More Birth Control Patch Lawsuits - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

More Birth Control Patch Lawsuits

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TRI-CITIES, Wash. - The makers of the Ortho Evra patch are faced with a new lawsuit from 43 women and that is in addition to the 300 who have already sued.

The patch is used as a form of birth control.  Women put it directly on the skin and change it weekly. 

The lawsuit claimed the patch caused serious illnesses and at least one death in Maryland.

Cecilia Dirks is a nurse midwife from Gentle Hands in Pasco.  She said, "I am not recommending the patch to any of my clients until I have more information."

Dirks said she stopped prescribing the patch after a number of complaints were made public about the safety of the drug.  Medical professionals said blood clots were a major concern.

The latest lawsuit claims 43 women suffered from blood clots and other serious health problems because of the patch.

Ginny Lettau used the patch for one year and did not like it.  She said it irritated her skin.  Lettau said, "I think there's much safer forms of birth control out there so we can use them, that don't pose as much health risks."

The maker of Ortho Evra states that serious side effects are rare.

Local medical professionals said many times people misuse the patch and become pregnant accidentally especially teenagers.

Benton Franklin Health Department official Susy Brockman works with pregnant teenage girls and said about 10 percent of the teens she sees misused the patch in some way and became pregnant. 

She said, "They thought they were doing things right and they wind up pregnant probably the main reason I see that they are becoming pregnant is because they are not being instructed properly on how to use it."