FDA ISSUES WARNING REGARDING BIRTH CONTROL PATCH
The FDA recentlyannounced an updateto the product labelingfor the Ortho-Evracontraceptive patch.Information regardingthe risk of developingvenous thromboembolismhas beenchanged, based onincreased concerns that the patchincreases the risk of blood clots, comparedwith other types of birth controlwith similar ingredients. Two recentstudies produced conflicting dataregarding this issue, but the agencydetermined that the concerns weregreat enough to support the labelingchange.
The majority of women can use thepatch safely. The risk of embolic events,however, increases significantly withsmoking, high blood pressure, diabetes,high cholesterol, a family history of clottingdisorders, heart attack, stroke,chest pain, certain types of cancer,jaundice, or liver tumors. Womenshould consider an alternative methodof birth control if any of these conditionsexist.
Dr. Garrett is a clinical pharmacist practitioner at Cornerstone Health Care in High Point, NC.