Birth Control Patch-Warnings

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There's word a popular birth-control patch may put its users at greater risk for blood clots and other serious side effects.

The warning from Ortho McNeil says its patch, Ortho Evra, exposes users to significantly higher doses of hormones or about 60 percent more estrogen than those using typical birth-control pills.

A company spokeswoman says the warning speaks for itself and the
company has been cooperating with the Food and Drug Administration,
which has distributed the new warning to health care providers.

More than four (m) million women have used the patch since it went on sale in 2002. Several lawsuits have been filed by families of women who died or suffered blood clots while using the patch, and lawyers have said more are planned.

A report by The Associated Press found that about a dozen women,
most in their late teens and early 20s, died in 2004 from blood clots believed to be related to the patch.