EU agency to review safety of newer contraceptive pills

LONDON Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:38pm IST

An illustration picture shows a woman holding a birth control pill at her home in Nice January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

An illustration picture shows a woman holding a birth control pill at her home in Nice January 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Related Topics

Stocks

   

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Medicines Agency is to review the safety of third and fourth-generation combined oral contraceptives to decide if there is a need to restrict their use.

Monday's move followed a request by France, where authorities have already taken steps to reduce use of the drugs in favour of second-generation birth control pills.

The newer pills, which include Bayer's (BAYGn.DE) Meliane or Yasmin, have proved popular because they reduce side effects seen with earlier versions, such as weight gain and acne.

But France wants the European Union regulator to restrict their use because of concerns they carry a higher risk of dangerous blood clots.

While all oral contraceptives are associated with some danger of blood clots, a number of studies suggest the most recent third- and fourth-generation pills carry a higher risk than their predecessors.

The London-based European Medicines Agency (EMA), which said earlier this month there was no new evidence of safety risks, said the blood-clot risk with all birth control pills was "very small", although it was higher for third- and fourth-generation ones.

"There is no reason for any woman to stop taking her contraceptive. If a woman has concerns, she can discuss this with her doctor," the EMA said in its latest statement.

The French government earlier this month said it would stop reimbursing prescription costs of the third- and fourth-generation pills and would restrict their use after a woman sued Bayer over alleged side effects.

About 2.5 million women in France take third- and fourth-generation pills, roughly half all those on oral contraceptives. French health authorities argue this use of the newer pills is excessive.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Anthony Barker)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Canada Shooting

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fighting Islamic State

Fighting Islamic State

Iraqi Kurds approve sending fighters to aid Syrian town.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Official WHO Ebola toll near 5,000 with true number nearer 15,000.  Full Article 

Double Murder

Double Murder

Thailand tourist murder suspects retract confessions.  Full Article 

Abducted Girls

Abducted Girls

Nigeria talks with Boko Haram but no sign of girls' release.  Full Article 

Bodies In Locker

Bodies In Locker

Woman charged after 6 infant bodies found in Canadian locker.  Full Article 

Tunisia Polls

Tunisia Polls

Tunisia election tests transition from autocracy to democracy.  Full Article 

Pope's Agenda

Pope's Agenda

Pope Francis plays long game to reform Catholic Church.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage