Birth Control Patches Pose Health Risk

Armen Hareyan's picture
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A US consumer advocacy group is asking FDA to pull off Johnson & Johnson's birth control patches Ortho-Evra, because they pose health risk.

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Public Citizen's Health Research Group urges that Ortho-Evra birth control patches contain about 60% more estrogen than pills do, and women who absorb significantly big amount of estrogen have high risk for blood clots.

A previous study of women aged from 15 to 44 showed the clot risk among birth control patch users is twice as higher than among pill users. After this study in January 2008 FDA mentioned on contraceptive patch labels the adverse side effect of clots. FDA also mentioned, that the patches need to be used exactly as directed to avoid health risk, and that women using it should consult doctors.

It was already known that estrogen based contraceptives increase the risk for developing blood clots, which leads to heart attack and stroke. From 3 to 5 out of 10000 women using hormonal contraceptives will develop a blood clot in a year. However, more than 9.9 million prescriptions were given in 2004 and 2.7 million in 2007.

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