Patch Carries High Risk of Blood Clots

Jan 21, 2008

A birth control skin patch was found to have a higher risk of blood clots than other hormonal contraceptive like birth control pill, the US Food and Drug administration announced.
According to the findings, the increased risk to health led to some changes made to the labelling of birth control skin patch to help women make a more sound choice.
These measures were taken after two cases of death, one heart attack and 16 cases of blood clot reported by women, who were using birth control patch.
The Ortho Evra Contraceptive Transdermal Patch is used as a birth control method that contains a combination of female hormones: ethinyl estradiol (a type of estrogen), and a progestin called norelgestromin which are released via the skin into the bloodstream to prevent ovulation.
The risk of blood clots is higher than for birth control pills due to the fact that body processes hormones differently via the skin than in case when a woman takes birth control pills. Women using patch are exposed to higher amount of hormone estrogen, which may contribute to the risk of blood clots.
Birth control pills are known to have blood clots also called as venous thromboembolisms (VTEs) as a side effect and it was proved that Ortho Evra carries the risk of thromboembolisms. The study conducted by the Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance Program, including women aged 15 to 44, revealed that the patch increased the risk of developing blood clots.
In November 2006, a group of 43 women sued Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Co. for having health problems related to the use of Ortho-Evra, claiming that women are exposed to excess of hormones.
The FDA pointed the risks of Ortho Evra patch and mentioned that product is safe enough for healthy women and recommended that women should consult their health care provider.

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