New Research Finds 90% Increased Risk Of Blood Clots While Using NuvaRing Compared to Older Class Of Birth Control Pills Containing Levonorgestrel
At About The Same Time A Merck Sponsored Study Found No Higher Rate of Pulmonary Embolism (PE) Or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Associated With Its Vaginal Ring Contraceptive Product
In May 2012 we received the findings of two competing studies about the safety of Merck's NuvaRing (vaginal ring).
The first study was done by a group of independent researchers and its findings are rather disturbing:
With an incidence of 7.8 confirmed events per 10 000 exposure years, the vaginal ring [NuvaRing] conferred a 90% higher risk of venous thrombosis [e.g., blood clots that cause deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE)] than did combined oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel, bringing the risk to the same level as that of combined oral contraceptives with third and fourth generation progestogens, and compatible with the Food and Drug Administration study [done by the FDA Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology in 2011, "Combined hormonal contraceptives (CHCs) and the risk of cardiovascular disease endpoints." (PDF)] (emphasis added)
Source: "Venous thrombosis in users of non-oral hormonal contraception: follow-up study, Denmark 2001-10", published May 10, 2012 by BMJ (free access).
The second study was sponsored by Merck, the drug company responsible for the NuvaRing birth control product. This study, called the Transatlantic Active Surveillance on Cardiovascular Safety of NuvaRing, found -- in stark contrast to the first study, above -- that there was no difference in venous thromboembolism (VTE) development such as DVTs and PEs between the NuvaRing and combined oral contraceptives, or birth control pills.
For more detail about these two new (2012) NuvaRing medical studies, see: "Merck Funded Study Says There Is No Blood Clot Risk With NuvaRing, While BMJ Medical Journal Article Reports A 90% Increased Risk".
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