Friday, February 23, 2018

A new option for women

Qlaira oral contraceptive launched


‘MORE CHOICE’: Dr Victor Marin at the launch of the new oral contraceptive at the Hilton Trinidad in Port of Spain. —Photos: Jermaine Cruickshank

Mark Fraser

Physicians today have more options to offer their patients when it comes to oral contraceptives.

With the growing number of unwanted and unplanned pregnancies, effective forms of contraception are in high demand.

Bayer Healthcare has created a new oral contraceptive for women called Qlaira. Pronounced (Cly-ra), the new drug has been on the market for approximately three years but has only been available in Trinidad since 2013.

Qlaira is the first in a new class of oral contraceptives, Bayer says, that work in harmony with a woman’s body. Representatives of Bayer Healthcare along with Dr Victor Marin launched the new oral contraception to a room full of local doctors at the Hilton Trinidad recently.

Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Qlaira combines estradiol, the same oestrogen produced naturally by a woman’s body with a novel progestin called dienogest.

“This innovative formula provides another option for women interested in hormonal contraception,” Dr Marin said.

He noted that other oral contraceptives used synthetic versions of naturally existing female hormones — oestrogen and progestogen — which were not well tolerated by women.

Given the fact that women using contraceptives often present symptoms such as headache, pelvic pain, mastalgia, bleeding and/or spotting during the hormone-free interval within the 21/7 contraceptive regimen, he said in order to solve the problem, Bayer Healthcare created Qlaira that has a shorter hormone-free interval that significantly reduces symptoms related with hormone break and overall improves a woman’s quality of life.

Dr Marin is a member of the Mexican College of Specialists in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He is also a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

He noted that, over the past 50 years, many new progestins have been developed for use in oral contraceptives, however, the oestrogen component remained the same.

He said, “Previous attempts to use estradiol in oral contraception have failed to achieve a satisfactory level of bleeding control until now. The combination of estradiol and dienogest in a dynamic dosing regimen ensures good cycle control and reliable contraception.”

Condoms are in some cases still the sole form of contraception used by many couples across the globe. However, condoms are not a very reliable source of contraception, as contraceptive accidents such as condom slip or tear only increased a woman’s risk of becoming pregnant.

When this method failed, Dr Marin noted that several new contraceptive methods such as hormonal contraceptives were introduced on the market.

Women have several to choose from such as the contraceptive pill and the contraceptive patch or ring, however pills by far have been the most popular, he said.

Dr Marin noted that Qlaira had a high efficacy and was better tolerated by patients.

“This is because Qlaira imitates the natural environment in a woman’s body, with the various dosages of hormones being taken throughout the 28 days of a woman’s menstrual cycle,” he said.

He noted that Qlaira pills are supposed to be taken in the right order: two dark yellow pills followed by five light red pills, 17 light yellow pills and two dark red pills. The pack ends with two inactive pills, which indicates that you are to take the packs back to back.

“If you are currently on an oral contraceptive that works for you; you do not have to switch. Women who have had adverse reactions in the past and are looking for a more natural form of oral contraceptive, Qlaira was created to broaden the choice of contraceptives available on the market. It is currently the only oral contraceptive indicated for the treatment of excessive, prolonged, and frequent menstrual bleeding,” Dr Marin said.

Qlaira is available in Trinidad and can be obtained after consultation with your physician.