Ortho Evra FAQ

Q: What is Ortho Evra?

A: Ortho Evra refers to a thin, adaptable birth control patch which is applied to the buttocks, abdomen, or upper body once a week. The Ortho Evra patch generates a continuous flow of estrogen and progestin to stop the process of ovulation. The patch is applied for three weeks and discontinue for a week to allow menstruation. Ortho Evra patch has the same components as typical birth control pills, but the manner the components are applied subject women to greater levels of estrogen.

Q: Is birth control patch more hazardous compared to the typical pills?

A: Even though the hormones in Ortho Evra are similar with the typical birth control pills, this birth control patch brings hormones straight to the blood stream, subjecting women to higher levels of estrogen. The increased exposure to estrogen may bring more risks and side effects. The hazardous and life-threatening side effects of estrogen include heart attack, stroke, and blood clots.

Q: What are the potential risks of using the Ortho Evra birth control patch?

A: The hormones contained in Ortho Evra birth control patch may cause blood clots. These blood clots and blocked blood vessels can lead to death or severe disability. A blood clot may stop the blood from reaching its destination like heart or lungs. Hence, applying Ortho Evra may help in developing a stroke, blocking the vessels or ripping the blood vessels found in the brain, and heart attack, and blocked blood vessels in the heart. Discuss with your physician about the risks of Ortho Evra patch.

Q: What are the side effects of Ortho Evra that I should watch?

A: Severe pain in the chest or tightness in the chest are major indicators of potential heart attack. If there are symptoms of blood clots in the lungs such as sharp chest pain, abrupt shortness of breath, and coughing up blood. You may experience severe calf pain if there is a clot in the leg. The warning signs for potential stroke are vomiting, dizziness, sudden intense headache, fainting, exhaustion, some disturbance in eyesight and/or speech, and numbness in the arms or leg.

Q: What should I do if I am applying the Ortho Evra patch now?

A: If you are going through signs of blood clot or stroke, like shortness of breath, numbness in one limb, dizziness, and tightness in the chest, seek for immediate medical attention. You can also discuss with your doctor about the potential risks related with using the birth control patch.

Q: What if I have suffered from blood clot or other injury while using the patch?

A: Even if you have received the needed medical attention, it is strongly recommended that you find an experienced lawyer to discuss your present situation, since you have the right for compensation for the injury sustained while using Ortho Evra birth control patch.

Q: Is there anything to do to prevent the occurrence of the risks while using Ortho Evra?

A: There are public organizations that are giving warning to women to avoid using the Ortho Evra birth control patch which include the consumer watchdog, the Public Citizen. The Public Citizen claims that Ortho Evra patch is no better than the traditional and equally effective oral contraceptives. The US Food and Drug Administration also recommended that Ortho Evra should place a bolder warning regarding its probable risks to women where they are subjected for about 60% more estrogen compared to the typical birth control pills.

Q: What does the new label of Ortho Evra say?

A: The Food and Drug Administration declared in November 2005, that Ortho Evra would place a new label to give warning to users regarding the risks of the birth control patch compared to the traditional oral contraceptives. The new label, in part, says that “hormones from the patches applied to the skin into the blood stream and are eliminated from the body differently compared to birth control pills taken orally.” You will be subjected for about 60% more estrogen while using Ortho Evra.

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