FDA approves new Teva contraceptive

JERUSALEM — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new contraceptive therapy made by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Teva said Monday.

The drug maker announced the approval of Quartette (levonorgestrel, ethinyl estradiol and ethinyl estradiol) tablets. Teva said the drug represented the "next generation" of extended-regimen oral contraceptives and was designed to minimize breakthrough bleeding between scheduled periods.

"Breakthrough bleeding can be experienced with any birth control pill, especially during the first few months, and is one of the reasons a large number of women discontinue extended regimens," George Washington School of Medicine professor of obstetrics and gynecology James Simon said in a statement on behalf of Teva. "The estrogen in Quartette increases at specific points and provides four short light periods a year. Breakthrough bleeding decreases over time, which might help encourage patient adherence."