A lot of women are unaware that they have blood clots, a known side effect from taking Ortho Evra, until it is too late - many have suffered a stroke or aneurism, even death.
"In March 2005 I had an accident and broke my toe. I went to a doctor because I was having muscle pain, ostensibly related to my toe. He asked me what medications I was taking and I told him that I had been on the Ortho Evra patch for two-and-a-half years. Right away he sent me for an ultrasound - he knew too well the side effects of Ortho Evra.
In retrospect I was very lucky that I broke my toe - otherwise I might never have known. The ultrasound found two blood clots in my leg. And it gets worse. Upon further tests it was discovered that I have a genetic blood clotting disorder and taking the patch compounded the risks of having a thrombotic event. The patch packs three times more the amount of estrogen than other birth control pills.
I had gone through two pregnancies without any complications associated with this disorder. But with the combination of the patch, my accident and now this genetic disorder, it was like one big ball of wax.
I consider myself lucky. I may never have found out about this disorder until I had a stroke; I could have died. The problem with this disorder is that obgyn's don't test for genetic blood clot disorders before prescribing birth control and I don't think they plan on testing anytime soon. If I knew the patch had so much more estrogen than the pill, I would never have taken it in the first place - nobody told me. But when I was first prescribed the patch in 2002, I don't think doctors knew about it either.
Right after I was diagnosed with this disorder I searched the Internet for Ortho Evra and blood clots - that was when I saw articles about the lawsuit. Perhaps my doctor knew about the lawsuits but couldn't tell me at the time - maybe that is why he sent me for an ultrasound. I had never gone to this doctor before - let me tell you, he is my saviour!
I am one of the fortunate ones - what about all the poor women who died or suffered strokes, and worse. Although I have to be on coumadin (to prevent blood clots) for the rest of my life, I still consider myself lucky. The alternative could be death. Of course I got off the patch instantly!
This is what I want to say to Ortho-McNeil, the makers of the patch : it is very disturbing that you weren't honest about how much estrogen was in the patch. I took the pill because it was such a low dose but I liked the convenience of the patch - rather ironic after so much anguish it has caused. It was very deceptive that the facts were not disclosed. I think you made and marketed the Ortho Evra patch to make as much money as possible, disregarding women's health and well-being."