Sunday, October 31, 2004

Period-Free

I keep forgetting to post this. Wyeth is working on a dedicated continuous use combination pill (ethinyl estradiol/levonorgestrel), Librel (scroll half-way down the page):

LIBREL is anticipated to be the first approved continuous use oral contraceptive regime. This continuous suppression of ovulation leads to the inhibition of menses allowing women to become period-free. The elimination of menses is also expected to inhibit the development of cycle-related symptoms such as dysmenorrhea, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and premenstrual symptoms (PMS).


Initially, I though this announcement was from a business site, so I was going to go easy on them, but I noticed it's actually from the manufacturer--for shame! And this is why:

LIBREL is anticipated to be the first approved continuous use oral contraceptive regime. This continuous suppression of ovulation leads to the inhibition of menses allowing women to become period-free.


The continuous use in the first sentence refers to the regimen of use, the way you take the pills--one active (hormone-containing) pill every day, continuously. This regimen is unique to this new brand, Librel and it allows you to became fake period-free (not the same as period-free, as we shall see in a moment).

The continuous suppression in the following sentence refers to the mechanism of action, the way the pills work--the Pill hormones continuously suppress the body's hormones, and thus, menstruation. This mechanism of action is universal; it's the same for all combination Pill brands. In other words, it doesn't matter if you take Pill brand X on a 3 weeks on/1 week off regimen, or Pill brand Seasonale, on a 12 weeks on/1 week off regimen, or even Pill brand Librel, on a continuous regimen--all these brands continuously suppress your ovulation and your menstrual period, and allow you to become period-free.

Bottom line: Menstrual suppression and shifting the frequency of the fake period are not one and the same thing. All Pill brands suppress your menstrual period and allow you to become period-free. All Pill brands used on a continuous regimen allow you to become fake-period free. Only Librel will be packaged with an insert actually telling you how the continuous regimen works. [OK, I'm being a bit flippant here. Librel will also be a brand backed by specific continuous use studies.]



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