Archive for stroke

Morning-After Abortion Pills Linked to Blood Clots

Posted in Abortion pill, birth control, Birth Control Dangers, Morning After Pill, Plan B with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2011 by saynsumthn

Morning-After Pills Linked to Blood Clots
Wendy Wright
Just as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is on the verge of allowing underage girls to get the morning-after pill with no doctor’s oversight or parental involvement, bad news about the drug comes out of India.

Thaindian News reports:

“A vascular disease called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is on the rise and doctors say it has a lot to do with the increase in sales of over-the-counter contraceptive pills.

“The percentage of DVT in women has seen an increase and frequencies of the disease are found in women taking birth control pills or contraceptives without any prescription,” said Rajiv Parakh, chairman of the division of peripheral vascular and endovascular sciences at Medanta hospital.

The number of cases of DVT among young women suddenly increased at the same time that the morning-after pill has been aggressively advertised. Sales of the drug increased 250 percent in one year in India, with nearly 8.2 million of the pills sold in 2009.

DVT is a blood clot in a deep vein. Blood clots are a known complication of birth control pills. The morning-after pill is a high dose of birth control pills.

“Any amount of estrogen that is not required by the female body is harmful for her. The pills tend to increase the hormone level, resulting in pain and swelling caused by blood clot formation in the veins,” Nutan Agrawal, professor of gynecology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences told Thaindian News.

As expected, teens choose the over-the-counter drug as their birth control method of choice because it’s easy to get. “Because of the availability of drugs with retailers, these contraceptives have become the quick fix to abortions in a very short span of time,” Agrawal said.

Here in the U.S., Teva, the company that owns the morning-after pill Plan B, has asked the FDA to approve its drug for over-the-counter use for anyone. Currently, anyone under 17 needs a prescription to buy it.

When I originally testified against over-the-counter access to Plan B, I pointed out the possible medical risks — including blood clots. Officials ignored the risks to women, apparently rationalizing that the low-dose birth control pills can also cause blood clots.

What they conveniently overlooked is that birth control pills require a prescription. Doctors can warn women of the risks, and of what will increase their risks (like smoking), before giving a prescription. The patients will also have someone to call — the prescribing doctor — if they suspect complications. With over-the-counter access, women mistakenly believe the drug is completely safe and needs no medical consultation.

The FDA and abortion groups — the loudest backers of the morning-after pill — act as if access to birth control is a higher priority than medical risks to women. But they’ve got it easy. They are not held responsible when women end up in the hospital.

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Contraceptive pills a risk for women’s hearts
Wednesday, March 09, 2011 12:02:49 AM by IANS ( Leave a comment )

New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Before you pop an emergency birth control pill, think again. Contraceptive medication might be a quick way to prevent pregnancy, but it increases the risk of heart disease among women, say experts.

A vascular disease called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is on the rise and doctors say it has a lot to do with the increase in sales of over-the-counter contraceptive pills.

“Due to changing lifestyles, it has been seen that over-the-counter contraceptive pills can lead to DVT. The chances of DVT multiply for women who smoke and drink,” said Rajiv Parakh, chairman of the division of peripheral vascular and endovascular sciences at Medanta hospital.

“DVT is a serious vascular disease where the blood clot is formed in the deep veins that are the blood carriers, usually in the leg,” added Parakh.

With aggressive advertising of over-the-counter contraceptive pills, cases of DVT have also seen a noticeable rise in recent times, believe experts.

“The percentage of DVT in women has seen an increase and frequencies of the disease are found in women taking birth control pills or contraceptives without any prescription,” points out Parakh.

According to statistics by the government, the sale of nearly 8.2 million over-the-counter emergency contraceptive pills was reported in 2009, a 250 percent increase over 2008. The pills claim to prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex.

But experts explain how the estrogen content in pills, produced naturally in a woman’s body, becomes the reason for DVT occurrence.

“Any amount of estrogen that is not required by the female body is harmful for her. The pills tend to increase the hormone level, resulting in pain and swelling caused by blood clot formation in the veins,” explained Nutan Agrawal, professor of gynaecology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Gyneacology experts believe it is not just over- the-counter contraceptives that have caused a spurt in DVT cases but also the sedentary lifestyle.

