Ortho Evra, a birth control patch, was originally seen as a convenient option for busy women. Rather than requiring users to take a pill at the same time every day, it simply releases hormones into the bloodstream through the skin. But in 2005, Ortho Evra users found out that convenience may come at a price: The Associated Press published research showing that Ortho Evra triples its users’ chance of dying from serious side effects, compared to conventional birth control pills. The AP reported 12 blood-clot-related deaths in 2004 of women who used Ortho Evra. Because of this, the Food and Drug Administration in 2006 required the patch’s maker to put stringent warnings on its labels about the health risks of using Ortho Evra.
The blood clots often caused by Ortho Evra are called deep vein thrombosis. The clots form deep in the body — often in legs — and can be dangerous if they break loose and travel to the lungs, where they can stop blood flow, damaging vital organs and causing a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. Victims of deep vein thrombosis may suffer a heart attack or a stroke. The Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis estimates that pulmonary embolism kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
DVT is a side effect of all hormonal birth control, as well as pregnancy, but it’s significantly more likely with Ortho Evra because of the way the patch delivers hormones to the body. Ortho Evra contains as much estrogen as a conventional birth control pill, but because the human body can absorb more hormones through the skin than it can through the digestive system, users end up with significantly more estrogen in their systems — raising the risk of DVT.
Despite this danger, Ortho Evra remains on the market. Pharmaceutical companies have a legal — and moral — obligation not to sell drugs that could make the patient sicker, but for a few, those obligations will always come after profits.
Contact a South Carolina Ortho Evra Attorney Now
If you or someone you love used Ortho Evra and developed the severe health problems associated with DVT, including heart attack or stroke, you should consult the experienced South Carolina drug injury attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm. A free consultation can help you determine whether you have a legal claim for your injuries. Since 1959, we have won millions for South Carolinians injured by the negligence of others. For a free case evaluation, call us today at 803-454-1200 or fill out our confidential online consultation form.