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Difference between apri and reclipsen

Apri vs reclipsen

Apri and Reclipsen are both oral contraceptive pills (OCPs). The generic name is desogestrel, the active ingredient being the same for both. The active ingredient is found in the first 21 tablets of the strip followed by 7 inactive or dummy tablets. The inactive ingredient is slightly different for apri and reclipsen.

These tablets need to be started on day 1 of the period or the Sunday following completion of the periods. One must complete the tablets in a row for 21 days without taking a break in between. Care needs to be taken to take the tablet within 24 hours each day, without skipping tablets in between. The mode of action of desogestrel, the main compound is that it causes changes in the cervical mucus lining, making it thicker and more viscid. This helps avoiding sperms from entering the cervical tract. Also, desogestrel makes the uterine lining smooth so as to avoid implantation in the rare case that fertilization does occur. Hormonal changes are produced due to desogestrel which is a combination of the female hormones estrogen and a progesterone-like compound called progestin. There is a rise in the hormonal levels which work by preventing the release of the ovum (female egg) and hence, prevent pregnancy. Desogestrel containing pills like Apri and Reclipsen are termed as third generation birth control pills because of their combination of estrogen and progesterone-like compounds to prevent pregnancy.

The inactive tablets generally consist of multiple ingredients like iron, vitamins and minerals. They are a substitute to the tablets containing the active ingredients. Once the 21 tablets are completed, there is withdrawal bleeding through the vagina. The most common indication for use of Apri and Reclipsen is contraception but the other indications are dysfunctional uterine bleeding, polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), dysmenorrhoea (painful periods) and grade four acne. The contraindications of these drugs are numerous in number. One must not take the drug if suffering from medical conditions like hypertension, thyroid disorders, diabetes, history of stroke, etc. Smoking cigarettes along with Apri and Reclipsen causes increased chances of blood clots and risks of stroke too.

The important side effects of Apri are weight gain and depression whereas those of Reclipsen are nausea, weight loss and vomiting. Common side effects for both pills owing to the content are weight gain, nausea, headache, vomiting, migraine, tenderness or swelling of breast and swelling over feet. If the tablet is missed after the first month of medication, one must continue the medication for the second month dosage regularly. This is one of the safest modes of contraception for young females as there are lesser complications. These drugs have an absolute contraindication, which are pregnancy and lactation. Apri and Reclipsen can be continued over long periods of time and hence, considered safe modes of contraception. There is no protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases by oral contraceptive pills like Apri/Reclipsen as compared to using a physical barrier contraceptive device like a condom.

Summary: Apri and Reclipsen are different brand names of the same drug ‘desogestrel’ that is present in both these birth control pills. Many physicians switch over the drugs after few years as Apri causes depression in a lot more causes whereas Reclipsen causes nausea and weight gain in more cases. Regular examination and monitoring of weight, blood pressure, blood tests and breast examination should be done if a patient is on oral contraceptives for a long time. There are high chances of cholesterol and lipids rising in females on long term Apri or Reclipsen.


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