syndrome, cystitis-like syndrome, vaginitis, dysmenorrhea[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Mesenteric thrombosis, nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal symptoms, abdominal cramps, bloating, colitis, pancreatitis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hepatic adenoma, hepatic carcinoma, benign liver tumor, breast carcinoma, carcinoma of reproductive organs[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Thrombophlebitis, arterial thromboembolism, myocardial infarction, hypertension, cerebral-vascular disease with mitral valve prolapse, venous thrombosis, varicose veins aggravated[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hemolytic uremic syndrome, sickle-cell disease, hemolytic uremic syndrome[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Temporary infertility following discontinuation, breast tenderness, breast enlargement, breast secretion[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Gallbladder disease, cholestatic jaundice, Budd-Chiari syndrome[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Depression, nervousness, libido changed, mood changed[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Edema/fluid retention, weight increased, weight decreased, reduced tolerance to carbohydrates, corneal curvature steepening, contact lens intolerance, congenital anomaly, porphyria, serum folate decreased[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral thrombosis, migraine, headache, dizziness, exacerbation of chorea[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Retinal thrombosis, cataracts, optic neuritis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Lupus-like syndrome[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Appetite changed, glucose tolerance decreased, serum folate depressed[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Pulmonary embolism[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Renal function impaired[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Melasma, allergic rash, hirsutism, loss of scalp hair, erythema multiforme, erythema nodosum, hemorrhagic eruption, acne, urticaria, angioedema[Ref]


1. (2017) "Product Information. Cryselle 28 (ethinyl estradiol-norgestrel)." Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc

2. (2017) "Product Information. Elinest (ethinyl estradiol-norgestrel)." Northstar Rx LLC

3. (2017) "Product Information. Low-Ogestrel (ethinyl estradiol-norgestrel)." Mayne Pharma Inc

4. (2017) "Product Information. Ogestrel-28 (ethinyl estradiol-norgestrel)." Watson Pharmaceuticals

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.