INDEPENDENT NEWS

Effects of oral contraceptives monitored closely

Published: Tue 20 Jun 2000 08:59 AM
19 June 2000
Effects of oral contraceptives monitored closely
DOCTORS have been asked to monitor and report any cases of blood clots in women taking oral contraceptives for the last four years, the Ministry of Health says.
Commenting on calls from Women's Health Action for better monitoring of the risks associated with the pill Ministry spokesman Dr Stewart Jessamine said there was a standing request to all prescribers to report any adverse reactions to medicines.
In addition, the Ministry's Medsafe division in February 1996 asked all prescribers to report all blood clots in women taking oral contraceptives. "The number of reports received about side effects from oral contraceptives has increased substantially since," Dr Jessamine said.
"These reports are made to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) and cannot identify all cases as they are based on voluntary reporting by doctors.
"This is taken into account when we are providing advice to prescribers or consumers. We know that the number of reports of the frequency of particular side effects, such as blood clots, will be lower than actually occurs. Even though New Zealand has amongst the highest reporting rates in the world, and its rate of reporting is higher than in some countries where reporting is compulsory, the data was incomplete.
"The research conducted by the Otago University team led by Professor David Skegg provided information on the risk of death which could not be obtained from voluntary reporting of side effects."
Professor Skegg's research - which showed 20 women taking the pill had died of blood clots since 1990 - confirmed that not all deaths had been reported to the CARM, Dr Jessamine said.
"The study also confirmed that our advice to doctors, first issued in 1996 and based on the supposition that the risks for New Zealand women would be in line with those found in other countries was appropriate.
"Monitoring side effects from oral contraceptives more closely will be discussed at the next meeting of the Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee. It may be necessary to develop a new method to do so as an existing programme, the Intensive Medicines Monitoring Programme, is not designed to collect data on such large groups as the 200,000 women using oral contraceptives."
Funding for the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring, where information is collated and analysed, has been more than doubled this year, he said.
ends For more information contact: Frances Ross Chief media advisor Ministry of Health Tel: 496 2202/025 512 833

Next in Lifestyle

Broken Estate: an expat expert surveys our media
By: RNZ
Geraint Martin to step down as Te Papa’s Chief Executive
By: Te Papa
A City Possessed 2019 Edition coincides with Ellis appeal
By: Otago University Press
Māori Language Commission tribute to NZers embracing Te Reo
By: Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori
Four Women in a Man Cave - 'The Pink Hammer'
By: Howard Davis
The NZSO Present 'Transfiguration'
By: Howard Davis
Te Papa expert made redundant offered new role at museum
By: RNZ
Peter Ellis, man at centre of Chch creche sex case, has died
By: RNZ
Peter Ellis granted leave to appeal case to Supreme Court
By: RNZ
TOAH-NNEST media statement following the death of Peter Ellis
By: TOAH-NNEST
Peter Ellis granted leave to appeal to Supreme Court
By: NZ Supreme Court
Gordon Campbell on the Supreme Court and the Ellis case
By: Gordon Campbell
Tribute to wāhine toa who help keep te reo Māori strong
By: Maori Language Commission
Central online hub for te reo Māori resources launched
By: New Zealand Government
New place names restore Maniapoto history
By: New Zealand Government
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media