Daily oral contraceptive pill gets a boost from ‘oral contraceptive booster,’ study finds

Pfizer announced on Friday that the oral contraceptive pill, Lipitor, is safe to use at the end of a three-month booster. Women taking the pill for this period have so far reported no side effects — but should the pill suddenly become less effective, this booster could be crucial.

In this case, the vaccine appears to be working. The analysis of women taking the pill between January and February discovered an “anomalous” failure rate of 7.4 percent for women who stopped taking the medication within three months and started taking the booster, Reuters reported.

About 99 percent of the women taking the contraceptive pill for the duration of the booster period showed no significant reduction in the contraceptive’s efficacy after three months, according to Pfizer’s study.

The world’s biggest pharmaceutical company also said that there was a 35 percent improvement in blood flow to the uterus for all women taking the pill over those who stopped taking it during the midpoint of the period.

Women taking the Lipitor, commonly known as a “protected pill,” are as yet the only group of women using the drug who are likely to be eligible for this booster, but the FDA has not decided whether this requirement will be included on all birth control options.

Pfizer’s news does confirm that the oral contraceptive has the capability to protect new users as it doesn’t, in itself, protect women already on the pill from a drop in effectiveness in the face of a sudden drop in the action of the pill.

Nevertheless, earlier data from the same study found that this booster increased the protection of a protected pill as well — compared to a dummy pill taken on an emergency basis. Data from Lipitor’s 2012 study showed a 0.25-percent improvement for women taking the pill for an eight-month period.

Read the full story at Reuters.


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