Universities Tell Students of Contraceptive Risks
Some Inland university health centers have stopped writing new prescriptions for the contraceptive patch after FDA warned of possible serious health risks associated with increased hormone exposure, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
FDA in November 2005 required a new, boldface warning on the Ortho Evra patch labeling, stating that users are exposed to about 60% more estrogen than a typical birth-control pill. Increased estrogen exposure has been linked to potentially fatal blood clots, strokes and heart attacks, especially in women who smoke cigarettes and are older than 35.
Health centers at the University of Redlands and the University of California-Riverside have stopped writing new prescriptions for the patch. Health centers in the California State University system have sent letters to students who have prescriptions for the patch to alert them to the warning.
Local Planned Parenthood clinics and many doctors are continuing to prescribe Ortho Evra but said they are carefully screening patients for risk factors and informing them of possible problems (Zimmerman, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 2/13).