Magazine article FDA Consumer

First Contraceptive Skin Patch. (Updates)

Magazine article FDA Consumer

First Contraceptive Skin Patch. (Updates)

Article excerpt

The FDA has approved Ortho Evra, the first skin patch for birth control. The prescription patch works by releasing hormones through the skin into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy.

The square patch, just under two inches wide, consists of three layers. The hormones norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol are embedded in the adhesive layer and are slowly released when the patch is applied to the skin.

Women using the product should apply it to the lower abdomen, buttocks or upper body, but not to the breasts. The patch is worn continuously for one week and then replaced with a new patch, for a total of three weeks of patch wear. During the fourth week, no patch is used, allowing the woman to have her menstrual period.

Like birth control pills, Ortho Evra is effective for pregnancy prevention when used as directed. The risks of using this product include an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. …

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