University of Rochester Tests Self-Injected Birth Control

Option Could Spare Women Office Visits for Hormone Shots

December 10, 2002

Women who currently rely on a monthly shot for birth control may soon be able to give themselves the injection at home, rather than making a trip to their doctor’s office and incurring the cost of an office visit, in addition to the cost of their birth control. A study led by Nancy L. Stanwood, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, will follow 30 women as they learn to give themselves the birth-control shots. The study, using the birth control medication known as LunelleTM, will teach women to give themselves the injection, give them an opportunity to use it at home, and measure their satisfaction with the method versus getting the injections from a provider in the office. “The injectable contraceptive Lunelle™ is easier to remember than taking a pill every day. But some women find the office visits each month to be a drawback,” says Stanwood. “With this study, we hope to help women use this method by self-injecting at home, and so save time and money while still enjoying the convenience of the method.” Women enrolled in the study must have already successfully used LunelleTM as birth control for a minimum of three months in the past year. After an initial screening, participants will be taught to give themselves the shot in their thigh muscle. They will do their first self-injection in the office, under a nurse’s supervision. Their second injection during the study will be done by the participant, in the office, with a nurse observing to be sure the participant is able to complete the shot successfully. This is followed by three months of injections done at home, and three months done in the office again. Injections must be given every 28 days to provide effective birth control. The study is sponsored by Pharmacia, manufacturer of LunelleTM. Earlier this year, the company recalled one type of packaging of the medication (pre-filled syringes), but the vials of medication used in the study are not affected by the recall. Participants who complete the study are paid for their time and study medications are provided at no cost. Women interested in participating in the LunelleTM study should call (585) 275-2691.

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Lori Barrette
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