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October 5, 1970

Contraceptives and Hypertension

JAMA. 1970;214(1):136-137. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180010076019

The "pill" has become difficult for some people to swallow. Having witnessed the recent controversy, and prodded by their patients' questions, physicians have become increasingly concerned about possible dangers of oral contraceptives. The practitioner and his patient remain in a therapeutic dilemma, with the known and presumed dangers of the pill on the one hand balanced by the even greater social and medical complications of unwanted pregnancy on the other.

Whatever the outcome of the controversy, perhaps medicine has in the long run benefited by a number of lessons which have been learned. These include the need for careful collection and analysis of adverse reactions, the value of close cooperation between a sensitive FDA and a concerned pharmaceutical industry, and the importance of keeping the public informed and aroused, but not confused and agitated. Perhaps the most important lesson of all will be the pathophysiological insights provided by the increased