Maryland women are among the 500 claimants who have filed personal injury lawsuits related to injuries and deaths that were caused by using the Ortho Evra birth control patch. According to legal analysts, however, thousands of women around the world have suffered heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots as a result of using the patch but do not know that the patch was the reason. Many families are believed to have lost loved ones for the same reason.
The FDA announced last week that it had updated the label on the Ortho Evra birth control patch to include the results from one study that reported that women who used the patch were twice as likely to sustain a blood clot than women using the pill. Another test indicated that there was no difference in risk factors between women using both kinds of birth control.
The FDA offers the following Patient Information Sheet for women using Ortho Evra:
Norlegstromin/ethinyl estradiol (marketed as Ortho Evra):
What is Ortho Evra used for?
Ortho Evra is a contraceptive (birth control) skin patch used to prevent pregnancy. It is called a combination hormonal contraceptive because it contains two hormones, estrogen, and progestin. It does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Who should not take Ortho Evra?
Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious adverse effects on the heart and blood vessels from the use of hormonal birth control methods. This risk increases with age and with heavy smoking (15 or more cigarettes per day) and is quite marked in women over 35 years of age. Women who use hormonal birth control methods should not smoke.
Ortho Evra should not be used by women who have a history of:
· Heart attack or stroke.
· Blood clots in the legs, lungs (pulmonary embolism), or eyes.
· Blood clots in the deep veins of the legs.
· Chest pain.
· Known or suspected breast cancer or cancer of the lining of the uterus, cervix, or vagina.
· Current unexplained vaginal bleeding.
· Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or of the skin (jaundice) during pregnancy or during previous use of hormonal contraceptives.
· Liver tumor (benign or cancerous).
· Current or suspected pregnancy.
· Severe high blood pressure.
· Diabetes with complications of the kidneys, eyes, nerves, or blood vessels,
· An allergy to Ortho Evra or to any of its ingredients.
General Precautions with Ortho Evra:
For the majority of women, Ortho Evra can be used safely. But some women are at high risk of developing certain serious diseases that can be life threatening or may cause temporary or permanent disability or death. The risks associated with using Ortho Evra increase significantly if you:
· Have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol.
· Have or have had clotting disorders, heart attack, stroke, chest pain (angina pectoris), and cancer of the breast or reproductive organs, jaundice, or malignant or benign liver tumors.
Ortho Evra may be less effective in preventing pregnancy in women weighing more than 198 pounds.
More than 4 million women are believed to have used the Ortho Evra birth control patch since it went on sale in 2002.
If you believe that you or someone you love has been injured, or you have a family member whom you believe has died due to Ortho Evra birth control patch, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for your pain, suffering, and loss.
500 Ortho Evra Patch Victims Sue Johnson & Johnson, Media Monitors Network.com, September 21, 2006
Warning Added To Birth Control Patch, Chron.com, September 23, 2006.
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