What is Ortho Evra?

Ortho Evra, developed as the first contraceptive patch women could wear on their skin to prevent pregnancy, was discontinued in the United States after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the generic birth control patch Xulane, in 2014. The Ortho Evra patch was marketed by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals as a more convenient alternative to oral contraceptives, since it only needed to be changed once a week, and it worked by thickening the cervical mucus and by releasing hormones into the bloodstream to keep the ovaries from releasing an egg. Ortho Evra was first marketed and sold in 2002, and in 2005, the FDA issued a warning about the potential for Ortho Evra to cause deadly blood clots, due in large part to the fact that women who used the birth control patch were exposed to 60% more of the hormone estrogen compared to women taking the pill.

In 2008, Ortho-McNeil’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson, agreed to pay as much as $68.7 million to resolve hundreds of lawsuits claiming injuries from the Ortho Evra birth control patch, including at least 20 claims that involved wrongful death.

Why Ortho Evra Lawsuits Are Being Filed

Lawsuits claim:

  • Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals knew about the dangers posed by the Ortho Evra patch when it was first introduced.
  • The manufacturer failed to adequately warn about the risk of side effects from the birth control patch.
  • The manufacturer failed to warn about the potential dangers of being exposed to extremely high levels of estrogen.
  • The manufacturer aggressively marketed the patch to women of childbearing age, despite the serious risks associated with the product.
  • The manufacturer promoted Ortho Evra as a safe and effective means of preventing pregnancy.
  • The manufacturer placed profits above consumer safety.
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Ortho Evra and Pseudotumor Cerebri

In addition to dangerous blood clots – a common side effect found among a variety of hormonal contraceptives – research has shown that women who used the Ortho Evra patch were also at an increased risk for pseudotumor cerebri, a medical condition characterized by increased pressure inside the skull. Pseudotumor cerebri (PTC), also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) or benign intracranial hypertension (BIH), occurs when pressure inside the skull increases for no obvious reason, and symptoms of the condition mimic a brain tumor, when no tumor is actually present. Individuals with PTC typically experience symptoms like migraine headaches, temporary vision loss, and a ringing in the ears in time with the heartbeat, and may even suffer permanent blindness.

How an Ortho Evra Lawsuit Can Help

For women who experienced pseudotumor cerebri or another serious side effect while using the Ortho Evra birth control patch, pursuing compensation through a product liability lawsuit can help cover the costs of:

  • Medical bills and hospital visits
  • Lost wages
  • Emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Long-term medical care

Ortho Evra Lawsuit Information

More than four million women used the Ortho Evra birth control patch to prevent pregnancy before it was removed from the market in the United States, and while Ortho-McNeil’s official reason for discontinuing the transdermal patch was “due to a business decision,” many believe it had to do with the mounting lawsuits the company was facing by women who suffered serious injuries while using the Ortho Evra patch. In 2008, Ortho-McNeil’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson, agreed to pay as much as $68.7 million to resolve hundreds of lawsuits claiming injuries from the Ortho Evra birth control patch, including at least 20 claims that involved wrongful death. One of the most recent incidents involving side effects of the transdermal patch took place in October 2013, when a 21-year-old woman from New York suffered a pulmonary embolism and died from complications believed to be related to the Ortho Evra patch.