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oral contraceptives 114 articles

Recent use of high-dose estrogen birth control pills linked to increased risk of breast cancer

Women who recently took a certain formulation of birth control pills may have an increased risk of breast cancer, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer Research. Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington in Seattle reviewed health records for oral contraceptive usage among more than 1,100 women with beast cancer, most of whom were diagnosed with the disease in their 40s. Researchers divided the birth control pills into three categories – those with a low level of synthetic estrogen (about 20 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol), those with a moderate level of ... Read More

Birth control pills may help protect athletic women from lingering effects of head injury

Women who suffer head injuries within the two weeks before their period have a slower recovery time and poorer health up to one month after their injury, according to a new study, prompting researchers to suggest that women who participate in sports that put them at risk for head injuries may benefit from taking birth control pills. Previous studies have suggested that women who experience head trauma have greater cognitive decline, slower reaction time, more headaches, longer periods of depression, longer hospital stays and longer delays before returning to work, compared to men who suffer head injuries. The outcomes are even ... Read More

Prolonged use of birth control pills linked to glaucoma

Women who use birth control pills for more than three years are twice as likely to suffer from glaucoma, an eye condition that can lead to blindness, a new study has shown. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness, which occurs when the optic nerve is damaged. Previous studies have shown that low estrogen levels in postmenopausal women can contribute to the development of glaucoma. While it is unclear why this is the case, researchers have speculated that since years of birth control use can also lower estrogen levels, perhaps it could also damage the eyes. For the study, researchers from ... Read More

Combination birth control pills discouraged for older women who smoke

A new black box warning will be added to the safety labels of several brands of estrogen-plus-progestin birth control pills urging women who are older than 35 years of age who smoke not to use the medication because it greatly increases their chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Black box warnings, or boxed warnings, are the strongest warning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires, and signifies that medical studies indicate that using a drug carries a significant risk of serious or even deadly adverse effects. The warnings will be placed on the following oral contraceptives: Modicon (norethindrone/ethinyl ... Read More

Johnson & Johnson recalls 32 million packs of birth control pills

Johnson & Johnson has issued another massive recall, this time on 32 million packages of birth control pills because of a flaw that could cause unplanned pregnancies. The oral contraceptives are sold in 43 countries around the world, but not in the United States. This recall is one of about 40 the consumer health product giant has issued on everything from over-the-counter medications to artificial hips since 2009. The recall was initiated because quality tests performed on the drugs showed one of the two hormones in the pills was releasing slower than it should. The company said the risk of ... Read More

Affordable Healthcare Act may make more women choose IUDs over pills

Changes in health care laws may help make intrauterine devices (IUDs) more affordable for women, and could boost sales of the devices in the United States. There are three types of IUDs sold in the U.S., including Bayer’s Mirena, which was introduced 12 years ago. IUDs have steep upfront costs ranging from $400 to $1,000, which have made lesser expensive birth control pills a much more attractive option. However, under the Affordable Healthcare Act, new health plans or those that lose their grandfathered status now must provide many preventative services – including birth control – without patients having to dig ... Read More

FDA approves new extended regime oral contraceptive

Quartette, a new generation of extended regime oral contraceptives, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Teva Pharmaceuticals announced. The combination levonorgestral/ethinyl estradiol and ethinyl estradiol tablets are designed to minimize breakthrough bleeding between scheduled periods. Breakthrough bleeding is a common side effect with extended regime birth control pills, especially during the first few months, and one of the main reasons why women give up on the pills. The estrogen in Quartette increases at specific points and provides four short, light periods a year. FDA approval is based on a series of clinical trials involving more than ... Read More

Bayer’s profits take a hit due to Yaz lawsuits

Lawsuits against the birth control pill Yaz took a huge bite out of Bayer’s fourth quarter profits. The company reported net profits of $490 million, a far cry from the $519 million it brought in last year. The company cited charges due to Yaz lawsuits in the United States as the culprit for lagging profits. The lawsuits claim that Yaz causes blood clots that can lead to sometimes fatal heart attacks, strokes and pulmonary embolisms. Yaz is Bayer’s once mega-popular birth control pill. It contains the hormones drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol. While all combination oral contraceptives can increase a woman’s ... Read More

Birth control pills recalled due to packaging flaw

Ten lots of the generic birth control pill Introvale made by Sandoz are being recalled because of a packaging flaw that if undetected could result in unintended pregnancy. The recall was initiated after a consumer reported that the white placebo tablets were mistakenly in the ninth row (labeled “Week 9”) of the 13-row blister card, rather than in the 13th and final row (labeled “Week 13”). Each three-month blister card contains 84 peach-colored active tablets and seven white placebo tablets in 13 rows, with each row representing one week. While the white placebo pills can be clearly distinguished from the ... Read More

Blood clots linked to contraceptive patches, rings

Lawsuits and bad press over Yaz birth control pills have brought attention to the dangerous risk of blood clots with oral contraceptives. But a new Danish study suggests that non-oral forms of hormonal contraceptives may be just as, if not more, dangerous. Contraceptives that use hormones, including pills, patches and rings, often carry some risk for blood clots. Blood clots are serious health issues. If they break free and travel to the heart, lungs or brain, they can trigger heart attacks, pulmonary embolism, or strokes, all of which can be deadly. Yaz made news in recent years because studies showed drospirenone, ... Read More