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Study: NuvaRing Associated with Serious Side Effects

Filed December 13th, 2012 admin

A new study has found that the contraceptive vaginal ring, NuvaRing, is as effective as combined oral contraceptives, although it has been associated with serious adverse events.

The study was published in the December edition of The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care and the findings were based on multiple factors, including effectiveness, safety and overall patient satisfaction. The study cautioned that patients are often counseled that the ring is a safer alternative to the pill, but local adverse events are the reason for discontinuation.

NuvaRing is a once-a-month contraceptive that features a small plastic ring inserted into the vagina, where it remains for three weeks. It is said to release the hormones estrogen and etonogestral. NuvaRing was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001 and has since been connected to a host of side effects. The National Institutes of Health recently reported that use of NuvaRing can increase the risk of developing a liver tumor, breast cancer, liver cancer, heart attack, stroke or a serious blood clot.

Although all contraceptives have been linked to some risk of cardiac side effects, plaintiffs in NuvaRing lawsuits claim these side effects happen more frequently with women who use this product than with other hormonal birth control alternatives. There are currently hundreds of lawsuits pending in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Missouri.

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