Ortho Evra Patch
There are various contraceptive options for women, all of which function similarly. The birth control pill is one of these options, but is often disliked by women because the oral contraceptive must be taken daily. Moreover, it is recommended that the pill be taken at similar times of the day to decrease the chances of pregnancy. This is a struggle for women who are active or have difficulties adhering to strict schedules. Consequently, the Ortho Evra Patch was created by the Ortho Women's Health & Urology Company as a new and innovative way in which to benefit from non-oral contraceptives.
The Ortho Evra Patch is intended for active or forgetful women, because it is applied to the skin once a week, rather than taken daily. By applying the patch to designated areas of the body, estrogen and progestin hormones pass into the bloodstream through the skin. While convenient, the patch poses problems for women who use them. Although the patch is as effective as the pill for the prevention of pregnancy, it contains more estrogen than the typical birth control pill. While birth control pills typically contain approximately thirty to thirty-five micrograms of estrogen, the Ortho Evra Patch has an increased amount of sixty micrograms. While some women can tolerate these levels, many cannot. The most common side effect documented from use of the patch are blood clots in the legs. Others suffered from similar blood clots in the lungs as well. Studies reveal that there is a fifty percent higher chance of developing blood clots from use of the patch when compared to the pill. There have been reports of strokes, heart attacks, and other complications arising from the patch. Long-term use of the patch has also been known to cause headaches, vomiting, nausea, and breast irritation.
In 2004, nearly eighty thousand women were using the Ortho Evra Patch. During this time, there were forty-four reports of blood clots leading to fatalities. The fatal blood clots often led to deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolisms. An embolism can cause strokes, heart attacks, hemorrhaging, and death. Not all cases lead to death if a person seeks medical attention as soon as symptoms appear. The site of the blood clot is also important and can determine long-term consequences. Most birth control pills pose some risks for blood clots in certain women. Typically, these blood clots form in the legs. However, the risks are very low for women who do not smoke and are otherwise healthy. Normally, risks apply more to women with cardiovascular problems, and all are well informed of the possible side effects. The number of complications reported from use of the patch, however, was not well taken. Women with cardiovascular problems were not the only people at risk; blood clots were reported among all types of women.
After the reports in 2004, it was determined that the Ortho Evra Patch was three times more deadly than oral contraceptives.
When we take medication, we are aware of certain side effects, but until studies were conducted related to blood clot risks from the use of this product, women were largely unaware of the damaging effects it could have on their lives. If you or someone you know has suffered from blood clots as a result of this patch, you should contact an attorney to review your records. A lawyer who specializes in Ortho Evra Patch cases can help you receive compensation for its damaging effects.
Even with the dangerous side effects associated with this contraceptive, the Ortho Evra patch has not been recalled. Instead, the company has altered its packaging to reveal new warning labels. Even when women are well informed of health risks, long term ramifications associated with the patch are still unknown, and women could be at risk for developing ailments ten or more years in the future. With the seriousness of short-term side effects, there is no true way of discovering what the long-term consequences will be.
Product liability claims have been on the rise since the release of the patch and the revision of its new label. Many claims have been made accusing manufacturers of not providing accurate information. Layers complain that, while the package indicates hormonal warnings similar to the use of the pill, it neglects to describe risks associated with a pill taken orally versus hormones transmitted through the skin. Women using the patch stand a higher risk of absorption problems because a product that is placed on the outside of the skin is more susceptible to damage. While reviewing hormonal side effects, the company neglected to also mention this risk.
If you suspect you are entitled to compensation for medical bills and problems caused by this patch, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney immediately. Through consultations, an attorney can walk you through litigation processes and help you achieve a settlement.