I am a healthy 35 year old woman who has never smoked. I also have no family history of any major diseases (heart attack, cancer, etc.). Despite all this, I HAD A STROKE DUE TO THE ORTHO EVRA PATCH!
I had used the patch for about two months to help regulate my periods. My OB/GYN recommended it, she said it is the same as the pill but easier to use. She gave me a sample and I liked it and kept using it. After the second month, I removed the patch for my week off Sunday night (June 16th, 2005). Monday morning, I woke at 5 am to start my day and get a shower before the kids woke up. As I was getting dressed, my right arm started to swing violently and felt detached from my body. I noticed my vision blurred and my right leg felt numb. I tried to stop my arm from moving but it took several minutes before it did. When I looked in the mirror my mouth was drooping on the right side. I tried to talk and could not make ANY sound. I became confused about where I was and why I couldn't talk. Several minutes later I realized something was wrong and started to panic. I called my husband but could not speak, I could only make a few sounds. He knew something was wrong and told me to call 911 and that he was on his way home. I called 911 and they took me to the hospital, where I spent the next 6 days being probed and tested and re-tested. I had every test done and everything looked good, except for the left side of my brain which had a blood clot. I have low cholesterol and blood pressure. The doctors were extremely puzzled as to why a healthy, 34 year old would have a stroke! Everyone else in the stroke unit of the hospital was over 75!! The cause was the patch.
A year later, I still struggle with speech and swallowing difficulties, pain and numbness on the entire right side of my body, panic attacks and mood swings, confusion, writing difficulties and depression. I relive the moment the stroke happened almost daily.
The bottom line is that the makers of the patch knew how dangerous it was from the very beginning. They did a good job of covering up the negative test results in order to get the patch approved. They refused to do further testing because they felt it would negatively impact the patch. There was one FDA reviewer who blatantly disagreed with the findings and said so in his report. Read the proof here: http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/case/ortho_evra
I am not alone in this. So far, 23 women have died as a direct result of using the patch. One was only 14 years old and she had several blood clots in her pelvis. Another 37 yr old mother of two young children is now a quadraplegic. Despite all this, Ortho MacNeil and Johnson & Johnson continue to sell this fatally defective product. What do you think they really care about?
Please pass this warning on to every woman you know. If you use the patch, please stop immediatly and use something else!! Your life is at risk, it has been proven. I am so thankful to be alive and be here for my son and daughter, and that my husband does not have to raise them alone. Don't let it happen to you or someone you love!
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: DebnLeo117 juawal31 (11-09-2010), lexiixxlou (06-16-2011)
I thought it would be appropriate to follow up the above horror story with a little bit of statistics to make those women on this board who are using the patch a little less scared.
So 23 people have died as a result of the ortho evra patch.
Ortho evra was the 38th most prescribed/dispensed brand name drug in the US in 2005. The only higher ranked brand name birth control was Yasmin at #34. Over 9,355,000 prescriptions were dispensed for this product in 2005 (around 800,000 women).
So about 3 women out of every 100,000 have died because of ortho evra.
Some other interesting statistics:
In the US,
1 person per 100,000 will get struck by lightning.
8.5 women out of every 100,000 (pregnant women) will die due to pregnancy this year.
14 people per 100,000 will die in a car accident this year.
700 women per 100,000 using ortho evra as contraception will get pregnant. (0.7% failure rate)
the other thing to note is many people have strokes on other forms of birth control as well.. my friend's wife had one (she's in her mid to late 20s) and she is on the pill and not the patch. It's a side effect that can occur with ANY estrogen-based contraception.
I started the patch and a month into it i started having heart palps, my doctor put me on a heart monitor and i pretty much then realized it had to be the patch! I am 26 and now i am back on the pills, the patch was better cause i didnt have to take a pill, but NOT worth the health problems...
I have went back to the pill.I used the patch for only one week and I felt sick and very tried.Could feeling sick been from something else? possibly but I do know once I tore the patch off later that day I started to feel better.Also like the last poster I started having palpitations now I do get benign palpitations have for years but while on the patch it was everyday off and on.Also had a couple sudden sharp pains dart across the left side of my chest one day.The effects I experianced im sure could be experianced by some with the pill too.The higher hormone pills make me feel lousey too.I just thought id share though.
The stroke stuff is pretty scarey and I do smoke so I did switch to the pill because of that also its just a bit safer I think.
I will now be taking ortho trycyclen lo
Last edited by tnmomofive; 06-25-2006 at 08:45 AM.
Well, ace8484, it may only be a horror story to you, but to ME it is REAL!! I am suffering needlessly on a daily basis because of this!
I am trying to inform people of the truth, because Ortho is LYING and has always lied. Many more women are at risk b/c they still only care about profits. I am trying to make people aware of the facts...they should be scared if they are using the patch!! What if it were you or your sister or mother??? You come and tell my kids in their face that this is not real! They witnessed it!
Try being a little more sensitive next time!
And for Marie21, 60% more estrogen is delivered via the patch vs. the pill. This was not told to me when I asked my OB about it. She said they are the same, and was just as naive about it as I was. Of course, Ortho MacNeil decided to admit this information AFTER all these women started having complications.
That's horrible this happened to you, DebNLeo. Thank you for sharing.
Pharma covering up problems with their products (or any company who provides goods to the public) can't be compared to how many people get in a car accident per year, unless we're comparing car accidents in a very specific make, model and year of a certain automobile where the manufacturer knew there was a problem with the car and didn't divulge it until after the lawsuits started coming.
Unfortunately, we live in an age now where individuals must do incredible research on what they've been prescribed, whether it's hormonal BC, Vioxx, Phen-Phen or a statin. Sad fact, but true.
Last edited by StenoLady1; 06-26-2006 at 06:53 AM.
I know for a fact that you are right about Ortho McNeil lying and covering up the patch. Do a google search and plaintiff attorney's have found internal memo's stating concern over the patch. That's why they are settling ALL cases out of court - because they know they can't win. With the labeling change from the FDA that occured in November, the liability is now on the unsuspecting physician.
I too have had blood clots from the patch. The doctors said I was lucky. I almost died. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks and in ICU for 1. I now struggle with it every day. I had been on birth control for 10 years. I had been on the patch for 11 months. There has been research done saying ortho evra does cause more blood clots than oral birth control. It sucks because I absolutly loved the patch.