Birth control firsts: Natazia

Birth control pills. Source: Ceridwen, Wikimedia Commons
Natazia was approved by the FDA in March 2010 for use as an oral contraceptive in women. It was approved in Europe in 2009 under the name Qlaira. It contains a synthetic estrogen and a progestin, so it is a combination hormonal contraceptive. Read more about the Natazia studies done prior to approval.

Natazia was the first four-phase contraceptive available in the United States. Most birth control pills are monophasic - a single dosage is taken throughout the 28-day cycle. Natazia has four different concentrations, allowing a fine tuning of cycle control. Read more about the first four phase contraceptive.

This also allows Natazia to be used to decrease menstrual flow, something that other birth control pills cannot reliably say. Read more about the differences between Natazia and other birth control pills. However, the newer pill is just as effective as previous birth control pills, and it carries the same risks as any other combination hormonal therapy - The most common side effects for Natazia are weight gain, acne, headache, irregular menstruation, breast pain and discomfort, and nausea/vomiting. Oral contraceptives should not be used by women with liver disease, who are pregnant, or who have a high risk of thrombotic diseases. Birth control pills increase the risk of clotting and cardiovascular events, and the risk is highest during the first year of use. Women, especially those over the age of 35, should avoid smoking cigarettes while on the pill to prevent an increased risk of cardiovascular complications.

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