What is Ocella?
Ocella is a birth control pill that combines two hormones: an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (drospirenone). The drug works by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) during a woman’s menstrual cycle. It also makes vaginal fluid thicker, which helps prevent sperm from reaching an egg, and changes the lining of the uterus to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg. Ocella is manufactured by Bayer, and was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008.
Ocella and Pseudotumor Cerebri
Pseudotumor cerebri occurs when pressure inside a person’s skull increases for no apparent reason. Symptoms are similar to those produced by a brain tumor, except that no tumor is present. PTC can occur in children and adults, but it’s most commonly reported in obese women of childbearing age.
The exact cause of pseudotumor cerebri in most patients is unknown; however, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), birth control pills may increase a woman’s risk of developing the condition.
Pseudotumor Cerebri Symptoms
- Blurred vision
- Double vision (diplopia)
- Eye injury (papilledema)
- Buzzing sound in the ears (tinnitus)
- Vision loss
In addition to taking Ocella, the following factors may increase your risk of developing pseudotumor cerebri:
- Addison disease
- Chronic kidney failure
- Cushing’s disease
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Onset of menstruation (menarche)
Can PTC be Cured?
Some patients with pseudotumor cerebri completely recover without any vision problems. However, other patients suffer permanent visual loss, which can range from mild to severe. There are currently no treatments available to reverse permanent injury to the optic nerves caused by PTC. Treatment of the disorder is focused on halting vision loss that has already occurred.