By Hilary White

November 14, 2005 ( – The manufacturers of the hormonal birth control patch, Ortho Evra, have issued a health warning on its packaging that includes the possibility of stroke and death by blood clots.

Ortho McNeil, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson has admitted that the patch exposes women to about 60 percent more estrogen than those using typical birth-control pills.

The patch works in the same way as regular birth control pills, that is, in many cases by inducing an early-term abortion. Apart from that, since the patch releases huge doses of the same kind of hormones, it is subject to the same kinds of health problems as birth control pills. Recent studies have shown that women using the patch absorb about 50 percent more estrogen than with the pill.

In July, the Associated Press reported that the patch may have been a factor in the blood clot-related deaths of up to a dozen women. Dozens more survived strokes and other clot-related problems. The Associated Press reported that patch users die and suffer blood clots at a rate three times higher than women taking the pill.

At the time, a representative of the US Food and Drug Administration said that Ortho McNeil must warn consumers of the dangers of the patch. “The label should clearly reflect this reviewer’s safety concern about a potential increased risk,” the report reads.

On Thursday, a spokesman for Ortho McNeil said that the company was cooperating with the FDA in labeling the drug.