Health care providers, patients ignore FDA warnings about patches

WASHINGTON Health care providers are overlooking the dangers of drug patches even though the Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings about their uses, according to the Los Angeles Times. The two biggest patches in question are the pain patch Fentanyl and the birth-control patch Ortho Evra.

The problem with the patches is they maintain a steadier level of the drug in the body after consumption as compared to a pill. For example, the Ortho Evra exposes women to a higher level of a hormone linked to blood clots than do oral contraceptives.

The effect of any patch can vary considerably from patient to patient. "Some people may not get enough of the drug, which defeats the purpose of taking it. And some may get too much ... which is going to hurt some people," said Dr. Curt D. Furberg of the Wake Forest University medical school.

He along with many other doctors are asking for the patches to be examined more carefully by the FDA. The FDA though is stating that everything is fine on their end when it comes to product safety and effectiveness.