New Birth Control Patch Being Tested in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 23-year-old SouthPark resident Cameron Crye says remembering to take her birth control pill every day at the same time is a pain. Crye says, "Personally, my friends have to set an alarm on their phone to remind them to take it!"
The UNC Charlotte student says she'd like a more convenient form of birth control, like the patch, but she's wary of the estrogen levels found in patches already on the market. "One of my friends that used the patch that was a regular dose found that she had a lot of acne and was nauseated,” says Crye.
The "regular" dose patches expose the women who use them to 60% more estrogen than the pill. That increase can also mean an increase in serious health issues, like blood clots, strokes or heart attacks.
A new, low dose birth control patch will be tested here, at Metrolina Medical Research Center in SouthPark, on about 15 patients over the course of 1 year. It's part of a nation-wide study that will include 1,500 women.
"I think they're looking for convenience and safety and we think this offers both,” says Dr. George Raad. Raad's patients will be required to visit the clinic often so he can check on how the low dose patch is working for them. "These are all visits that are mandated by the FDA to assess safety, which is number one."
The company making the new patch, Agile Therapeutics, did a study in 2008 and found more than 30% of women are not happy with their current contraceptive methods, citing cost, side effects and convenience as their most common concerns. That assessment rings true with co-ed Crye. "It's definitely a pain,” she says.
Again, the study will last one year. After that, Dr. Raad says there will be a few more trials. He expects the low-dose patch to be on the market in about three years.