FDA Approves New Contraceptive Pill Lybrel

The FDA approves an oral contraceptive that also eliminates menstruation. Wyeth's oral contraceptive Lybrel is now approved by the FDA to eliminate monthly menstrual periods. The drug has a lower level of synthetic hormones than other oral contraceptives and must be taken 365 days a year. According to a study by Wyeth, 59 percent of women had no periods after six months but 18% dropped out due to menstrual spotting.

Surveys have found mixed reactions from both women and health experts. According to Wyeth, nearly two-thirds of women expressed interest in eliminating monthly periods. However, research also found that half of the surveyed women welcomed their periods as a sign that they were not pregnant.

Additionally a quarter felt that menstruation is a natural part of womanhood and being healthy. Wyeth claims Lybrell will offer an option to women who wish to be able to control menstrual cycles in a way that suits their lifestyltes. However, experts question if there has been sufficient research conducted on the long-term effects of the drug.

The director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research claims that although there appears to be no safety issues, Wyeth will continue to study the drug and potential concerns. Monitoring safety is important because it has long been established that alterations in natural hormone levels and cycles are strongly associated with the risk of breast and gynecologic cancers, as well as heart disease, osteoporosis and other chronic health conditions in women..


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