By Siobhan Fogarty
A review conducted into the link between the pill and the risk of blood clots in women has led to new safety advice for medicines known as combined oral contraceptives.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration looked into thromboembolic disorders, also known as blood clot disorders, in women taking a combined hormonal contraceptive (CHC) containing ethinylestradiol and progestogen.
The TGA found that women using a CHC had an increased risk of a blood clots, which varied depending on the progestogen found in the pill.
Blood clot disorders were rare, with two cases for every 10,000 women each year, according to the TGA.
“For women who are using one of the CHCs currently available in Australia, the risk of a blood clot is increased but is still rare,” the TGA said in a statement.
The review also found that the risk of arterial thromboembolism, such as stroke or heart attack, also increased but was even rarer than a blood clot.
The TGA advised the risk was likely to be increased for women with other risk factors, including those who were older than 35, those who smoked, who had a body mass index greater than 30kilograms/m2 and who had a predisposition to or family history of blood clots.
The TGA said women taking such contraceptives should not be unduly alarmed by the findings but should talk to their doctor if they exhibit any signs of blood clot disorders, the symptoms of which could be found on the TGA website.
“You are urged to discuss the benefits and risks of taking a CHC, or any other questions or concerns you have, with your health professional,” the TGA said.
It also upgraded its safety advice, suggesting product information and consumer medicines information documents for CHCs be updated regarding blood clot risk.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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