According to NBC, 24 deaths have been attributed to blood clots induced by the patch, and more than 2,400 women currently have personal injury lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson.
-- From "Johnson & Johnson Bury Data on Ortho-Evra's Health Risks?" by Meredith Melnick, Time Magazine 9/24/10
Since it's introduction in 2002, the patch has been prescribed 40 million times.
. . . But the patch is associated with higher risks of pulmonary embolism — a type of blood clot — as well as stroke and heart attack. These are all rare side effects of any birth control medication that contains synthetic forms of estrogen. The problem is, the patch pumps 60% more estrogen into your bloodstream than the Pill does. While the oral Pill is quickly digested and broken down in the body, the patch provides a constant stream of estrogen for three weeks of each month.
An NBC report, broadcast during Thursday's broadcast of the Today show, said that according to leaked patient reports from J&J, the company knew that users of the patch were 12 times more likely to suffer stroke and 18 times more likely to have blood clots than Pill takers.
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