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Use of antibiotic in contraceptive trial sparks controversy

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 22 January 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:188
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. New Delhi

    A clinical trial in India's West Bengal state evaluating the antibiotic erythromycin as a female contraceptive has sparked controversy 15 months after the study ended, with doctors accused of pursuing illegal and unethical research.

    A paper published this month in the international journal Contraception (2004;69:47-9) says that transcervical administration of erythromycin seemed very safe but had an “unacceptably high” failure rate of 28-35% per cent after 12 months. The volunteers were divide into two groups. Each woman in the first group received a 500mg tablet of erythromycin, while each woman in the second group received ten 50mg pellets of the drug. In both cases thetablets or pellets were placed in …

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