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FDA warns birth-control patch users of higher blood-clot risk

The FDA warned women Wednesday that their risk of blood clots in their legs and lungs may be higher if they use the birth-control patch instead of the pill. The FDA stated that it updated the label on the birth-control patch to reflect the results of one study that found that women using the patch faced twice the risk of clots than did women on the pill.

An Associated Press investigation found that patch users die and suffer blood clots at a rate three times higher than women taking the pill. About a dozen women died in 2004 from blood clots believed linked to the use of the patch. Dozens more suffered strokes and other clot-linked problems. Health officials warn that women who smoke should not use the patch because smoking increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.

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