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Health Agencies Update
October 25, 2006

Birth Control Patch

JAMA. 2006;296(16):1958. doi:10.1001/jama.296.16.1958-b

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added a warning to the label on the birth control patch, stating that some women who use the product face a higher risk of blood clots.

One recent study found that women using the Ortho Evra patch had twice the risk of clots in the legs and lungs compared with women taking traditional birth control pills. However, a second study found no difference in risk.

Although the two studies, both commissioned by the patch's maker, Johnson & Johnson, had conflicting results, the FDA added the new warning as a precaution. The agency has also asked the manufacturer for a longer follow-up study of women using the patch to look for cases of blood clots, myocardial infarction, and stroke.