“Sedentary lifestyle and changing work culture are some other reasons behind DVT. Sitting for long hours, erratic work hours, no exercise, smoking and junk food make up for some of the causes that have caused a shift in the hormonal imbalance,” Agrawal said.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over seven percent of adolescent girls smoke cigarettes as opposed to 12 percent of adolescent boys.

“The reason that the problem of DVT and contraceptives is serious is that we are seeing a lot of young girls in their 20s coming up with cases of the disease,” points out Parakh, who said he gets over 15 cases of DVT in a month.

Agrawal cautioned on how over-the-counter contraceptive drugs have dominated birth control measures for the teen population: “Because of the availability of drugs with retailers, these contraceptives have become the quick fix to abortions in a very short span of time. There is certainly a need for awareness among young girls about sexual health.”

DVT is diagnosed through a host of symptoms that includes pain in the chest, swelling and pain in muscles and legs, and pulmonary or heart-related complications.

(Madhulika Sonkar can be contacted at madhulika.s@ians.in)

More at : Contraceptive pills a risk for women’s hearts http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health1/contraceptive-pills-a-risk-for-womens-hearts_100511734.html#ixzz1IJ65ZF5r

Link Found Between Birth Control And Strokes In Kids

Posted in birth control, Birth Control Dangers with tags , , , , , on November 5, 2010 by saynsumthn

November 5, 2010 (RTTNews )
A new report in the journal Acta Paediatrica suggests that children who smoke and take oral contraceptive pills are at an increased risk for stroke.

According to Dr. Sten Christerson of the Paediatric Clinic at the Orebro University Hospital in Sweden, children who suffer strokes early in life often have life long health problems.

“The aim of the study was to evaluate the incidence, presenting symptoms and signs, time lag to diagnosis, medical investigations, risk factors and short-term outcomes of childhood stroke,” Christerson tells ScienceDaily.com.

For the study, Christerson and his team reviewed the health records of children between the ages of 28-days-old and 18-years-old and found that 85 percent of those who survived strokes had significant neurological impairments.

“Although childhood stroke is not as common as many other childhood illnesses, it is a serious condition that results in considerable long-term ill health and severe functional disabilities.”
A significant number of the female patients were using oral contraceptives and/or smoking prior to their stroke. Christerson says that the new data should raise awareness of childhood stroke.

“Clear guidelines are needed to provide more consistent diagnosis and treatment of childhood stroke and our study also highlights the need for long-term rehabilitation services. It also raises real concerns about young girls who take oral contraceptives and also smoke or have iron deficient anaemia.”

Contraceptive Dangers Rising Concern Over Side Effects

Posted in Abortion pill, birth control, Birth Control Dangers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2010 by saynsumthn

Note- This came out in 2005- research has been done to prove further dangers since:

WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 8, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Even as governments and family planning groups continue to push contraceptives, new evidence is coming forward on their dangerous side effects. In England, the minister for children, Margaret Hodge, declared that she was in favor of injectable contraceptives for schoolgirls, BBC reported Nov. 16.

“What is really interesting is this contraceptive injection,” she declared. “If people are having sex, you don’t want them to have babies at that age.”

Hodge’s enthusiasm for contraceptives flies in the face of scientific warnings. On Aug. 23 Reuters reported on research by a team from the University of North Carolina and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Women who use the injected contraceptive Depo-Provera have a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases, they concluded.

Charles Morrison, of Family Health International, said that more study is needed, but it is possible that Depo-Provera itself causes a susceptibility to sexually transmitted diseases. “We did adjust for differences in condom use, differences in multiple partners, differences in the number of sexual coital acts,” he told Reuters.

Depo-Provera is also under scrutiny by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency has now stipulated that the drug must carry a special warning that prolonged use can cause significant loss of bone density, the Associated Press reported Nov. 17.

Shortly after the FDA announcement, another study confirmed the problem of bone loss due to Depo-Provera, Reuters reported Dec. 23. Researchers from the University of Iowa compared 178 women using the injectable with 145 women not using hormonal contraception.

Average bone density at the hip fell 2.8% one year after starting Depo-Provera and 5.8% after two years. Loss of bone density in the spine was similar. This compares to average bone loss of less than 0.9% among the control group.

