Letters

Guidelines for prescribing combined oral contraceptives

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7023.121a (Published 13 January 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:121
  1. A M Mills,
  2. C L Wilkinson,
  3. D R Bromham,
  4. J Elias,
  5. K Fotherby,
  6. J Guillebaud,
  7. A Kubba,
  8. A Wade
  1. (chair, clinical and scientific committee), (secretary), (committee member), (committee member), (committee member), (committee member), (committee member), (committee member) Faculty of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London NW1 4RG

    EDITOR,—The clinical and scientific committee of the Faculty of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care has noted a wide range of expert views on the recent publications on the combined oral contraceptive and venous thromboembolism1 2 3 4 5 6 and has circulated a position paper.7 The new studies confirm that low dose combined oral contraceptives carry an extremely low risk for healthy women.

    The overall risk of venous thromboembolism for users of combined oral contraceptives containing gestodene and desogestrel is close to the previous estimate for all low dose combined oral contraceptives.5 Combined oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel and norethisterone seem to be associated with a lower risk of non-fatal venous thromboembolism than previously reported (table).

    View this table:

    Risk of non-fatal venous thromboembolism per 100000 women per year

    Prescribing guidelines

    • Prescribers should take a comprehensive personal and family history to exclude absolute contraindications to the use of combined oral contraceptives. …

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