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3rd and 4th generation pills: increased risk of confirmed venous thrombosis

A new study has just confirmed the increased risk of blood clots with 3rd and 4th generation pills compared to patients not using pills and compared to those using 1st and 2nd generation pills.

The controversy continues

The controversy surrounding the 3rd and 4th generation pills had erupted at the end of 2012 when Marion Labat filed a complaint after having had a stroke that she thought was due to taking Meliane®, a 3rd generation contraceptive.

This was followed by 63 new complaints in February 2013, resulting in the delisting of these 3rd and 4th generation pills and recommendations from the Drug Safety Agency that doctors could only prescribe these pills with written and signed proof that they had verified the absence of risk factors in patients.

The risks are confirmed

A new study, published in The British Medical Journal, reinforces the previous ones by indicating that these new combined 3rd and 4th generation oral contraceptives (based on drospirenone, desogestrel and cyproterone) multiplied by 4 the risk of venous thrombosis (clot formation) in patients compared to those not taking contraceptives.

Moreover, the risk of venous thrombosis is nearly twice as high compared to those using the oldest 1st and 2nd generation pills (levonorgestrel, norethisterone or norgestimate).

Why are these pills not being withdrawn from the market?

In 2019, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) conducted a re-evaluation following cases of pulmonary embolism and concluded that the benefits of the 3rd and 4th generation pills still outweighed the risks, however, because their effectiveness remains very safe.

In comparison, for example, the risk of venous thrombosis is multiplied by 10 when a woman is pregnant.

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