Commentary on medical news by a practicing physician.

  • Epocrates MedSearch Drug Lookup


    "When many cures are offered for a disease, it means the disease is not curable" -Anton Chekhov

    ''Once you tell people there's a cure for something, the more likely they are to pressure doctors to prescribe it.''
    -Robert Ehrlich, drug advertising executive.

    "Opinions are like sphincters, everyone has one." - Chris Rangel

    email: medpundit-at-ameritech.net

    or if that doesn't work try:


    Medpundit RSS

    Quirky Museums and Fun Stuff

    Who is medpundit?

    Tech Central Station Columns

    Book Reviews:
    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    More Reviews

    Second Hand Book Reviews


    Medical Blogs


    DB's Medical Rants

    Family Medicine Notes

    Grunt Doc




    Code Blog: Tales of a Nurse

    Feet First

    Tales of Hoffman

    The Eyes Have It


    SOAP Notes


    Cut-to -Cure

    Black Triangle



    Kevin, M.D

    The Lingual Nerve

    Galen's Log



    Doctor Mental



    Finestkind Clinic and Fish Market

    The Examining Room of Dr. Charles

    Chronicles of a Medical Mad House



    Health Facts and Fears

    Health Policy Blogs

    The Health Care Blog

    HealthLawProf Blog

    Facts & Fears

    Personal Favorites

    The Glittering Eye

    Day by Day


    The Business Word Inc.

    Point of Law

    In the Pipeline


    Tim Blair

    Jane Galt

    The Truth Laid Bear

    Jim Miller

    No Watermelons Allowed

    Winds of Change

    Science Blog

    A Chequer-Board of Night and Days

    Arts & Letters Daily

    Tech Central Station





    The Skeptic's Dictionary

    Recommended Reading

    The Doctor Stories by William Carlos Williams

    Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 by Elizabeth Fenn

    Intoxicated by My Illness by Anatole Broyard

    Raising the Dead by Richard Selzer

    Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

    The Sea and Poison by Shusaku Endo

    A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich



    American Academy of Pediatrics

    General Health Info

    Travel Advice from the CDC

    NIH Medical Library Info



    Friday, November 11, 2005

    Litigating Hormones: The latest drug to come under litigation fire is the birth control patch, Ortho-Evra, which has prompted the FDA to issue a warning:

    The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday warned millions of women who use the Ortho Evra contraceptive patch that they are being exposed to about 60 percent more estrogen than with a typical birth control pill, which could put them at higher risk for blood clots.

    The labels on the medication will be updated with the warning, the FDA said. Most daily birth control pills contain 35 micrograms of estrogen.

    In July, 10 women filed a lawsuit against the two companies, claiming the patch caused them to suffer strokes and blood clots. The lawsuit -- filed in Hudson County, N.J., Superior Court -- alleges that the patch is "defectively designed" and "unreasonably dangerous."

    According to the FDA, the amount of estrogen delivered by the patch is more than the 35 microgram pill, but less than the 50 microgram pill. Interestingly, although the day-to-day exposure to estrogen is higher with the patch, the 35 microgram pills have higher peak levels:

    The new bolded warning specifically states that women who use Ortho Evra are exposed to about 60 percent more estrogen than if they were taking a typical birth control pill containing 35 micrograms of estrogen. However, the maximum amount of estrogen to which women are exposed is about 25% lower with Ortho Evra than they are with typical birth control pills.

    In other words, you get a brief surge of estrogen with the pills that you don't get with the patch.

    Either way, any type of estrogen will raise the risk of blood clots and strokes. This is common knowledge, and it's a potential side effect that doctors review with their patients before beginning hormonal contraceptives, and one that is included in the pamphlets that pharmacies dispense with their drugs. Which leaves one wondering, what are those women and their lawyers thinking? Did they think because they absorbed the estrogen from their skin instead of their GI tracts that it took away all the risks?

    posted by sydney on 11/11/2005 06:01:00 PM 0 comments


    Post a Comment

    This page is powered by Blogger, the easy way to update your web site.

    Main Page


    Home   |   Archives

    Copyright 2006