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Contraception. 1996 Mar;53(3):135-9.

Oral contraceptives and thrombotic diseases: impact of new epidemiological studies.


Oral contraceptives (OCs) are, or perhaps more correctly, were, until recently, being taken by approximately 65 million women worldwide, which corresponds to approximately 6% of all women of reproductive age. OCs have been available since the early 1960s, and there is substantial evidence to suggest that no single medication has had such a profound impact on our reproductive and social life than the pill. In the Scandinavian countries, 30-50% of young women have been reported to be using OCs. Its widespread use throughout the world for several decades indicates that women and their doctors have considered that the benefits of OCs outweigh potential side effects. On October 18, 1995, the Committee on Safety of Medicines in the United Kingdom sent a warning to all British doctors and pharmacists about OCs containing desogestrel or gestodene. A similar warning was subsequently distributed by the German and Norwegian health authorities. As these OC types dominate the market in Northern Europe, many gynaecologists, general practitioners, women of reproductive age, different national bodies on drug safety, and people in general have been asking: * What was the background for these actions? * How do we interpret the new studies? * What do we do now concerning prescription of OCs? * What is the moral of this story?

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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