Deadly side effects

Another contraceptive with troubling consequences is the so-called patch. Last April 4 the New York Post reported on the case of 18-year-old Zakiya Kennedy, who died as a result of blood clots, formed as a result of her patch contraceptive. She had switched from using birth-control pills to the patch about three weeks before her death.

The newspaper followed this up with a Sept. 19 report tying the Ortho Evra patch, the only kind marketed in the United States, to the deaths of at least 17 women in the past two years. The article added that scores of other women using the patch have suffered complications, including 21 “life-threatening” cases of blood clots and other ailments. The data came from FDA reports obtained by the newspaper.

The article added that the manufacturer claims the patch has been used by 4 million American women since it went on sale in 2002. A company spokesman commented that the illnesses and deaths are “consistent with the health risks” of the pill, which it says kills 0.3 to 1.9 women in every 100,000 users ages 15 to 29.

Concerns over the health risks of another contraceptive forced the FDA to step in a few days ago to correct a TV commercial. Reuters reported Dec. 30 that the FDA warned Barr Pharmaceuticals that its ads for Seasonale pills failed to mention the side effect of frequent and substantial bleeding.

The FDA warned the company that the commercial misleads consumers by excluding this information, to make the birth control pill seem safer. The warning came in a letter to the company released by the FDA on Dec. 29. In addition to the bleeding problems the pill’s label warns that other side effects can include blood clots, heart attack and stroke. But the commercials, observed the FDA, use “compelling visuals” and “fast-paced scene changes” along with other techniques that distract from warning information.

Good news proved false

One recent report at first seemed to disprove health worries over contraceptives. The British newspaper Guardian on Oct. 26 noted that some studies had concluded that the pill could help protect women from heart disease and strokes. Plus, another study of women in America concluded that the pill did not increase the risk of breast or cervical cancer.

These results were presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine conference in Philadelphia last October. The data came from the ongoing Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study, which is tracking a group of more than 160,000 women.

The report in the Guardian was skeptical about the positive news. It noted that the WHI study had previously reported data linking hormone replacement treatment to an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease and strokes. The contraceptive pill and HRT are practically the same, the article noted.

The doubts proved to be prescient. On Nov. 27 the London-based Times reported that the WHI had subsequently rejected the findings drawn from its data and demanded a retraction.

Jacques Rossouw, acting director of the WHI, admitted to the Times that the study lacked credibility. “The researchers just looked at base-line data, which is very poor data,” he said. “That is why the findings are so bizarre. These kinds of results are just not credible.”

The Times followed this story up with another article, on Dec. 13, that warned of higher stroke risks for women who take the pill. Based on a study of more than 5,000 people, researchers from Canada, the United State and Spain have concluded that migraine sufferers who take the pill are up to eight times more likely to suffer a stroke than those not using it. The Times added that migraines affect an estimated 6 million people in Britain, with women being more susceptible to the problem.

So-called morning-after pills are also associated with health problems. A July 30 report by Medical News Today summarized the findings of a study published by Dr. Gene Rudd in the September issue of the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

Last July 22, Barr Laboratories reapplied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to receive approval for Plan B to be made available over-the-counter, after the FDA’s initial refusal. Rudd’s article contains data arguing that easing access to Plan B would place the health of many women at risk.

Rudd noted that nonprescription access to Plan B would keep many women out of doctors’ offices and away from appropriate, comprehensive care. Additionally, Plan B may encourage more risk-taking behaviors such as “unprotected” sex that increase the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Health concerns are not limited to contraceptives. The abortion pill RU-486 has been linked to a number of deaths. A well-known case is the 2003 death of Holly Patterson, an 18-year-old Californian who succumbed to septic shock after taking RU-486.

Holly’s father, Monty Patterson, said that the FDA should ban the abortion pill after a third death was being linked to its use, the Associated Press reported Nov. 16. That same day, the New York Times reported that the FDA has asked that the warning label on the RU-486 be strengthened.

In an opinion article published Nov. 19 in the New York Times, Donna Harrison, an obstetrician-gynecologist and member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, accused authorities of having given the green light to the abortion pill in 2000 due to political interference by the Clinton administration.

She explained that documents recently obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that the Clinton administration “pushed to get RU-486 approved before the 2000 election despite the lack of reliable data demonstrating its safety.” That news may have come too late for at least a few RU-486 users.