The Fundamentals of FDA Revisits Safety of Newer Birth Controls

Contraceptives containing oestrogen have been shown to increase the risk of blood clots, and you should avoid using combination hormonal contraceptives if you have moderate to high antiphospholipid antibodies. If you have low or borderline levels of antiphospholipid antibodies, whether you should avoid the combination hormonal contraceptives depends on whether you have other risk factors for blood clots. If you have antiphospholipid antibodies and can’t use oestrogen, progesterone-only contraception is a good option for you. If you’re on blood-thinning medications like warfarin, also known as Coumadin, which is commonly used to treat APS, or antiphospholipid syndrome, this approach can help you reduce excessive menstrual flow. You can get additional information at view publisher site

For many years, it was considered that oestrogen exacerbated disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus. This belief was based on studies in laboratory animals, the fact that lupus affects predominantly women (4 out of 5 persons with lupus are women), and accounts of women’s lupus worsening after taking birth control pills or becoming pregnant. Early research indicates that using oestrogen-containing contraceptives increased the incidence of lupus flares. However, more recent trials with larger numbers of participants and established ways of assessing flares have concluded that oestrogen-containing contraceptives are safe in some women with lupus.

In addition, two randomised clinical trials released at the end of 2005 revealed that combined birth control tablets do not enhance the incidence of flares in women with inactive or stable mild lupus. The Safety of Oestrogens in Lupus Erythematosus National Assessment, or SELENA, trial evaluated the effects of a regular combination birth control pill versus the effects of an inactive placebo tablet in 183 women with inactive or stable, mild lupus.

Women with active lupus, a history of blood clots, or antiphospholipid antibodies were unable to participate in the trial, and there was no difference in the number or severity of lupus flares between the two groups. Another trial of 162 women with stable mild-to-moderate lupus revealed no difference in flare rates whether they took a combination pill, a progesterone-only pill, or a copper IUD.