Study Shows Women with Lupus Can Safely Take Oral Contraceptives
A major study funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases shows that women with lupus are able to take oral contraceptives without an increased risk of flare-ups.
Thornton: For years, doctors have been reluctant to prescribe oral contraceptives to women suffering from lupus, fearing that the contraceptives may cause an increase in disease activity. But now, a major study funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases shows that women with lupus are able to take oral contraceptives without an increased risk of flare-ups. Dr. Jill Buyon of the New York Hospital for Joint Diseases and co-author of the study talks about the findings.
Buyon: When we did this study, which really is quite important to the health of women since oral contraceptives are to date the most effective form of birth control, we found that in women whose disease was relatively inactive, at least at the time we administered the birth control pills since they weren't at risk for blood clotting, did quite well. There were no differences in the number of women who had either severe flares or mild, moderate flares.
Thornton: Lupus is a disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and damages healthy tissues of the skin, joints and internal organs. The symptoms include inflammation of the skin, joints and the mucous membranes lining the nose and mouth. For more information visit www.niams.nih.gov. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Matt Thornton in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Matt Thornton
Sound Bite: Dr. Jill Buyon
Topic: Lupus, Birth Control