There are many birth control pills on the market today, and you may be wondering if one may work well for you. Ocella and Yasmin are two options. Ocella is a generic version of the brand-name drug Yasmin. This article describes how these two birth control pills are similar and how they’re different. This information can help you decide if Ocella or Yasmin is right for you.

Ocella is a generic version of Yasmin, so the two pills have the same chemical formula. As a result, they have the same use, dosage, and storage needs.

Use

Ocella and Yasmin are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help prevent pregnancy in women of childbearing age. Each drug contains the same amounts of two female hormones: an estrogen called ethinyl estradiol and a progestin called drospirenone. These hormones help prevent pregnancy in two ways. First, they stop ovulation (the release of an egg from one of your ovaries). Second, they cause other changes in the cervix and uterus that make it harder to get pregnant.

Ocella and Yasmin do not protect against HIV infection or other sexually transmitted infections.

Dosage

Ocella and Yasmin both come in blister packs with 28 tablets per pack. In each pack, 21 tablets contain hormones, and the rest do not. For each cycle, you take one tablet per day for 28 days.

For both Ocella and Yasmin, take one yellow tablet with hormones daily for three weeks (21 days). Then take one white tablet without hormones daily for one week (seven days).

Storage

You should store the blister packs for both Ocella and Yasmin at room temperature.

Both of these drugs are available at most pharmacies. The main difference between Ocella and Yasmin may be cost.

Ocella is a generic birth control pill, so it may be covered by more insurance plans than Yasmin, the brand-name version. This is because generics cost less. As a result, many insurance plans don’t cover brand-name drugs if a generic version is available.

The cash price (what you would pay without insurance) may also be less for generics than for brand-name drugs. With or without insurance, Ocella would likely be cheaper than Yasmin.

All drugs can cause side effects. Some of these are more common, and may go away after a few days. Others are more serious and can require medical care. You should consider all side effects when deciding if a drug may work for you.

Common side effects

Ocella, Yasmin, and all birth control pills have similar common side effects. These include:

  • spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods
  • nausea
  • breast tenderness
  • headache
  • trouble wearing contact lenses (hormone products may change the way lenses fit)

Serious side effects

Ocella and Yasmin also have similar serious side effects, which are uncommon in healthy women. These serious side effects include:

  • blood clots
  • high blood pressure
  • gallbladder disease
  • increased levels of potassium (can cause heart rhythm problems)
  • liver tumors (rare; may or may not be cancerous)

An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

Ocella and Yasmin interact with other drugs in the same way. For example, both Ocella and Yasmin can increase the amount of potassium in your body. So, taking other drugs that also increase potassium could raise your potassium level to an unhealthy range.

Other interaction effects are possible. Examples of drugs that may interact with Ocella or Yasmin include:

  • tuberculosis drugs such as rifabutin or rifampin
  • levothyroxine (thyroid medication)
  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) drugs such as nelfinavir or ritonavir
  • antiseizure drugs such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, or lamotrigine
  • certain antibiotics such as clarithromycin or erythromycin
  • statins (cholesterol drugs) such as atorvastatin or rosuvastatin
  • antifungal drugs such as itraconazole, voriconazole, or fluconazole
  • pain drugs such as morphine or acetaminophen
  • drugs to prevent organ transplant rejection such as mycophenolate
  • drugs that lower blood pressure such as enalapril, lisinopril, losartan, or valsartan
  • anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium

To find out if Ocella or Yasmin might interact with another drug you’re taking, talk with your doctor. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking.

Your overall health is a factor when you and your doctor are considering if a drug is a good choice for you. For instance, if you have a certain condition or disease, a particular drug may make it worse. Ocella and Yasmin would have the same effects on any medical conditions you may have.

Both pills can be used safely in many women. However, you should avoid them in some cases. Don’t use Ocella or Yasmin if you’re pregnant or think you might be pregnant, or if you smoke and are older than 35 years.

Also avoid Ocella or Yasmin if you have:

  • a history of blood clots
  • a history of stroke
  • a history of heart attack
  • certain heart valve problems or heart rhythm problems that can cause blood clots to form in your heart
  • a blood clotting problem that runs in your family and makes your blood clot more than normal
  • high blood pressure that’s not controlled by medication
  • diabetes that has caused kidney, eye, nerve, or blood vessel damage
  • a history of severe migraine headaches, with symptoms of aura, numbness, weakness, or vision changes
  • a history of breast cancer or any cancer affected by female hormones
  • liver disease, including liver tumors
  • kidney disease
  • adrenal disease

These birth control pills may not be a good choice for you if you have or have had:

  • cholestasis of pregnancy (jaundice caused by pregnancy)
  • chloasma gravidarim (darkening of the skin during pregnancy)
  • hereditary angioedema (a rare but serious immune system problem that runs in famiies)

If you have a history of depression, talk with your doctor to see if Ocella or Yasmin is safe for you. If your doctor prescribes you one of these birth control pills, watch your symptoms. If your depression comes back or gets worse, stop taking the pill and call your doctor.

Ocella and Yasmin work as well as most other birth control pills. When used correctly, about 1 out of 100 women might get pregnant during the first year of use.

Because Ocella and Yasmin have the same chemical formula, there are not many differences between them. The main difference may be cost, because Yasmin is a brand-name drug and Ocella is a generic. Also, the amount of side effects could be slightly different. This is because different drug companies make these pills, and the production process could be different.

To help you decide if Ocella, Yasmin, or another birth control pill is right for you, talk with your doctor. Discuss the information in this article as well as your full health history. Also, be sure to ask any questions you have. Your doctor can help you find a birth control pill that’s both effective and appropriate for your health needs.