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New-gen Pill 'doubles risk of blood clot'.

Byline: Catherine Lillington Staff Reporter

WOMEN who take newer brands of the Pill are almost twice as likely to be at risk of blood clots than those using older types, a new study by Midland researchers has found. Nottingham University researchers say their study indicates a link between newer contraceptive pills and a higher risk of serious S and died from a blood clot on her lung less than a month after she had started taking the Pill.

Her parents blame the fatal clot on the Pill, which her GP had prescribed to regulate her periods.

Fallon had been taking a Pill with a progestogen hormone called levonorgestrel, which the study says is among the lowest risk as a second-generation Pill, but it is still two-and-a-half times more likely to cause clots than not taking any oral contraceptives.

The university researchers found that users of any combined oral contraceptive are at an increased risk of the serious blood clots known as venous thromboembolism (VTE) compared with non-users of similar age and health.

Pills containing one of the newer types of progestogen hormone - such as drospirenone, desogestrel, gestodene, and cyproterone - are associated with an increased risk of VTE than pills containing older progestogens such as levonorgestrel and norethisterone, it was found. The researchers claim the risks for women using newer pills were around 1.5 - 1.8 times higher than for women using older pills. Compared with women not using oral contraceptives, women using older pills, containing levonorgestrel, norethisterone, and norgestimate, had about two and a half times increased risk of VTE, according to the researchers.

Women using newer pills, containing drospirenone, desogestrel, gestodene, and cyproterone, had around a four times increased risk of VTE. The study looked at the prescription information from two large UK general practice databases involving women who were aged 15-49 years.

The researchers argued that the results "provide evidence for relevant authorities concerned with prescribing guidelines or those involved with regulation of safety of medicines". About nine per cent of women of reproductive age worldwide use oral contraceptives, rising to 18 per cent of women in developed countries and 28 per cent of women in the UK.

The researchers stressed that oral contraceptives are safe and that women on combined contraceptive drugs "should not stop using them, but should consult their doctor and review their current type of pill at their next appointment if there are any concerns".

Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard of the Royal College of GPs, described the combined pill as an "excellent contraceptive choice for the majority of women".

She suggested that women already taking the pill should not change or stop their contraceptives, adding: "As with any prescribed drug, there is always the possibility of negative side effects but GPs understand the risks associated with the pill - and different generations of the pill - and will take these into account, along with medical and family history, before prescribing it to their patients.

"When starting a woman on oral contraception, prescribers should remember that the second generation combined oral contraceptive pill is associated with a slightly lower risk of complications of thromboembolism than the newer, third generation pills.

"But this must be kept in perspective as the newer pills have some other advantages over second generation pills in terms of fewer side effects."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 28, 2015
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