At least 17 dead from using the patch

At least 17 women have died in the US after using a new birth control patch. The patch is approved in for sale in Norway as well.

20.09.04 12:38

According to a report from the American Drug and Alcohol Administration, at least 17 women between the ages of 17 and 30 have died from cardiac infarction, blood clot, or strokes after the birth control patch was introduced in the US in August of 2002.

«There is reason to worry,» said John Quagliarello, gynaecologist professor at NYU Medical Center, to New York Post.

The 18-year-old fashion student, Zakiya Kennedy, collapsed on the subway in New York in May and never woke up. Autopsy indicated that she had a blood cloth in her lungs. The doctors who treated her allegedly do not doubt that the patch is the reason for the blood cloth, reported the paper Aftonbladet.

Evra, which is the only birth control patch on the market, has been marketed very aggressive the last year.

In connection with the Olympics in Athens, the Norwegian beach volleyball stars wore the patch, and Susanne Glesnes was photographed with the patch on her shoulder. In the US, the super model Naomi Campell has been sponsored to wear the patched.

In contrast to the pill which has to be taken every day, the patch is only changed once a week. It transfers hormones that prevent pregnancies directly into the blood of the wearer.

Will look into it
The patch is approved for sale in Norway by the Norwegian Medicines Agency.

«We are looking into it, but for the time being there is nothing that indicates that this patch is worse than other combination pills,» said Gunnar Sørensen, head of information at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, to TV 2 Nettavisen. «We have no plans of withdrawing it from the market, men we are following it closely, like we do with all prevention remedies.»

Women who have close family members who have gotten a blood cloth should not use the patch. Neither should women who are significantly overweight, who smoke or who do not exercise.

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