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Doctors sent new alert about 'killer' contraceptive pills

MagazineFebruary 2014 (Vol. 24 Issue 11)Doctors sent new alert about 'killer' contraceptive pills

Doctors have been reminded yet again thatthe most commonly-prescribed birth control pills increase the risk oflife-threatening blood clots

Doctors have been reminded yet again that the most commonly-prescribed birth control pills increase the risk of life-threatening blood clots. A new warning has gone out to every doctor across the UK after French authorities reported that 14 women have died after using one of the 'third generation' contraceptives.

Birth control pills, including Yasmin, Femodene and Marvelon, increase the risk of a blood clot compared to the older generation drugs, the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has told doctors.

Doctors need to pay special attention to an individual's risk factors before prescribing one of the third generation, combined hormonal contraceptives, they say. Women who have a history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or very high blood pressure should not take the drugs.

Packaging inserts, which list side effects and adverse reactions, are to be changed to include the increased risk of blood clots, says the MHRA.

However, the agency says the pills are safe for women who don't have any risk factors. The French study merely confirms that the risks remain small, they say.

(Source: Mail on Sunday, February 2, 2014)

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