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Contraception. 2007 Apr;75(4):299-304. Epub 2007 Feb 26.

Oral contraceptives: side effects and depression in adolescent girls.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.



The study was undertaken to determine the side effects, including depression, of oral contraceptives (OCs) in adolescent girls.


We conducted a randomized trial of OCs for dysmenorrhea, which assessed side effects and depression. Seventy-six adolescents received an OC (20 microg of ethinyl estradiol/100 mg of levonorgestrel) or a placebo in a double-blind fashion for 3 months. We ascertained OC side effects using open-ended and closed question formats. Participants self-administered the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) to assess depressive symptoms.


Fifty-seven participants (77%) reported at least one side effect (median=2, range=0-8, interquartile range=1.0-3.25). The number and the type of side effects reported in the OC group and in the placebo group were similar. Mean exit CES-D scores were comparable between groups [OC group, 14.0 (SD=9.2); placebo group, 14.4 (SD=8.1); p=.86].


Adolescents treated with an OC or a placebo experienced similar numbers and types of OC side effects, as well as depressive symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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