This Contraceptive Pill Could Soon Be Banned In Australia

February 5, 2018


If you’ve been prescribed Diane-35, it might be time to have a chat with your GP.

The Advisory Committee on Medicines, which informs the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), will meet on Friday to make a call on if it’s safe enough for Australian women to take.

The current TGA advice on oral contraceptives says that there is a heightened risk of blood clots when taking the pill, but that risk is still relatively small – about two cases in 10,000 women – although Diane has been found to be significantly higher, especially when travelling. The risk of clots on Diane is 1½ to two times higher than for other oral contraceptives, and four times higher than for non-users.

While all contraceptive pills can increase the risk of blood clots, Diane has been linked to four deaths in France, which led to it temporarily being pulled off the shelves there and the TGA-equivalent in the United States has never approved the use of the drug.

“The Diane-35 product information has recently been updated, and the new version is available on the TGA website. TGA has already provided information on the risk and are planning a further update to this statement,” a TGA spokesperson told The Australian.

Diane-35 is also sold under the generic names Estelle, Brenda, Juliet and Laila, it’s registered in Australia to treat severe acne and hirsutism (excessive hair growth), but is routinely prescribed “off-label” as a contraceptive.

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