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Report of the Committee set up by the Executive of the Irish Medical Association to advise on the hazards and side-effects of ovulation suppressants.
Journal of the Irish Medical Association 71(2, Suppl.):1-10. February 17, 1978.Approximately 5% of the 48,000 women in the Republic of Ireland who use oral contraceptives were prescribed 1 of the 8 combined preparations which contain 75-100 mcg of estrogen. Since estrogen has been linked to the hazards of oral contraceptive use, all preparations prescribed or marketed in the Republic of Ireland should contain no more than 50 mcg of estrogen. The absolute and relative counterindications to oral contraceptive use are given as is a recommended supervision protocol for current users. Results of studies of cardiovascular mortality associated with oral contraceptive use are summarized, and mortality rates are compared with death rates from various other causes. The association between oral contraceptives and venous thromboembolism and hypertension is discussed as are the effects of this contraceptive method on subsequent fertility and pregnancy. Reasons for discontinuation of this method are explored, and carbohydrate and lipid metabolic changes are outlined. The effects of oral contraceptive use on the liver, the gall bladder, the breasts, the skin, the urogenital system, the eyes and vision, the oral cavity, and the use of certain drugs are reported. It is recommended that physicians receive full information on the contraindications, hazards, and side effects of oral contraceptives and that users be made award of these sequelae and of their symptoms via an explanatory package insert. The 24 preparations currently in use in the Republic of Ireland and their estrogen dosages are listed, and a sample of appropriate user information is given.