Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
The drug company Pfizer has issued a recall for a million birth control pills sold in the U.S. because the pills may not contain enough contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. MSNBC.com reports:
“As a result of this packaging error, the daily regimen for these oral contraceptives may be incorrect and could leave women without adequate contraception, and at risk for unintended pregnancy,” according to a Pfizer statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website.
Pfizer found that some packets of the drugs had too many active tablets, while others had too few.
The drugmaker said the issue involved 14 lots of Lo/Ovral-28 tablets and 14 lots of Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets.
A company spokeswoman said the problem was caused by both mechanical and visual inspection failures on the packaging line, The Associated Press reported.
She said the problem has been corrected.
Image: Birth control pills, via Shutterstock.
Friday, January 20th, 2012
A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that one-third of teenage mothers didn’t use birth control because they didn’t think they could get pregnant. From The Associated Press:
What were they thinking, exactly, isn’t clear. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey didn’t ask teens to explain their reasoning.
But other researchers have talked to teen moms who believed they couldn’t get pregnant the first time they had sex, didn’t think they could get pregnant at that time of the month or thought they were sterile.
“This report underscores how much misperception, ambivalence and magical thinking put teens at risk for unintended pregnancy,” said Bill Albert, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
This summer, a national statistical report showed a drop in teen pregnancy rates for the second year in a row, to a rate of 20.1 babies per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17.
Image: Pregnant woman’s belly, via Shutterstock
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
In the wake of recent research showing elevated risk of blood clots and strokes for women who use new brands of birth control pills, the Food and Drug Administration is considering new safety measures for those products. The Associated Press reports:
Regulators could order new warning labels on several contraceptives that gained popularity in the last decade, including Bayer’s pill Yaz, which was the best-selling birth control pill in the U.S. for 2008 and 2009.
Yaz, its Bayer precursor Yasmin, and similar drugs use a version of a female hormone that appears to reduce side effects found in older drugs, including bloating and mood swings.
On Tuesday, a judge unsealed several court documents suggesting Bayer may have withheld data from FDA about the blood clots risks of its drugs. The documents stem from expert opinion gathered by personal injury lawyers suing Bayer on behalf of patients.
Image: Birth control pills, via Shutterstock.
Friday, October 28th, 2011
The Food and Drug Administration has released a new study linking several new birth control pills, including the drug Yaz, to an increased risk of dangerous, even life-threatening blood clots. The Associated Press reports:
A new study released by the Food and Drug Administration reviewed the medical history of more than 800,000 women taking different forms of birth control between 2001 and 2007. On average, woman taking Yaz had significantly higher rates of blood clots than women taking older birth control drugs.
The agency also reports higher complications in women using the Ortho Evra patch from Johnson & Johnson and the Nuvaring vaginal ring from Merck & Co. Inc.
The FDA will hold a public meeting in December to discuss the findings further.
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
State constitutional amendments that would declare fertilized human eggs to be legally considered “people” are on ballots in a half dozen states, including Mississippi, Ohio, and Florida. The amendments, if passed, would effectively label abortion and some forms of birth control as murder.
The New York Times reports:
The amendment in Mississippi would ban virtually all abortions, including those resulting from rape or incest. It would bar some birth control methods, including IUDs and “morning-after pills” that prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. It would also outlaw the destruction of embryos created in laboratories.
The drive for personhood amendments has split the anti-abortion forces nationally. Some groups call it an inspired moral leap, while traditional leaders of the fight, including National Right to Life and the Roman Catholic bishops, have refused to promote it, charging that the tactic is reckless and could backfire, leading to a Supreme Court defeat that would undermine progress in carving away at Roe v. Wade.
The approach, granting legal rights to embryos, is fundamentally different from the abortion restrictions that have been adopted in dozens of states. These try to narrow or hamper access to abortions by, for example, sharply restricting the procedures at as early as 20 weeks, requiring women to view ultrasounds of the fetus, curbing insurance coverage and imposing expensive regulations on clinics.
The Mississippi amendment aims to sidestep existing legal battles, simply stating that “the term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”